All about local councils and permit requirements

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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Gold Coast Council

Gold Coast City Council | Tree Removal Guidelines

Pruning leaves, lopping branches and removing trees are all necessary parts of caring for your private trees and the wider ecosystem on the Gold Coast. Trimming overgrown leaves and branches promotes healthy growth. Lopping overweight branches reduces the risk of your tree becoming a hazard during high winds or storms. Removing dead, dying or damaged trees creates space for new saplings to be planted. 

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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Brisbane City Council

Before you undertake any significant work on your private trees within the Brisbane City Council region, you may need to apply for a permit from the Council. These permits are a form of local tree protections that are intended to preserve the urban forest and protect trees of significant value to the community. 

While these protections are designed by the Council, violating these laws can result in heavy fines and potential legal action. For this reason it is important to understand the laws that are relevant to you and how to carry out work that is in line with the local tree protections. 

In this guide we will cover all of the important elements of the Brisbane City Council tree regulations. This includes understanding when you need a permit, which exemptions might exclude you from needing a permit and how to apply for one. 

Protected Vegetation – Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL)

The Brisbane City Council identifies trees that are to be preserved through their Protected Vegetation law, sometimes referred to as ‘NALL’ (Natural Assets Local Law 2003). All vegetation that is protected under this law falls into one of four categories:

  1. Council Vegetation
  2. Waterway and Wetland Vegetation
  3. Significant Urban Vegetation 
  4. Significant Native Vegetation

Council Vegetation

This is any vegetation that is on land owned by the council. This includes street trees and trees in public areas like parks. All Council vegetation is protected under NALL and cannot be pruned or removed without a permit and permission from the council. 

Jim's Trees Arborists in action

Waterway and Wetland Vegetation

All vegetation in areas mapped as waterways and wetlands is considered protected vegetation under this law. This vegetation is considered vital to the ecosystem and will almost always require a permit to prune or remove. 

Significant Urban Vegetation

This category protects trees that are native or exotic, on private property and generally mature and important to the landscape, history or culture of the area. Some trees in this category will be given the specific identification of ‘significant landscape trees’. These have specific permit requirements listed on the council website. 

Significant Native Vegetation

Areas mapped by the council as Significant Native Vegetation protects all native vegetation within that zone under NALL. As many native species are unique to ecosystems in Australia, the protection of these types of vegetation are important for the survival of both native flora and fauna. Pruning or removing significant native vegetation always requires a permit from the council to carry out. 

Permit Exemptions

If you wish to undertake work on a tree on your property that is protected under NALL, you will need to apply for a permit. To find out if your trees are protected under this law, you can

request a map and report online from the Council or speak with them directly on 07 3403 8888.

If your tree is identified as protected vegetation, you will need a permit to prune or remove that tree unless you meet the criteria for an exemption. 

Exemptions to not apply to significant landscape trees or those protected by other legislation that include:

  • heritage trees
  • tidal vegetation (primarily mangroves)
  • development approvals or covenants
  • vegetation identified by the Queensland Government as a ‘regional ecosystem’

For a full list of exemptions, check out the council’s ‘Do I need a permit document’. 

Applying for a Permit

Types of Permits

Trees that are protected by NALL and do not meet the conditions for an exemption will require a permit from the council to prune or remove them on your property. There are three types of permit you can apply for:

  1. Short term work
    1. Appropriate for single jobs that may affect protected vegetation. Generally applicable to the pruning or removal of a single tree. 
  2. Long term work
    1. Used for the permission of work that will be long-term or ongoing. This could involve routine maintenance or hazard management. These are valid for up to 10 years and require a protected vegetation management plan with the application.
  3. Council street trees
    1. To carry out minor pruning on council street trees you will need to apply for this type of permit. 

How to Apply

To determine which type of permit is most applicable to your situation, visit the council’s permit fact sheet for detailed information on the different types of permits. 

Once you have identified the right permit for you, complete an online application or a hard copy form

If your application is successful, you will need to complete a declaration of compliance for approved works to protected vegetation online. This can also be completed as a hard copy

City of Brisbane Suburbs

The Brisbane City Council’s jurisdiction includes 190 mainland suburbs, additional islands and localities in Moreton Bay.

