Works to protected trees

A tree is protected if it is within a conservation area or if we have applied a tree preservation order (TPO) to it.

You need to check if the tree is protected before you can carry out work on it.

If you want to carry out works to a tree in a conservation area, you need to give us 6 weeks’ notice in writing.

If you want to carry out works to a tree protected by a TPO you need to make an application.

Find out if a tree is protected

All trees with a trunk diameter of 75mm or more are protected in conservation areas.

To check if a tree is protected by a TPO, you need to email with the address, postcode, location and type of tree.

Apply to carry out work to protected trees

You can apply for permission to work on trees protected by a TPO, or give us notice of proposed works to trees in a conservation area on the Planning Portal.

There’s no cost for making an application for tree works.

If you are unable to complete your planning application online, you can apply by post.

You can download an application form from the Planning Portal website.

Send your application to: Planning Department, Harlow Council, Civic Centre, The Water Gardens, Harlow CM20 1WG.

Find a tree surgeon

We recognise the following contractors as reputable firms that work to British Standard recommendations:

You can also get advice on finding a tree professional from The Arboricultural Association.

What happens next

If you’ve applied to do works to a tree protected by a TPO, we’ll write to you to tell you our decision within 8 weeks.

You can appeal against our decision. We’ll send you information about how to do this when we give you our decision.

If you’ve notified us of proposed tree works in a conservation area, you’ll hear from us within 6 weeks.

Works can go ahead if we decide that they're acceptable. If we decide the works are excessive and the tree has local value we may put a TPO on the tree.

You must not start work within the 6 week period.

Contact information

Planning Team
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG