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If you have a query about a tree within a public area, it's likely to be in the ownership of Fife Council. Please contact us at for more information.

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

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

If you're planning to carry out work you must first consider whether the tree 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's an offence to carry out work to such trees without the consent of the council.  You can check for a Tree Preservation Order using the map below on this page.

Trees within conservation areas are also protected by law. Prior to any work you must notify the council. You can check if a tree is within a conservation area using the map below.

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 then you must apply for consent for any tree work.

How to make an application?

You can download an application form on this link.

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 (i.e. those which are not dead, dying or dangerous) that are less than 7.5 cm in diameter measured 1.5 m above the ground do not require an application. The council needs at least 6 weeks notice before you plan to start tree works.

Emergency work to protected trees

If the trees you would like to fell are dead, dying or dangerous, 5 days notice should be given to the council. If it is an emergency you do not have to apply, but it's essential to collect evidence in the form of photographs of the trees, and a tree surgeon's report. This must be submitted to the council no later than 5 days after removal. Replanting of the felled trees is normally needed.

Please submit your information by email to: or by post to:

Emergency Tree Work,

Fife Council,
Fife House,
North Street,
KY7 5LT.

Trees and development

If your property was built since the mid 1970s the trees within your property may also 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 our publication: