Tree conservation and tree works
Service update (response to pandemic)
Please submit applications for work to trees or tree enquiries online rather than on paper. This will help us deliver our service over the coming weeks.
The Planning Authority also strongly encourages electronic payment of any fees.
Paper submissions and non-electronic payments will take much longer for the Planning Authority to register under our new working arrangements. Due to the developing COVID-19 situation please be aware that it is possible that there may be delays in responding to applications and enquiries.
We appreciate your assistance
You need permission from us to undertake work such as felling or trimming on any protected trees.
Apply to carry out work to protected trees using the ePlanning.scot service.
It is an offence to cut down, lop, top, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy a protected tree without our permission. This can lead to a fine of up to £20,000.
How do I know if a tree is protected?
Protected trees are:
- any tree covered by a tree preservation order
- any tree in a conservation area
- trees protected by a condition on a current planning permission.
If the trees are protected by a condition on a planning permission, you may need to make a new planning application to vary the terms of the original permission.
If you have safety concerns about a tree, or would like a quote for tree work on your own property, contact Land and Countryside.
Exemptions for protected trees
If a tree is dead, dying or dangerous then it may not need permission for works to be carried out. In these circumstances:
- you still have a duty to notify us in writing of any proposed works
- you should give at least 5 days notice before work begins, or as soon as you can after the work has taken place
- you must provide proof of the condition of the tree before the work begins.
Apply for felling permission with Scottish Forestry if you intend to fell more than 5 cubic metres of trees
Bats and trees
When applying for work to trees you should always consider if the tree has any features that could support bats. If so, advice needs to be sought from a qualified ecological consultant with knowledge of bats, to ensure any proposed works are done lawfully.
Find more detailed information on the Nature Scot website or in The Bat Conservation Trust's publication Bats and Trees (PDF).
Ash dieback disease, or Chalara, has spread rapidly throughout the UK and is now firmly established in Midlothian. Although speed of decline varies, some trees will succumb to infection within a few growing seasons.
Relevant information for land owners and managers, including householders, can be found in the publication The management of individual ash trees affected by ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) in Scotland, by Scottish Forestry.
Privacy and copyright
Our privacy statement details how we store and process your information.
We will not publish sensitive information such as personal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or personal medical information. For further information about this, please read our redaction policy (PDF).
Plans and drawings submitted with your application are subject to copyright.