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Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's)
The UK has strong legislation to protect trees, woods and conservation areas which give local planning authorities (LPA's) powers to protect trees, either in groups or single specimens. It is a similar power which protects listed buildings, and anyone can ask for a tree to be 'TPO'd'. To do so you must contact your local LPA (Emergency TPO's can be granted if the application is 'urgent').
If you own a tree which has a TPO, you may still carry out work on it, provided you have applied to the LPA, making a good cases as to why the tree needs to have work carried out i.e. it is dangerous or diseased etc.
Any trees may have a TPO placed on them, including trees in hedgrows. (Hedges themselves cannot have a TPO placed on them.). NO TREES ARE AUTOMATICALLY PROTECTED.