Tree preservation orders
The council is responsible for the efficient management and
maintenance of trees within the authority's area.
The law protects certain trees and groups of
trees. Those trees that have Tree Preservations Orders (TPOs) or
that fall within a Conservation Area are protected by
legislation that makes it an offence to carry out work on those
trees without permission from the council.
Trees that grow in council owned property or
on public open spaces are also protected as they are considered to
be council property. Anyone who wilfully damages these can be
The authority has its own professional tree
officers who regularly inspect trees to ensure that they are safe,
in good condition and to pinpoint any work requirements.
Specialist tree contractors are employed to
carry out all appropriate tree maintenance to trees owned by the
If you are intending to undertake works to a private
tree you are advised to
- Contact the council to ensure that the trees are not protected
by a Tree Protection Order, planning constraints or by location
within a Conservation Area.
- Always employ a suitably trained professional tree surgeon, who
is covered by public liability insurance, you will need to ask for
- Never employ house callers or leaflet droppers claiming to be
professional tree surgeons.
- Check professional identification and qualification proof.
Reputable tree surgeons will always be able to provide this.
- Reputable tree surgeons can be found in the Yellow Pages or
contact us for further advice
Trees which are protected by a TPO or fall within a
If you want to fell or prune a tree protected
by a TPO or within a conservation area, you will need to seek
consent by completing a
TPO application form (PDF, 473kb).
Guidance notes for application form (PDF, 100kb).
You can contact the planning department to find out whether a
particular tree is covered by an order, or whether it's protected
because it falls within a conservation area.
Tower Hamlets also keeps a list of trees that
are affected by tree preservation orders. You can make an
appointment to look at the list at our offices at:
5 Clove Crescent
For more information about trees, contact the
planning department or download our
information leaflet on trees (PDF,
You will need Acrobat Reader to view the
above leaflets, which is available free of charge from the
Milligan Street, Limehouse Tree Preservation Order
On 5 December 2012 an Interim Tree Preservation Order was
placed on four London Plane trees at the junction of Milligan
Street and Three Colts Street and local residents opinions sought
on the the protection of these trees.
On 3 June 2013, following careful consideration of the
representations received, the Council decided to confirm the order
please view a copy of the Delegated
Officer Report (PDF, 408kb) for further information. The
Preservation Order (TPO 2012/1) (PDF, 101kb) is also
availale for inspection.
The reason for the decision to confirm the tree preservation
order is that these 4 Plane trees have significant public amenity
and are growing in a public open space, clearly on view to the
The effect of the Councils decision is to offer a degree of
protection to the trees and to require those wishing to cut down or
carry out works to the trees to make an application for works to
the trees. An application form can be found on the Councils
planning application forms page.
Contact details for trees in parks or on
Tel: 020 7364 3108
Fax: 020 7364 3186
Contact details for trees on housing estates
Tel: 020 7364 1418
Fax: 020 7364 0814