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Cambridge City Council

Get permission to work on protected trees

Apply to prune a tree in a conservation area or with a Tree Preservation Order

If you want to carry out works to a protected tree, you must apply for permission in writing – verbal consent for work is not given.  You can do this online via the Planning Portal.

Submit your application or notification of work on a protected tree on the Planning Portal website

To access the application form, sign in, select ‘start new application’, then select ‘trees subject to TPOs’.

You will need to include a plan showing exactly which trees you want to work on - this doesn't need to be to scale. You must also show exactly what sort of work you want to carry out to each tree and the reasons for the work. 

If possible, take a photograph of the tree and indicate on this the pruning to be carried out.

Certain types of work also need supporting information. For example, if you give the reason for work as being safety or damage to property you will need to give evidence of these problems.

We will write to confirm that we have received your application and will then consider it and let you know the decision within eight weeks (six weeks for a Conservation Area tree).

Dead or dangerous protected trees

If the tree is dead or dangerous, you can apply for an exemption from the need to make an application to prune a tree that is in a Conservation Area or has a Tree Preservation Order

Unless work is necessary because there is an immediate risk of serious harm, five working days written notice must be given before cutting down or carrying out other work on a dead tree.

You can remove dead branches from a living tree without notice or consent. Where a dead tree is removed, the landowner has a duty to plant a replacement: the species, position and time of planting will need to be agreed.

Where a tree presents an immediate risk of serious harm and work is urgently needed to remove the risk, tree owners or their agents must give written notice to the authority as soon as they can after the work becomes necessary.

Work should only be carried out to make the tree safe. If the danger is not immediate, an application is required.

The online form below has been produced to help you to provide the necessary information required to make a written notice. It is not compulsory to use it but it will help us process the notice quickly and efficiently.

The statutory regulations make it clear that, relating to exceptions, dangerous means ‘immediate risk of serious harm’.

Apply for an exemption to work on a protected tree

To complete this form, you'll be directed to our customer portal where you'll be able to track the progress of your submission. If  you don't have a 'My Cambridge' account yet, you can register easily using an email address, or with your Microsoft, Facebook or Google account.

Work to clear the highway of branches

An application to work on trees in a conservation area or with a Tree Preservation Order is usually required to prune branches off the highway, unless they are at immediate risk of causing actual damage.

In this case, only the ‘minimum of work’ to reduce or remove the risk is allowed - if this is the case please notify us using the form above.