Many trees in Torbay are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and trees in Conservation Areas are automatically given similar protection status.

A Tree Preservation Order, or TPO as it is commonly referred to, are usually made to preserve trees with landscape and amenity value. TPOs can protect four main categories:

  • Individual Specimens
  • Group
  • Woodland
  • Area

It is illegal to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or wilfully destroy a tree protected by a TPO. If permission is granted for the removal of a tree subject to a TPO, we can condition a replacement tree to mitigate its loss.

If a tree or branch is immediately dangerous and could cause harm, then you can carry out minimum work to make it safe without the need to make an application. You will need to notify the Council of any emergency works.

If you require a copy of any TPO on or affecting your property, please contact us with the address details.

Conservation Areas are sites designated by us in recognition of their special built environment characteristics.  All trees within the boundaries of a Conservation Area are protected and it is therefore illegal to lop, top, damage or destroy them without prior consent from us.  If a tree within a Conservation Area is felled there is no legal obligation to replace it unless the tree was removed because it was considered dead, dying or dangerous.

Before carrying out work, check to find out whether the tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order or is in a conservation area. 

Once you have ascertained that a tree is protected you will need to apply to work on a protected tree.


Our Frequently Asked Questions provide more information about how trees are protected in and around Torbay:

Protected Trees FAQ
This leaflet is written for tree owners, their neighbours and local community groups, and answers some of the most common questions about tree preservation procedures in England.