  • Acacia Ridge
  • Albion
  • Alderley
  • Algester
  • Annerley
  • Anstead
  • Archerfield
  • Ascot
  • Ashgrove
  • Aspley
  • Auchenflower
  • Bald Hills
  • Balmoral
  • Banks Creek
  • Banyo
  • Bardon
  • Bellbowrie
  • Belmont
  • Boondall
  • Bowen Hills
  • Bracken Ridge
  • Bridgeman Downs
  • Brighton
  • Brisbane
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Brookfield
  • Bulimba
  • Bulwer
  • Burbank
  • Calamvale
  • Camp Hill
  • Cannon Hill
  • Carina
  • Carina Heights
  • Carindale
  • Carseldine
  • Chandler
  • Chapel Hill
  • Chelmer
  • Chermside
  • Chermside West
  • Chuwar
  • Clayfield
  • Coopers Plains
  • Coorparoo
  • Corinda
  • Cowan Cowan
  • Darra
  • Deagon
  • Doolandella
  • Drewvale
  • Durack
  • Dutton Park
  • Eagle Farm
  • East Brisbane
  • Eight Mile Plains
  • Ellen Grove
  • England Creek
  • Enoggera
  • Enoggera Reservoir
  • Everton Park
  • Fairfield
  • Ferny Grove
  • Fig Tree Pocket
  • Fitzgibbon
  • Forest Lake
  • Fortitude Valley
  • Gaythorne
  • Geebung
  • Gordon Park
  • Graceville
  • Grange
  • Greenslopes
  • Gumdale
  • Hamilton
  • Hawthorne
  • Heathwood
  • Hemmant
  • Hendra
  • Herston
  • Highgate Hill
  • Holland Park
  • Holland Park West
  • Inala
  • Indooroopilly
  • Jamboree Heights
  • Jindalee
  • Kangaroo Point
  • Karana Downs
  • Karawatha
  • Kedron
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Kenmore
  • Kenmore Hills
  • Keperra
  • Kholo
  • Kooringal
  • Kuraby
  • Lake Manchester
  • Larapinta
  • Lota
  • Lutwyche
  • Lytton
  • MacGregor
  • Mackenzie
  • Manly
  • Manly West
  • Mansfield
  • McDowall
  • Middle Park
  • Milton
  • Mitchelton
  • Moggill
  • Moorooka
  • Moreton Bay
  • Moreton Island
  • Moreton Island
  • Morningside
  • Mount Coot-tha
  • Mount Crosby
  • Mount Gravatt
  • Mount Gravatt East
  • Mount Ommaney
  • Murarrie
  • Myrtletown
  • Nathan
  • New Farm
  • Newmarket
  • Newstead
  • Norman Park
  • Northgate
  • Nudgee
  • Nudgee Beach
  • Nundah
  • Oxley
  • Paddington
  • Pallara
  • Parkinson
  • Petrie Terrace
  • Pinjarra Hills
  • Pinkenba
  • Port of Brisbane
  • Pullenvale
  • Ransome
  • Red Hill
  • Richlands
  • Riverhills
  • Robertson
  • Rochedale
  • Rocklea
  • Runcorn
  • Salisbury
  • Sandgate
  • Seven Hills
  • Seventeen Mile Rocks
  • Sherwood
  • Shorncliffe
  • Sinnamon Park
  • Sinnamon Park
  • South Brisbane
  • Spring Hill
  • Stafford
  • Stafford Heights
  • St Lucia
  • Stretton
  • Sumner
  • Sunnybank
  • Sunnybank Hills
  • Taigum
  • Taringa
  • Tarragindi
  • Teneriffe
  • Tennyson
  • The Gap
  • Tingalpa
  • Toowong
  • Upper Brookfield
  • Upper Kedron
  • Upper Mount Gravatt
  • Virginia
  • Wacol
  • Wakerley
  • Wavell Heights
  • West End
  • Westlake
  • Willawong
  • Wilston
  • Windsor
  • Wishart
  • Woolloongabba
  • Wooloowin
  • Wynnum
  • Wynnum West
  • Yeerongpilly
  • Yeronga
  • Zillmere

fallen trees removed

Cut to the Chase

In this article we have covered everything you need to know before you start work on your private trees in the Brisbane City Council. Trees that are considered protected vegetation are covered by the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL). Unless you meet the requirements for an exemption, you will need to apply for a permit in order to prune or remove trees under these protections. 

To determine whether you need an application, contact your council or a Jim’s specialist on 131 546.

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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Sydney City Council

It is important to understand the council regulations for pruning and removing trees in the Sydney City Council. Knowing how to navigate these local laws will enable you to care for your private trees without putting yourself at risk of heavy fines. 

Pruning your trees is the best way to keep them healthy and prevent them becoming dangerous. Once a tree poses a risk of dropping limbs or falling over, it is important for the safety of you and your community that the tree is lopped or removed by a professional Arborist. 

