The Court of Appeal has issued a decision which confirms that the word "tree" for the purposes of a Tree Preservation Order or Tree Replacement Order includes seedlings and potential trees; although it does not include seeds.

 The case, Distinctive Properties (Ascot) Limited v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. C1/2015/1102  concerned a Tree Replacement Notice issued by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

The Notice ordered the developer to replant 1,280 trees, which had been removed in contravention of a Tree Preservation Order.

The developer had argued that the notice was defective as they had only removed saplings, which were not trees for the purposes of the relevant legislation.

The Court of Appeal disagreed. 

As a matter of interest, so does the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines a tree as:

"A woodyperennial plant, typically having a singlestem or trunk growing to a considerable height and bearing lateral branches at some distance from the ground."