Tree preservation orders (TPO)
If you would like work to be done on a tree, which is covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), you will need to submit a 'Works to Trees' application before any work is started.
To find out if a tree is covered by a TPO please view our map below.
If the tree is not covered by a TPO, then any pruning or removal works are allowed to be carried out without prior permission from the council, providing that the property is not located within a Conservation Area.
Where a tree is in a conservation area but not protected by a Tree Preservation Order, permission also needs to be sought from the tree officer via firstname.lastname@example.org
'Work to Trees' application
You can apply for work to be done on a tree, which is covered by a TPO.
For more information you can view our TPO frequently asked questions.
TPOs can be served to stop a tree or group of trees from being felled. On occasions it is necessary to fell trees, for example to make way for property developments or if the trees themselves are poorly managed.
Propose a tree/s for a TPO
Any person can put forward a tree or trees for consideration for protection by a TPO; agreement to such a request is not automatic as there are criteria under national legislation and guidance as to when a TPO is suitable.
In order to successfully serve a TPO it will need to be demonstrated that the potential loss of the tree(s) will result in a negative impact on the surrounding area, for example reducing the public's ability to enjoy the location of the tree(s). This can be claimed if:
- the tree is normally visible from a public place such as a road or footpath (although exceptions can be made if other trees are blocking the view)
- the benefit may be present or future e.g. if the trees are not yet fully grown and will in time be visible
- the trees are worthy of preservation for their intrinsic beauty or for their contribution to the landscape
- they serve to screen an eyesore or future development
- their value is enhanced by their scarcity
- the value of a group of trees or woodland may collectively be important
Other factors such as wildlife habitat can strengthen a case but not be sufficient in isolation to justify a TPO.
Trees with a useful life expectancy of less than 20 years are unlikely to be considered suitable for a TPO.
In considering any request for a TPO, the Council will:
- acknowledge the request and ask for any further information that may help in considering the request;
- undertake a site visit to view the tree/s and its context and prepare an assessment / recommendation following a recognised methodology that reflects the criteria for making a TPO; and
- advise the requestor of the Council’s decision (i.e. whether to serve or TPO or not) and the reasons for this decision.
The Council will aim to undertake the above within 20 business days of receipt of the request.
Any request should be made to TPOtrees@harrow.gov.uk, providing details of the tree and its location and any background information (such as any potential threats to the tree) that may not be evident from the Council’s site visit.
If a protected tree (subject to a TPO or within a Conservation Area) suffers storm damage, you may arrange to carry out whatever work is necessary to make the tree safe. The work must be the minimum required to make it safe, and any additional work should be applied for the usual way, via an application or notification to the council. You must inform the council at the earliest opportunity, regarding the works that have been carried out to the protected tree.
Please note that it is the owner’s responsibility to prove that any work carried out to the tree was essential to make the tree safe. Therefore it is advised to keep photographic records of any windblown or storm damaged trees prior to felling or removing them. Photographs can be emailed to email@example.com
List of tree surgeons
We do not provide a service to carry out works, but you can download a list of registered tree contractors.
Pruning overhanging trees
You are permitted to prune back overhanging branches from a tree in a neighbour's property, if the tree is not covered by a TPO or in a conservation area.
We would advise you to check the status of a tree with the owner or the council before pruning any branches. Any unauthorised works to trees covered by a TPO or in a conservation area carry a large fine.
If the tree is located within a conservation area, but is not covered by a TPO, a description of works to be carried out needs to be submitted.
You will need to submit this to the Tree Preservation Officer before the works are due to start.
The care and maintenance of any trees within private property is the responsibility of the landowner or tenant.
Trees not covered by a TPO or conservation area
Any dispute between neighbours regarding trees not covered by a TPO or not within a Conservation Area is considered a civil matter. The council will not intervene at any time.
Council housing tenants
If you live in a council house you are responsible for maintaining the trees in the front and back garden. Please check your tenancy agreement for further information.
Cracks in walls
If you suspect damage such as cracks in walls or surrounding land to a property, is caused by a tree located on the public highway, you should as your first point of call contact our Insurance Department.
- Young Tree Aftercare A3 web PDF (trees.org.uk)
- Where to Plant No1 Poster A3.indd (trees.org.uk)
- How to Plant No3 Poster A3.indd (trees.org.uk)
- What To Plant No2 Poster A3.indd (trees.org.uk)
- Arboricultural Association - Managing your Trees (trees.org.uk)
- Choosing-Your-Arborist-Leaflet-Public-Web.pdf (trees.org.uk)
- How close can I build to my tree (trees.org.uk)
- Managing your Trees #construction (trees.org.uk)
- A brief guide to tree work terminology and definitions (trees.org.uk)
To find areas in Harrow with a TPO, please enter the address in the box below and select find.