In this article we will cover everything you need to know before you start any significant pruning or removal of your private trees in the Sydney City Council. This includes the local laws on pruning trees, the laws on cutting down private trees and the exemptions to these laws. We will also provide you with information on how to apply for a permit and the criteria you need to meet to be accepted. If you are still confused after reading this article, our specialists are always happy to answer your call and your questions.

Which Suburbs are in the Sydney City Council?

The following suburbs fall under the jurisdiction of the Sydney City Council. Local laws and tree protections vary between councils. Suburbs outside of this municipality should check the council regulations applicable to them.


  • Alexandria
  • Annandale
  • Barangaroo
  • Beaconsfield
  • Camperdown
  • Centennial Park
  • Chippendale
  • Darlinghurst
  • Darlington
  • Dawes Point
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Erskineville
  • Eveleigh
  • Forest Lodge
  • Glebe
  • Haymarket
  • Millers Point
  • Moore Park
  • Newtown
  • Paddington
  • Potts Point
  • Pyrmont
  • Redfern
  • Rosebery
  • Rushcutters Bay
  • St Peters
  • Surry Hills
  • Sydney
  • The Rocks
  • Ultimo
  • Waterloo
  • Woolloomooloo
  • Zetland

Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines

There can appear to be so many laws, by laws and exemptions when it comes to tree protections that many people simply don’t bother to read them. While this is understandable, it is unfortunately not a satisfactory excuse for breaking the law.

The general rule to keep in mind when pruning or removing a tree in the City of Sydney Council is that you need to apply for a permit unless you meet the criteria for an exemption.

Applying for a Permit

If you want to prune or remove a tree on your property and you do not meet any of the exemptions listed below, you will need to apply for a permit from the council. This permit has a $75 application fee. These application forms and all the information you need can be found here

If your tree work is for the purposes of development, you will need to submit a development application. These have a $110 application fee and a $535 notification fee. These can also be found on the council’s website

Permit Exemptions

Below we have explained the main conditions that will exempt you from requiring a permit to prune or remove your tree. 

Tree Pruning Exemption 1: Tree Pruning Guidelines

The first major exemption for tree pruning permission is if you meet all of the criteria on the tree pruning guidelines table on the council website. If you meet all of the following criteria then you will not need a permit from the Council in order to prune a tree on private property in the City of Sydney Council. 

If your pruning:

  • aligns with the clearances and branch sizes outlined in the tree pruning guidelines table on the council website. (This table provides measurements of the permitted branch size and clearance heights near roads, paths, buildings etc.) 
  • removes no more than 5% of the tree’s total canopy
  • poses no health or structural risks to the tree
  • is aligned with the The Australian Standard Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373) 
  • is performed by a qualified arborist minimum level 2 in Arboriculture (AQF)

Tree Pruning Exemption 2: Species

The second category of exemption is determined by the species of the tree. Trees in the following list can be pruned without a permit, as long as they are smaller than 10 metres and not on the register of significant trees. Ensure that your tree is identified by a qualified Arborist with at least a level 3 in Arboriculture. It is also recommended that you take photographic evidence of the species of tree to prove you did not require a permit. 

  • Cinnamomum camphora (camphor laurel)
  • Celtis sinensis (Chinese nettle tree)
  • Celtis occidentalis (American nettle Tree)
  • Erythrina x sykesii (coral tree)
  • Liquidambar styraciflua (Liquidambar)

Tree Removal Exemption 3: Imminent risk

The City of Sydney Council website states clearly that you do not need a permit to remove a tree that “is dead, dying or is an immediate risk to human life or substantial property.”

The risk to human life or property must be likely to occur within 48 hours. Potential hazards that would be imminently dangerous include: 

  • obvious instability of the root system
  • evidence of soil heave or cracking
  • loss of structural roots/root decay
  • storm damage
  • structural defects, such as splitting branches.

You must have the condition of the tree identified as an immediate risk by a professional Arborist with a minimum level 3 in Arboriculture. This Arborist must also provide a report on the tree before the removal of the tree or immediately after. 

The following information must also be provided to the council:

  • a record of the tree’s condition (including photographs detailing the issue)
  • the high and imminent level of risk the tree presents
  • a statement verifying how current or future works were the minimum actions necessary to manage the risk.

Removing a tree without all of these requirements or without a qualified Arborist can result in fines or legal action. 

Tree Removal Exemption 2: Species

The final exemption for the removal of trees is determined by their species. A permit is not needed to remove trees on your property that are of a certain species, unless they are on the register of significant trees or the heritage trees list. Before removing any tree on this list, ensure you have had an Arborist identify the species and confirm that it is not on a list of protected trees.

  • Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
  • Bamboo sp (all species and cultivars)
  • Citrus sp (all varieties)
  • Cotoneaster sp (Cotoneaster)
  • Ficus elastica (rubber tree)
  • Gleditsia triacanthos – not cultivars (wild honey locust)
  • Lagunaria patersonia (Norfolk Island hibiscus)
  • Ligustrum sp (privet)
  • Melia azedarach (white cedar)
  • Morus species (mulberry)
  • Musa species (banana
  • Olea europaea var. Africana (African olive)
  • Robinia pseudacacia – not cultivars (false acacia)
  • Salix babylonica (willow)
  • Schefflera actinophylla (umbrella tree)
  • Syagrus romanzoffianum (cocos palm).

fallen trees removed

Cut to the Chase

When planning to prune or remove a private tree in the City of Sydney, it is very important to follow the local laws. The best way to do this is to read the information above and to employ the help of a qualified Arborist. 

Our Arborists are friendly, professional locals who are experienced at following the council tree protection guidelines. For help with your next tree or further advice with council laws, contact us today.  

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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Nillumbik Council

Why Prune Your Trees?

Tree removal and pruning practices are heavily regulated in the Nillumbik Council and for that reason all residents should familiarise themselves with the local laws before thinking about cutting down or trimming their private trees. However, these practices remain an important part of preserving the health and sustainability of the local ecosystem. 

 

Healthy trees, those which have been regularly assessed and maintained by a qualified Arborist, are hugely beneficial to the environment and the community. Large, mature trees that are healthy and well-shaped can bring value to a region; improving property value and decreasing air conditioning costs for those beneath its shade. These trees filter our air, remove unhealthy gases from the air and provide us with a fresh supply of oxygen. Healthy trees have been linked to improvements in mental health and general wellbeing

Why Remove Trees?

While the benefits of pruning and maintaining trees are numerous, the need to remove trees can be just as important. Trees that have deteriorated, whether it be through age, sickness or neglect, can become hazardous to their surroundings. Large trees that have been left without proper trimming, shaping and lopping, can grow unevenly. As these huge structures become imbalanced through this uneven growth, extra pressure is placed on their roots.  The introduction of external factors can become a catalyst for total collapse. This catalyst often comes in the form of storms. As the preceding rain loosens the soil around the base of the tree, the structural integrity becomes compromised, creating the conditions for a strong wind to bring the whole tree down. 

 

The work of an Arborist, also known as a Tree Surgeon, is to ensure the safety of the community through the proactive assessment and sustainable maintenance of its urban forest. It is the responsibility of homeowners and residents to understand the local tree protection laws, to acquire any required permits and to enlist the help of a Tree Surgeon to assess, prune or remove their private trees. Despite the importance of this responsibility, it can be very difficult and time consuming to figure out the local laws and determine which are applicable to you. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you. Below you will find a summary of all the important regulations and tree protection controls in Nillumbik and information on the requirements for each. For clarification on any of these laws, or to confirm which restrictions are relevant to your property, contact the Nillumbik Council directly.  

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

The Nillumbik Council has structured their tree protection controls around the regulations provided by the local Planning Scheme. Permit holders must abide by all tree controls that are outlined in the conditions of their permits. 

Tree Protection Zones

Many of these planning and development permits specify the need for tree protection fencing around a designated Tree Protection Zone (TPZ). The size of the TPZ is detailed in the permit requirements and is intended to prevent any construction or work that could damage the tree roots, which can grow up to 12 times the length of the branches. 

Within the TPZ you are prohibited from:

  • Constructing any structures or permanent features
  • Storing equipment, fuel, building waste or rubble
  • Disturbing the soil
  • Excavation
  • Attaching anything to the tree

The Planning Scheme

The Victorian Environment, Land, Water and Planning website provides an interactive map of the Nillumbik Planning Scheme that can reveal which regulations and laws are applicable to your property. Any of the ordinances within the Planning Scheme can specify tree protection requirements in that zone, however the areas with the strongest protections are:

 

Pruning vs Lopping

The difference between pruning and lopping can be vague within these regulations. In general, lopping is considered to be the complete removal of large limbs, while pruning is restricted to the trimming of foliage and shaping of the canopy. The line from pruning to lopping can be crossed when a significant amount of the tree (often measured as ⅓ of the canopy) is removed. While pruning and shaping is commonly allowed without a permit, you should speak with the Council or an Arborist to confirm the permissibility of the activity before you commence. 

Exemptions

Each of these tree protection zones provide various exemptions for emergency scenarios and to enable fire protection activity. Before you begin an application for a permit, it is recommended that you speak with the Council directly to confirm whether any of these exemptions may apply to you. 

