Skip to content

We use cookies to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies

Close alert

Trees and hedgerows in West Dorset

Enquire about a tree

If you have a query about a Tree Preservation Order, a tree in a park or public space, a tree on a pavement or verge, or just wish to discuss a tree in Dorset, complete our online enquiry form.

Trees make a valuable contribution to development sites where they are able to provide screening, add maturity to the site and can also soften the built form. It is therefore important to make sure that trees are considered during the planning process, and that those to be retained are not only protected during construction but their future growth and impact on the development is also considered.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) and conservation areas

All types or species of trees with amenity value can be protected by a tree preservation order  TPO, including trees in hedges, but not bushes or shrubs. In addition, most trees within a conservation area are also protected.

We process over 350 tree work applications each year for trees that are either protected by a TPO or lie within a conservation area. There are over 400 TPOs in West Dorset and over 75 conservation areas.

Anyone can make an application to carry out work to protected trees (whether they are the landowner or not) and each application is carefully considered before a decision is issued. Trees remain the responsibility of the landowner and they are liable for any costs involved in carrying out any tree work.

The council has 2 months in which to determine applications concerning trees protected by TPOs, and 6 weeks notice is required for any work to trees within conservation areas. This will need to be taken into consideration before hiring a tree surgeon to carry out the work. Before choosing your arborist, you are advised to check that they are adequately insured before agreeing to have the work carried out.

Tree work notifications can be viewed on the  tree work application search.

Make an application to carry out work to a tree

Apply and make payment online if you want permission to carry out work to trees within a conservation area or that has a TPO.

Tree surgeons

You can get guidance on how to go about hiring a tree surgeon as well as important information to consider from the  Aboricultural Association website.


Countryside hedgerows are also protected, and anyone looking to remove a section of hedge needs to serve 6 weeks written notice to the council. 

Apply and make payment online to get permission to remove a hedge.

High hedge complaints

You can  complain to the council about a high hedge, provided you have exhausted all other means of resolving the dispute. Please be aware that there is a fee for this process.

Complete our  complaints form and email or post back to us.

Rate this page

Have some feedback?

Your feedback

This form is to report content that is wrong, issues you have with the pages or any feedback you have.

Contact us if you want to get in touch about a council service instead.

All fields are required.

Leave your email address so that we can provide a response.

This helps us direct your feedback to the appropriate council.