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Trees

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If you have a query about a tree within a public area it is likely to be in the ownership of Fife Council. Please contact us at GM.enquiries@fife.gov.uk

The council does not provide a service for privately owned trees that are not protected.

Are you planning to carry out works on a protected tree?

If you are planning to carry out tree work you must first consider whether it is protected by a Tree Preservation Order, within a Conservation Area, or covered by planning conditions.

A Tree Preservation Order protects trees and woodland, safeguarding their removal or destruction. It is an offence to carry out work to such trees without the consent of the Council.

Trees within conservation areas are also protected by law. You must notify the council before carrying out any work.

Planning conditions are also used to protect trees, when granting planning permission for development. To see if there is a planning condition relating to trees for a development please visit our online planning site

If any of the above apply, you must apply for consent for any tree work.

How to make an application

Please see our Guidance Note for Applications for Tree Works. You are encouraged to obtain a tree report and submit this with your application. The tree report should be obtained from a suitably qualified tree surgeon or tree consultant.

Healthy trees (those which are not dead, dying or dangerous) that are less than 7.5cm in diameter and measuring 1.5m above the ground do not require an application. We require at least six weeks' notice before you plan to start your tree works.

Emergency work to protected trees

If the trees you would like to fell are dead, dying or dangerous, we require five days' notice before you start any works. If it is an emergency you do not have to apply, but it is essential to collect evidence in the form of photographs of the trees, and a tree surgeon's report. This should be submitted to Fife Council no later than five days after the removal of the danger. Replanting of the felled trees is normally required.

Please submit your information by email to development.central@fife.gov.uk or by post to:

Emergency Tree Work,
Fife Council,
Kingdom House,
Kingdom Avenue,
Glenrothes,
KY7 5LY

Trees and development

If your property was built since the mid-1970s, the trees within your property may be protected by planning conditions. These conditions may state that you will need local authority consent to lop, top or fell trees within the development. If the relevant condition applies you will have to make a written request and apply to undertake the work.

If you are considering a development close to trees, please read the publication Trees and Development linked below.

Applying for a Tree Preservation Order

If you wish to apply for a Tree Preservation Order please see the Tree Preservation Order page for what types of tree can be protected and how the order is made.

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