Protected trees

Many privately-owned trees in Aberdeen are protected. You cannot prune or cut down a protected tree without permission. You also need permission if you are going to carry out work near a tree that may harm it. You must let us know what work you intend to do, and in some cases get permission before you begin. 

Trees are protected if:

  • They are in a Conservation Area.
  • They have a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) placed on them.
  • Conditions have been added to planning permission to protect them from development.

You are required by law either to notify us or to get our permission before you carry out work on protected trees: 

  • If the trees have a TPO placed on them, you must get permission before you carry out any work. 
  • If the trees are in a Conservation Area, but do not have a TPO placed on them, you must give us 6 weeks' notice before you carry out any work. 
  • This includes either dead or dying trees covered by a TPO or within a Conservation Area.

If you are carrying out work on trees that are outwith your own garden you may also need felling permission from Scottish Forestry. You should check the Scottish Forestry website to check if you need felling permission.

Please note, in relation to any tree work undertaken within the bird nesting season between 1st March and the end of August, all wild birds in Great Britain are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
For any wild bird species, it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly: 

  • kill, injure or take a bird 
  • take, damage, destroy or interfere with a nest of any bird while it is in use or being built 
  • obstruct or prevent any bird from using its nest 
  • take or destroy an egg of any bird

Find out more from the Arboricultural Association.

If you are carrying out work on a tree you do not own, you may need permission from the tree's owner as well as the Council. 

Applying to carry out work

Please note Planning and Building Standards can only process applications and enquiries which are submitted electronically. Planning, including tree work applications can be submitted via the Planning Portal or via

To notify us or request permission to carry out work, please download and complete the form:

You can also apply online using the Scottish Government's ePlanning website:

Check if a tree is protected

You can check if trees are protected using our interactive map. The map shows the locations of Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders. 

You can zoom in and out of the map using the plus and minus signs at the top left, or use the search box at the top right to search for a street or postcode in Aberdeen - this will zoom the map to that location.

Conservation Areas are shown as large blocks of colour and Tree Preservation Orders as hatched blue areas. If you click on either a Conservation Area or Tree Preservation Order, this will bring up more details. Some Tree Preservation Orders only cover a small area, so you should zoom all the way in to the location you are interested in.

Contact details

Environmental Policy Team
Strategic Place Planning
Aberdeen City Council
Business Hub 4
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB
01224 522435

If your enquiry relates to a Council owned tree please contact Richard Nicholson or phone Environmental Services on 0333 200 292

Further information regarding reporting a problem with Council owned trees can be found on the report a problem with a tree page.


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