Trees are an important part of our environment in both town and country. They have a significant impact on environmental quality and make a significant contribution to our towns and countryside.

The majority of trees in the Falkirk Council area are on privately owned ground. These are therefore the property and responsibility of the land owner.

We encourage good tree management and at times this can include pruning or removal of mature trees. Planting of new trees is always welcome to ensure long term tree cover is maintained. If you wish to discuss a tree issue that is of concern please contact us.

Protected trees

Falkirk Council has statutory powers to protect trees by making Tree Preservation Orders (TPO's), designating Conservation Areas and imposing conditions to retain trees when giving planning permission.

Maps showing the locations covered by TPO's and conservation areas can be found in the Falkirk Local Development Plan.

Tree Preservation Orders (TPO)

A TPO is made to protect individual trees, groups of trees or woodlands which have particular amenity value and make a significant contribution to the landscape or townscape. A TPO can also be made to protect trees, groups of trees or woodlands that are of cultural or historical significance.

A TPO is not intended to prevent work being carried out to trees. We encourage management work, carried out in accordance with good arboricultural practice, to prolong tree life and tree safety. Anyone who wants to carry out work to trees covered by a TPO must have written consent from the Council before the work is carried out unless the situation is an emergency.

Trees in conservation areas

Conservation areas are areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. The designation controls building development and offers trees protection. Anyone proposing to carry out work to trees in a conservation area is required to give us 6 weeks notice of their intention to carry out the work.

Conditions may be applied to the consent to carry out works to trees covered by TPO and conservation area status.

Planning conditions

Where trees are to be retained as a condition of a planning permission we may also make a TPO to protect these in the long term.

Felling trees

If you are proposing to fell a number of trees, a felling licence from the Forestry Commission may be required. You should email the local office at centralscotland.cons@forestry.gsi.gov.uk for further details.

Application forms

An application form to apply for consent to carry out work to trees covered by a TPO or conservation area status can be found below:

Protected tree work application

Further information

Further details on protected trees are given in the supplementary guidance documents:

You and Your Trees SPG
SG06 Trees and Development