Tree owners and contractors please beware!

Stop, think and check before carrying out tree work

Do you know if the trees in your garden are covered by any form of protection? After a recent court case where an East Devon resident was ordered to pay a total of £3,489 for felling a tree covered by a Tree Preservation Order, we are asking residents and businesses to Stop, Think and Check before carrying out any tree works on any tree.

There are many ways and reasons why trees and hedgerows are protected and these include:

  • Tree Preservation Orders - trees are normally protected for their amenity value either singularly, as a group, as a woodland or as an area
  • Conservation Areas – any tree with a stem diameter of 75mm (3 inches) or more, growing within a Conservation Area needs the consent of the council if any work is to be carried out on it
  • Planning conditions – trees can be protected during and for a limited time after development work by the use of a planning condition. Written permission is required from your local planning office to do works to these trees
  •  Forestry Commission Felling Licence – if you wish to fell a group of trees or even one large tree where the volume of timber is greater than 5 cubic meters, a licence is required which can be applied for from the Forestry Commission
  • Hedgerow Regulations – most  agricultural  hedgerows are protected under the Hedgerow Regulations, permission is required from your local planning office to remove sections of hedgerow

The process is simple to check, normally a quick phone call to our Tree Department can confirm if there is any protection on the trees, sometimes you will get an answer there and then but sometimes there could be a short delay so please bear this in mind.

For advice and information, East Devon District Council’s arboricultural team can be contacted on 01395 516551 or email