Bracknell Forest Council has successfully prosecuted two homeowners and a tree surgeon for illegally cutting down a protected tree.

The Norway maple tree, at a property in Great Hollands South, was protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

In July 2020, the tree surgeon, operating as Calibra Tree Surgeons Ltd, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates’ Court to carrying out works to a protected tree contrary to TPO number 656 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The tree surgeon and homeowners were fined a total of £9,428.

Councillor John Harrison, executive member for culture, delivery and public protection, said: “This court case highlights the importance the council attaches to protected trees which carry high amenity value, and that we will seek, where appropriate, to prosecute in cases of wilful breaches of tree preservation orders.

“We are fortunate in the borough to have some fantastic natural heritage and green spaces, and we are committed to preserving important environmental features such as protected trees, which makes the area so special for residents and visitors alike."

READ MORE: Millions of trees to be planted across Glasgow by 2030

The tree, which stood approximately 60 feet tall, was located on a green verge outside the residents’ rear garden wall on their land.

The tree was protected by a TPO, which means that written consent must be obtained from the council to remove, prune or undertake any other form of work to the tree, including any work affecting the tree’s roots.

Applicants need to set out the specific details of the proposed work and the reasons for wishing to do it.

As shown in the pictures above, the tree surgeons had cut off almost all of the branches and foliage, causing "significant damage to a once outwardly healthy tree".

This story first appeared in the Bracknell News.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £75 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.