Root Protection Area: What is it and why is it important?

If you are considering developing an area of land or carrying out construction work in an area within close proximity to trees, you will need to work out and establish the root protection areas (RPA). It is standard to have root protection checked before gaining planning permission from your local planning authority.

It is important to remember that many UK trees are protected by law when it comes to developing an area of land. By not carrying out tree root protection you may have your planning application denied, delaying the process even more.

Calculating the root protection area understandably will fall to a specialist, and our team of experts at Collington Winter Environmental have the relevant experience and knowledge to carry out such services. Whether you are a developer or land owner that requires specialist advise on root protection areas to avoid damage to the trees, we are happy to help clients across the country.

If you would like more information on our root protection services then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.

root protection area

What is a Root Protection Area?

It is understandable that many people are unaware of what an RPA is, but it is especially important for all developers and land owners to inform themselves on the issue. Our specialist team at Collington Winter can provide you with all of the up-to-date information on the requirements and offer personalised advice to your circumstances.

Ultimately, a root protection area is the minimum area around the bottom of a tree that would support and provide enough volume for the trees rooting system to grow successfully. This soil level around this point is also prioritised as to ensure the longevity of the trees survival.

Root protection areas, also known as ‘layout design tools’, fall under the British Standard 5837 (2012) Trees in Relation to Design, Demolition and Construction recommendations, which means its is mandatory to have the checks done prior to making planning applications. Experts can calculate the root protection area to ensure no damage is done to the most important area of root area around the tree.

How to calculate a Root Protection area

To calculate the appropriate area to be protected our experts will calculate the root protection area by multiplying the tree’s diameter breast height in meters by 12. This is then followed by a circle being drawn around the centre of the tree with a maximum of 15m radius. For trees with a a single stem then the root protection area is calculated as a circular area equivalent to a radius of 12 times the stem diameter.

The measuring of the RPA needs to be carried out by a professional as the accuracy of such reports are extremely important. A specialist will also be able to account for different types of trees, as certain trees need different measurements and there are set rules to follow. Our team at Collington Winter have carried out many root protection plans and tree surveys and are highly capable to assist clients across the country.

Once we have calculated your root protection area our Tree Officers will provide you with an Arboricultural Method Statement.

How can Collington Winter assist?

As an experienced ecology consultancy, our team at Collington Winter Environmental are well equipped to carry out all manner of ecological reports and detailed surveys to assist you with your ecological surveys for planning applications. This includes root protection area plans.

With offices based in England and Scotland, we offer a professional service to all types of developments and follow the highest standards of practice set by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, has many years of experience in the field of Ecology.

We also offer Landscape Architecture Services to all locations of the United Kingdom.

If you require any advice or services from an Ecologist, contact us using the form below. You can also contact our Ecology Director, Olivia Collington, via email at

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