Do I always need to seek permission if a tree is protected?

Yes except for cutting down trees in accordance with one of the Forestry Commission’s grant schemes, or where the commission has granted a felling license.

You can cut down or cut back a tree under the following exemptions:

• If the tree is dead, dying or dangerous.
• In line with an obligation under an Act of Parliament.
• At the request of certain organisations specified in the order.
• If it is directly in the way of development that is about to start for which detailed planning permission has been granted.
• In a commercial orchard, or pruning fruit trees in accordance with good horticultural practice.
• To prevent or control a legal nuisance (you may find it helpful to check first with a solicitor).