Before carrying out work on any tree you should check whether it is protected.
Trees can be protected by a tree preservation order (TPO), or because they are in conservation areas, or because they are part of a new development and maybe protected by planning conditions.
It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any trees protected by a TPO or in a conservation area.
If you cut down a protected tree without permission you can be fined up to £20,000. If you carry out work without permission but do not destroy the tree, you might still have to go to court and can be fined up to £2,500. In serious cases you could be committed for trial in the Crown Court and, if convicted, liable for a much larger fine.
Check our map to find out whether a tree is protected. Select the ‘layer list’ icon in the top-right corner then the ‘planning search by map’ option, then choose the ‘tree preservation orders’ option and turn off the other layers.
When you select the tree on the map you will be shown various data about it – the TPO number is called ‘refval’.
If you live outside Cambridge, read South Cambridgeshire District Council’s page about trees on and around your property.