Permits

The Nillumbik Council offer different types of permits depending on the extent of work you wish to carry out.

 

Fast-track applications are available for the removal of two or less trees, or the pruning of an unlimited number of trees, when no development is planned. This permit application process is faster and does not require the inclusion of an independent Arborist’s report. Details of this permit, and an accessible version of the application form, can be found here

 

Planning Permits are used for tree pruning or removal work that includes more than two trees, or involves the development or subdivision of land. In addition to the completed form, fees and additional documentation, these applications require an Arborist’s report. 

Arborist Insights

Beware Unlicensed & Uninsured Tree Services

Our local Tree Specialists have noticed a rise in unlicensed and uninsured services working in the Tree Industry. The people operating in these unregulated ways are commonly referred to as ‘cowboys’. The best option for your trees and your home is to always choose a service with full OH&S policies and insurance coverage.

 

“There’s a lot of people going around in unnamed trucks doing questionable work. Like climbing a tree with spurs, working dangerously around power lines and dumping mulch in illegal spots.” 

 

It is important to be cautious of these services as they are often unqualified, do not meet safety requirements and can engage in dangerous activity around your home. This sort of illegal behaviour is not just risky for the workers, it can result in penalties for you. People look to these services to fast-track the removal of trees without the proper permits. However, harsh financial penalties can be given to both the person responsible for the removal of the tree, as well as the resident or homeowner. 

 

“The other thing is lowballing to get the job. They undercut our quotes by cutting costs around safety measures and insurance. I think it’s dragging down the tree industry as a whole, but that’s something that you can’t really avoid.”

 

Quotes for tree services include the cost of equipment, safety crews, insurance and qualified personnel. You should be wary of any service offering heavily discounted rates as you may end up paying for the corners that have been cut. 

 

“Some people ask for these cowboys to come in and do their trees. We tend to steer away from that because we don’t want to have to deal with the backlash. As an Arborist, that’s not how we’re taught to do it.”

Cutting to the Chase

Trimming, pruning, shaping and lopping can all help to preserve the health of a tree. Depending on the extent of the work you do, a permit may be required. Minor trimming and pruning with the intention of maintenance and shaping is often permissible without a permit. Significant removal of branches or canopy, through lopping, generally requires a permit from the Council. Cutting down and extracting a private tree almost always requires a permit and consent from the Council. There are exceptions to this, such as emergency situations and for the purposes of fire protection. To confirm the type of permit you need and the regulations that apply to you, contact the Council. To enlist a qualified Arborist and crew to help with your private Trees, contact Jim’s today

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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Hume Council

Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Hume Council

Lopping, chopping, cutting, trimming, shaping, extracting & felling – there are plenty of different terms we use, but however you choose to say it, smart tree care is the cornerstone of a healthy ecosystem and a safe community. Below we have outlined the key reasons why tree pruning and removals are beneficial for your home and the wider community. We also highlight the risks involved with trees that have become unhealthy, through age, disease, storm damage or neglect. Then we cover the important tree controls used in Hume and provide all the necessary resources to identify which regulations apply to you. Should you require a permit to commence work, as is the case for many properties within tree protection zones, then we have also included links to help you start that application process. Finally, we have spoken with a local tree specialist who works in the Hume region to provide insight into the work of arborists in your community. 

Why care for your trees?

Private trees that have been well maintained can provide your home with a multitude of benefits. Trees that have been trimmed and shaped will not only grow better, but look better too. This improved aesthetic can make your whole garden look good, even helping to improve your property value. These healthy trees give back to their ecosystem. As well as providing clean air and filtering gases in the air, healthy trees improve the soil quality around them, helping to boost the growth and prosperity of your whole garden. When maintained, the tree canopy can provide vital shade to your home. By protecting your house and garden from the sun, especially during the summer months, a healthy tree can protect your plants from damage and lower the temperature of your home – even saving you money on air conditioning costs! 

 

When these trees are neglected however, they can begin to have a whole range of negative impacts on your home. Trees left without trimming or shaping can grow out of control. Unruly trees not only look worse, but can clutter your garden, your roof and your home with their leaves. This layer of debris that can build up on your garden can suffocate your plants and prevent vital nutrients, light and air reaching them. On your home, the problems get even worse. Overhanging branches that drop leaves and sticks onto your roof can damage tiles and block your gutters. These branches can pose an even greater threat. Branches, left without pruning and assessment of a professional, can become overgrown and oversized. Not only can this increase the chance of the branch snapping and falling, but these overweight limbs can cause a tree to become imbalanced. