Tree preservation orders

Application forms for tree works

To apply online for Tree Works please use this link to the Planning Portal website. Alternatively you can download and print the form below if you wish to submit in person at our offices.  Tree works application form

Application Help

Please begin by downloading the application form above and completing all sections. When describing the works you must include a detailed description of the works including the measurements of the works (please see Tree Terminology below for further information).

Examples of acceptable descriptions;

  • Prune tree to clear garage roof, 2.5-3m. Remove lower branches to leave 3m clear stem to first branch. 
  • Fell apple tree, cut back holly to clear roof line 3m, reduce ash tree overall by 3m top and 2m lateral branches
  • Crown thin tree 15%, crown reduce by 3m, remove lower branches to leave 4m clear stem
  • Selectively reduce overhanging branches by 2.5m

You will then need to provide a drawing showing the location of all trees within the site indicating the trees which you wish to apply for works to, please click on the link to view an acceptable example.

*Please note that if you are applying for works to a diseased or dangerous tree you should also provide an evidence report to support your application.

You should then either email your application and drawings to or post to; Planning (Trees), 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, SM5 2JG.

Tree Maintenance Terminology

Crown thinning (expressed as a % of live, healthy branches to be removed):

crown thinning

The removal of small/lesser branches to reduce the density of the crown without altering the overall shape of the tree. Typically specified to allow more light into windows and gardens, thinning reduces the amount of branches and foliage allowing more light and air through the tree.  

It should be noted that this is rarely a one-time only operation, and is never usually approved in excess of 25-30%. This can have an effect on the water demand of a tree and should be considered carefully where there is existing subsidence damage to property, or where trees have been planted for shelter.



Crown Lifting (or Crown Raising) (needed in Metres)

crown lifting

Crown lifting is the removal of the lowest branches and/or preparing of lower branches for future removal. Good practice dictates crown lifting should not normally include the removal of large branches growing directly from the trunk as this can cause large wounds which can become extensively decayed leading to further long term problems or more short term biomechanical instability. Crown lifting on older, mature trees should be avoided or restricted to secondary branches or shortening of primary branches rather than the whole removal wherever possible. Crown lifting is an effective method of increasing light transmission to areas closer to the tree or to enable access under the crown but should be restricted to less than 15% of the live crown height and leave the crown at least two thirds of the total height of the tree. Crown lifting should be specified with reference to a fixed point, e.g. ‘crown lift to give 5.5m clearance above ground level’.



Crown Reduction (usually expressed as branch length (in m) to be removed):

crown reduction


The overall width and height of a tree is reduced by shortening branches to a suitable growing point or smaller branch (typically to a branch 1/3rd the diameter of the (cut) parent stem). Carried out on peripheral branches to reduce the overall size of the tree, rather than affecting crown density. Reductions are usually carried out to leave a balanced shape, but partial (side) reductions may be considered where an uneven canopy spread overhangs buildings/guttering etc. Annotated photographs can sometimes be helpful describing the intended result.





The initial removal of the top of a young tree at a prescribed height to encourage multi-stem branching from that point, traditionally for fodder, firewood or poles. Once started, it should be repeated on a cyclical basis always retaining the initial pollard point, or boiling as it becomes known. Mature trees that have not previously received this treatment may not respond well and it is unlikely that this will be considered an appropriate management operation.