Responsible Tree Care in Caterham, Coulsdon & Surrey | Working with Protected Trees

Here at WJ Kent Tree Surgeons Ltd, we take our responsibilities as tree surgery specialists seriously. Every member of our team recognises that, when not posing a direct safety hazard, arboricultural work and tree care services should be performed for the benefit of the environment. As such, we work closely with the relevant local authorities in the Surrey area, including Croydon, Purley, Banstead, Caterham and our hometown of Coulsdon, to ensure that we don’t mistakenly perform tree work on protected trees. When protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or the boundaries of a conservation area, tree surgeons must approach the local authorities in order to gain permission for any kind of planned tree work.

If you suspect you have a tree with TPO status, or if your property lies within a conservation area, WJ Kent Tree Surgeons takes care of the process from start to finish. We liaise with the local authorities for confirmation of any protected status before advising our clients what arboricultural work and tree care services can take place. If the situation suits the property owner, we submit an application on their behalf at no additional cost. To start the process of gaining permission for tree surgery services on one or more protected trees, please contact us.

What are TPOs and Conservation Areas?

As local planning authority legislation, a Tree Preservation Order protects individual trees, groups of tree or woodland areas in the interests of amenity. If a tree in Croydon or the surrounding Surrey areas has TPO status, the following actions remain prohibited:

  • Tree Felling
  • Uprooting
  • Wilful Damage
  • Wilful Destruction

This list also contains outdated acts like “lopping and topping”. As reputable, time-served tree surgeons, we do not perform such destructive tree surgery methods. We strongly advise our clients to avoid any company who advertises such services as they may not adhere to the limitations put in place by a TPO. The only way any kind of tree work can be performed on a protected tree is with the written consent of the local planning authority. Even when permission has been granted, it often comes with conditions that must be complied with.

However, much like owners of unprotected trees, responsibility for the maintenance of protected trees rests with the property owner. As such, our clients can rest assured that these trees won’t simply be allowed to grow into a hazard. Undertaking any kind of unpermitted tree work on a protected tree can result in a severe fine. These differ between local authorities in Banstead, Caterham, Purley and across the Surrey area. As a guide, however, at the time of writing, the authority in Croydon imposes a fine of up to £20,000 for cutting down or destroying a protected tree without prior permission. Unpermitted pruning of a protected tree also warrants a fine of up to £2,500.

Likewise, any kind of arboricultural work or tree care services being undertaken on trees in conservation areas must have written permission from the local planning authority. Naturally, WJ Kent Tree Surgeons takes care of any submission on behalf of our clients.

This submission includes the required details of the proposed tree work and has to be delivered at least six weeks prior to the planned commencement date. Known as a Section 211 Notice, this allows the local planning authority enough time to decide whether or not to protect the tree in question with a TPO.

Property owners in Croydon, Banstead, Caterham, Purley and throughout Surrey do not need to seek permission for tree surgery in a conservation area on trees with a diameter less than 7.5cm when measured 1.5m above the ground.

If you have any queries regarding tree care services and arboricultural work on trees with TPOs or those inside conservation areas in Surrey, call 020 8668 8362 or 07764 420 559.