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Tree Protection

Trees may be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) if they are:

in Conservation Areas or

part of a new development (up to 5 years) and maybe protected by Planning conditions

Works in woodlands may also require a Felling Licence from the Forestry Commission.

Hedgerows in rural areas are protected if they are considered to be important.

Before carrying out work on a tree you must check to see if it is protected. It is an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, wilfully damage or destroy any trees protected  by a TPO or within a Conservation Area.

If you cut down a protected tree without permission you could be fined up to £20,000 by the Magistrates’ Court

If you carry out work, without permission on a tree (but don't destroy it) you may be fined up to £2,500 by the Magistrates’ Court

If you are in any doubt about the protected nature of a tree please email tree.enquiries@dover.gov.uk with the details including the location and species of the tree.

Trees in conservation areas

All trees which have a stem diameter of 75mm or above at 1.5m above ground level are automatically protected in a Conservation Area, and cannot be pruned or removed without first giving us 6 weeks written notice.  

  • Trees that form a hedge and multi-stemmed trees are protected if they conform to the dimensions above.
  • Shrubs are not protected in a Conservation Area.  


If agricultural type hedgerows meet certain criteria, they are considered to be important.

If a hedgerow is considered to be important, then you may need to submit a Hedgerow Removal Notice.

You can find more information about managing hedgerows and the rules and regulations if you want to work on them on the GOV.UK website.


Email: tree.enquiries@dover.gov.uk