We were surprised, and a little alarmed, to find the following information in an appeal against a tree replacement notice relating to trees felled in southwest Scotland (DCS Number 400-015-800):
“The English publication “Tree Preservation Orders : A Guide to the Law and Good Practice” (2005) indicates that a provision in a tree preservation order prohibiting cutting down or removal of independent trees or groups of trees only applies to trees in existence at the time the order was made.”
Given that many tree preservation orders are of considerable age it seems almost certain that by now there must be many significant trees which are unprotected and therefore vulnerable. Whilst this could be useful information for developers it might be a signal to local authorities to review existing TPOs.
Curiously, the situation is different in woodlands. Here, the reporter noted, a tree preservation order covers trees in the woodland including those which have grown since the order was made.
The following DCP section is relevant: 29.1