Tree management and preservation orders
LBTH Tree Management Plan 2020-2025
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and its trees in the public realm make a significant contribution to London’s reputation as one of the world’s greenest cities.
Trees not only contribute to the aesthetics of an area, but they also provide important health, social, environmental and economic contributions to our city.
The mandate for a Tree Management Plan has been identified in Tower Hamlets’ Open Spaces Strategy, to ensure that the council adopts a consistent approach to the planting and management of trees across the borough. This document has been developed in line with the Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031.
It is intended to define the council’s approach to planting and maintaining a safe tree stock across the public realm and where appropriate replacing and increasing the borough’s tree population.
It also includes the council’s approach to
- tree management on private land,
- trees protected by Tree Preservation Orders
- Conservation Area status or Planning Law.
This document is Tower Hamlets’ overall Tree Strategy.
It establishes the basis for working in with Tower Hamlets’ partners. All of whom have an important role to play in achieving the council’s goal of improving our environment.
Together, we will ensure that Tower Hamlets’ tree stock is managed and planted in line with arboricultural best practice, and careful consideration of its relationship with the surrounding townscape, amenity and biodiversity.
Trees protected by law
Certain trees and some groups of trees are protected by law. Those that have tree preservation orders (TPOs), or those that fall within a conservation area, are protected by legislation that makes it an offence to carry out work on those trees without permission.
To check whether or not a tree is covered by a TPO or in a conservation area please check our interactive map.
See the map user guide for guidance on how to use the interactive map.
The council is responsible for the efficient management and maintenance of trees within the area. 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 prosecuted.
We have 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 council.
Working on private trees
If you are intending to undertake works to a private tree you are advised to:
- contact us to ensure that the trees are not protected by a TPO, planning constraints or by location within a conservation area
- always employ a suitably trained professional tree surgeon, who is covered by public liability insurance (proof must be provided)
- 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 contractors can be found in the Arboricultural Association's directory of tree surgeons.
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.
To find out whether a particular tree is covered by an order or whether it's protected because it falls within a conservation area you can contact us.
We keep 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
Current Tree Protection Orders Consultation
New TPOs at Blasker Walk and Thomas Road
The council would like to invite local residents and stakeholders to have their say on two new Tree Preservation Orders.
- A TPO at Thomas Road E14 to protect an Ash tree and
- A TPO at Blasker Walk E14 to protect 10 Plane Trees.
TPO 2022/1 - Thomas Road
The reason for making the Thomas Road TPO is that the Ash is a mature tree in fair condition. It is visible from the public realm on Thomas Road, offering great value to the local area.
A map showing the location of the Ash tree can be seen as follows.
TPO 2022/2 – Blasker Walk
The reason for making the Blasker Walk TPO is that the 10 Plane trees offer great value to the local area, both by themselves and as a group. They also help define the character of the public realm at this point on the riverside.
Residents and visitors can enjoy them because they are located on the Thames Path (a public right of way).
A Tree Preservation Order bans these actions on selected trees without the council's written consent.
- cutting down
- wilful damage
- wilful destruction
If consent is given, it may be subject to conditions which have to be followed. In the Secretary of State’s view, cutting roots is also a prohibited activity and requires the authority’s consent.
The Tree Preservation Order is a sealed legal document and includes a map which shows where the tree is. If you want a copy of either TPO please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to comment on either of these Tree Protection Orders or the trees they are intended to protect please email email@example.com.
You can also send a letter to
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
The deadline for comments is Friday 28 October 2022.
Once the consultation closes, the council has to carefully consider each comment and decide whether to confirm, reject or amend the Tree Preservation Order.
Previous Tree Protection Orders
Tree Preservation Order 2020/1 - 29 James Brine House, Ravenscroft Street, London E2 7QQ TPO 2020/1
This TPO was confirmed on the 2 March 2021.
Tree Preservation Order 2017/2 - Printers Mews, London E3 5NZ
This TPO was confirmed on 14 December 2017.
Tree Preservation Order 2017/1 - Land to the rear of 69-72 Cadogan Terrace
This TPO was confirmed on 24 August 2017.
Tree Preservation Order 2016/1 - Park West, Park Central and Park East Buildings Fairfield Road, London E3 2UR
This TPO was confirmed on 14 December 2016
Tree Preservation Order 2014/1 - 1 Eaton Terrace, Aberavon Road
This TPO was confirmed on the 1 September 2014
Tree Preservation Order 2012/1 Milligan Street, Limehouse
This TPO was confirmed on the 3 June 2013.
Tree works order
Tree works schedules list all maintenance work planned for each tree in an area. Typical work can include standard maintenance, branch removal, or adding or removing a supporting stake. While we have to remove trees from time to time we try to avoid it and aim to conserve rather than remove.
Each schedule will be made available for public consultation for 14 working days before work is due to begin. If you wish to comment on a schedule please email the trees team at Parks@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 5000.
Current tree work schedule notifications
Tree works order
Printed copies of the schedules can be made available, please email the trees team at Parks@towerhamlets.gov.uk or telephone 020 7364 5000 to discuss alternative methods of delivery. The schedules and reports use a number of terms and abbreviations: if necessary please request further information.
For trees in parks or on highways