District Council fines Tree Surgeon for carrying out unauthorised work

A tree surgeon has been prosecuted and forced to pay a fine for carrying out excessive and poor quality pruning to a Silver Birch and Purple Plum which were protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in Stilton.

Mr Wilsher of Joes Tree Care was ordered to pay a fine, costs and a victim surcharge by Peterborough Magistrates’ Court when the case was heard on Wednesday 17 July.

Mr Wilsher pleaded guilty to two offences under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 after carrying out the works at Barn Grove in January 2019. The work has caused significant damage to the appearance of the trees and has sadly shortened the life expectancy of the Purple Plum. 

Through their investigations, the council found that the tree surgeon had not made any checks in relation to the protected status of the trees, nor had he advised his client’s that the permission of the local planning authority would be required. 

Cllr Graham Bull, Executive Leader of the Council, said: "Trees not only form an essential part of the character of our towns and villages but also play a vital role in tackling climate change, improving air quality and contributing to our health and wellbeing. While we cannot undo the damage that has been caused to these trees, we hope this case raises awareness among our residents of the importance of seeking professional advice before any tree works are undertaken."

If residents and owners need to have tree works undertaken, we advise that they check their protected status on our tree preservations page and seek the advice of a suitably qualified and experienced tree surgeon. Details of industry approved contractors can be found through the Arboricultural Association  .