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Protected trees

Find out if a tree is protected, what you need to do to prune or remove a protected tree.

There are two kinds of tree protection in Islington:

  • Individual or groups of trees with a Tree preservation order (TPO)
  • Trees that are located in a conservation area

If you want to report an issue with a tree or do any works to a tree the first thing to do is to find out if the tree is protected and what sort of protection it has. This link takes you to a map of the borough. Once on the map:

  • Click Data Menu on the left-hand side
  • Tick Planning to see the option for trees 

If a tree is not currently protected that you think should be, you can request that it is gets protection.

Concerned about a tree with protection order?

If you see a protected tree being cut without, to the best of your knowledge, permission or damaged in anyway please call Contact Islington on 0207 527 2000.

Want to work on a protected tree?

If you want to prune or remove a protected tree you will need to apply to the council. There is a different process depending on the type of protection the tree has.

Trees with a Tree Protection Order (TPO)

On the map you will be able to view the TPO reference number and a copy of the documentation. Make sure you note the reference number.

You will then need to fill in an application form that can be found at the planning portal. There is also guidance there on completing the form and what supporting evidence may be required. 

When completing the form you must provide:

  • Reasons for the works
  • Contact number for access 

What happens next:

  • We will acknowledge your application within 14 days
  • We will then make an assessment
  • We will get back to you within 8 weeks.

You should wait to hear from us in that time. Normally we will get back to you more quickly than that.

A tree officer may carry out a site visit to help them assess the proposed works. They may discuss alternative works with you.

You must receive a council decision before you can start any pruning works.  If you do not receive this within eight weeks please contact 0207527 2000 to ask for an update, stating the application number from your acknowledgement letter.

You will have the right of appeal to the planning Inspectorate if a decision is not issued within 8 weeks.

Trees in conservation areas

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historical importance. You need to notify the council of your intent to prune or remove the trees within a conservation area.

You must give us formal notification at least six weeks before you want to do the work. You give this notification via the planning portal.There is also guidance there on completing the form and what supporting evidence may be required.

The information you will need to complete the planning portal application includes:

  • The address where the tree is located
  • The tree owners telephone number and email (where applicable)
  • The details of the person who is applying (if different from the owner)
  • Telephone number and email of the applicant (if different from the owner)
  • A clear specification of works
  • Why the works are needed
  • A plan of the site showing the house and any notable feature to clearly identify the tree and photographs of the tree
  • Any supporting reports or information that will help us make our assessment

What happens next:

The council has six weeks within which they can object to your proposals. This gives us the opportunity to protect trees of amenity value, which may be harmed by the proposed works. A site visit may be required.

The council can only object formally by making a TPO on the tree(s) concerned. In many cases, where the council feel that the works are inappropriate, we may discuss alternative work with you.

If you do not receive a decision within 6 weeks of your notice then you can carry out the works you gave notice for.

If a TPO is made you will not be able to do the work without making a TPO application for consent. You will have the right to object to the TPO and the council will provide details on how to do this.

If you are struggling to use the online application form, you can download and send the general application form for tree works (PDF) to planning@islington.gov.uk

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