Trees may be protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or because they're in a conservation area.
It's an offence to damage, cut down or destroy a protected tree in any way without getting permission first. If you prune a tree without permission, you could be fined by the Magistrate’s Court. If you cut down a protected tree without permission, you could receive an unlimited fine. Where trees have been cut down or damaged significantly, the land owner is also required to plant replacement trees in the same location.
You can find out if a tree is protected using our online map. Please keep in mind the marker for protected trees may not be accurate. If you know of a protected tree that's not on the map, email PSTechnical@midkent.gov.uk with the location of the tree.
General information on trees can be found on the GOV.uk website.
If there's a tree being removed or pruned without permission you need to report it by using our online form.
You can apply for permission to cut down or prune a protected tree, using our online form. If the tree is protected by a TPO then the application will take eight weeks. If the tree is in a Conservation Area, the application will take six weeks.
Or you can download and complete our tree application form.
Trees can also be protected/controlled by planning conditions. You can check here. If you want to fell over five cubic metres of timber you may need a felling licence. You can apply for one from the Forestry Commission.
A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is a legal order that protects trees or woodland which adds to the visual amenity of an area. Maidstone has more than 1000 TPOs. A protected tree is still the landowner’s responsibility and we cannot force them to do work on their trees.
You can request copies of TPOs by sending an email to Planning Support Technical.
If full planning permission is granted it may override the protection status on trees on the development site.
Trees considered for a TPO must be very publicly visible, in good condition and under immediate threat of damage or removal. If there is a tree that is under threat that you think should be protected you can ask for a TPO assessment by completing our online form.
If the tree is eligible for a TPO we can make a legal order which is effective immediately. This is called a provisional TPO. We notify the landowners and owners of neighbouring land which may be affected by the Order, who are able to object to or support the TPO. We will confirm, withdraw or amend the TPO within six months based on any comments we receive.
If you’re not sure if a tree is in one of our 41 conservation areas, see conservation area maps.
Any tree with stems more than 75mm in diameter at 1.5m above ground level are automatically protected if they are in a Conservation Area. These trees cannot be pruned or removed unless you give us six weeks’ notice.
Woodland, and ancient woodland in particular, is hugely important for nature conservation. It homes a number of protected species and is a key feature of the landscape and history of the borough.
The latest Ancient Woodland Inventory for Maidstone was published in August 2012.
You can check if woodland is considered ancient by visiting the Natural England website.
If you own a dangerous tree, you should get advice from a tree specialist.
If you have concerns about a tree on a neighbouring property you should let the owner know. It’s the landowner’s job to make sure their trees are safe.
To find out who owns a piece of land, contact the Land Registry.
You can tell us about any urgent work needed to a protected tree using our online form.
If you cannot find what you are looking for in our search facility, you can use our A-Z index to find the service you require.