Tree preservation orders (TPO)
Permission must be obtained before carrying out work on any tree that is either:
- subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO)
- within a Conservation Area
You can use the maps below to find out if a tree is subject to a TPO or is within a Conservation Area
Request permission to work on a protected tree
If you are a resident hiring a tree surgeon, they will usually apply on your behalf.
- complete the TPO/Trees in Conservation Area Application Form.
- provide a full, clear and detailed specification of what work you intend to carry out to the tree. Ideally this guidance should be provided by a professional tree surgeon or arborist in accordance with British Standard 3998: Recommendations for Tree Works (2010)
You can send the completed application form and documents to us by either:
If you need any help filling in the form, see Application Form Guidance
We respond to applications for TPO works within 6 weeks, and Conservation Areas within 8 weeks. If a tree poses an immediate danger, see the guidance below on Storm blown trees
For further information see Protected Trees FAQs.
Where a tree has suffered storm damage, you may arrange to carry out the minimum necessary works to make the tree safe.
Any non-urgent or remedial works must be applied for in the usual way, via an application or notification to the council.
You must inform the council at the earliest opportunity (in many cases contractors will provide what is known as a ‘5 day notice’) regarding the works that have been carried out to the protected tree.
If the protected tree is living but has dead branches, you are allowed to remove these without notifying us. This is often referred to as ‘deadwooding’.
Dead trees and branches can provide valuable habitats for plants and wildlife. As long as it doesn't cause any danger, it can be good practice to retain the lower part of the trunk on dead trees to conserve biodiversity.
Request for a tree to be protected
You can ask for any tree or trees to be considered for a TPO if it meets criteria set by national legislation and guidance.
Trees with a useful life expectancy of less than 20 years are unlikely to be considered suitable for a TPO.
If the tree meets the above criteria please send an email with the following information:
- details of the tree
- its location
- any background information (such as any potential threats to the tree)
Send the email to TPOtrees@harrow.gov.uk
In considering any request, the Council will:
- acknowledge the request and ask for any further information that may help in considering it
- visit the site to view the tree/s and its context and prepare an assessment / recommendation
- advise the requestor of the Council’s decision and the reasons
The Council will aim to respond within 20 working days.