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Work to protected trees

A tree on privately owned property is not a matter for our planning service, unless the tree is protected.

Protected trees

Protected trees are trees that are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), are within a conservation area or protected by a planning condition.

You can find out if a tree is protected by a TPO or within a conservation area by using our interactive map below and entering your address or postcode.

You should contact us to check if a tree is covered by a planning condition.

You should also check the section below which details recently promoted or confirmed TPOs that are not shown on the map.  

If you are planning to carry out work to a protected tree you will need our consent

By work we mean:

  • cutting of branches
  • crown thinning
  • crown raising or crown reduction
  • tree felling and tree uprooting

You can apply online to do work to trees. You may also need permission from Scottish Forestry.

If you need to carry out work to trees within the garden of a council house, you should check with your local housing office. 

What can happen if consent is not sought for protected trees?

If consent is not sought for trees subject to legal protection, you may be deemed to be committing an offence. Fines of up to £20,000 can be imposed for the offence. Alternatively, the offender may be required to pay for a replacement tree of similar size and species to be planted in the same location.

Emergency work to protected trees

If a tree is protected, but you urgently need to carry out work for safety reasons, you are generally allowed to carry out sufficient work to remove the immediate threat.

You will need to tell us in writing of the proposed emergency tree works as soon as work is considered necessary. 

If work is immediately required, you may carry it out provided you provide the following evidence:

  • photographs indicating the tree's condition
  • report from a qualified tree surgeon stating why the works are necessary
  • independent witness statements, for example affidavits, confirming that the tree is dangerous

Guidance on trees and development

Contact us if you consider that a tree or group of trees are of amenity value and require the protection of a TPO.

For more information on trees and development see our guidance below. 


This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Please contact us to request an accessible format.

Trees on council land

If a tree is on land we own and you think a tree requires to be maintained, or consider them to be dangerous, you should contact the Forestry and Access Team.

Page last updated:
21 Dec 2023

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