Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's) and development work

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) enable the council to protect important trees. Trees with preservation orders or within conservation areas are protected under a range of legislation that makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot, damage or destroy those trees without first gaining permission from the council.

TPOs can be placed on any tree that has amenity value. Trees that are exempt from TPOs are those that are dead, dying, diseased or dangerous and fruit trees grown for the commercial production of fruit. 

Trees that grow in council owned property or on public open spaces are also protected as they are deemed as council property. Anyone damaging these can be prosecuted.
If you are doing work close to trees you should make sure that trees surrounding any development sites are protected by fencing. You can be subject to a fine should any trees be damaged during the development process. Further information is available in our tree care protection and development sites leaflet Tree Care Protection Advice and Development Sites (155KB).

If you have any queries or would like advice about tree care or protected trees, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

How do I find out if there’s a TPO on a tree or if it is within a Conservation Area?

You can check to see if a tree is located within a Conservation Area or if it is covered by a Tree Preservation order by going to My Neighbourhood, and search for your property. 

If you discover the tree is protected, or you need further clarification, you can then contact a member of the Arboricultural Team on 0151 443 2381 or email [email protected] for further information.

Apply to carry out works on a tree

Before carrying out any works to any tree within Knowsley we strongly suggest that you contact the Arboricultural Team to check whether the intended tree is covered by a TPO or is within a Conservation Area, it is your responsibility to do this. The maximum penalty for carrying out works to TPO trees without consent is £20,000.

If the tree is covered by a TPO or within a conservation area you will need to complete an application in order to get permission from the council to carry out work on protected trees. Please see the TPO checklist which must be completed with your application.

High hedges

If you are experiencing problems with a neighbour’s high hedge, the Government
has put together guidance leaflets around trying to solve disputes surrounding problem hedges Over the garden hedge’

If all attempts listed in the ‘Over the garden hedge’ leaflet fail to resolve the problem there is guidance on what will happen if the Council get involved High Hedges: complaining to the Council.   

Report a Problem or Dangerous Tree

If it is suspected that a tree is dangerous, the first action to take is to contact the land owner and inform them of your concerns.
When the council receives a report of a suspected dangerous tree, an assessment is made by the Council Arboriculturist to confirm whether the tree is dangerous or not. If necessary, the council has powers to take action under the Highways Act 1980 or the Local Authority (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1974.
Trees on private land that are not deemed to be dangerous are considered to be a civil matter and the Council will not intervene.
Should you need to report a tree that is causing a danger or is hazardous to the public please contact:

Arboricultural Team - 0151 443 2400 
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Out of hours  - 0800 023 2334 (emergencies only)

The Environmental Sustainability Service is responsible for the management of all trees on Council owned land.
Should you wish to report a problem regarding trees within council ownership, they can be contacted at [email protected]

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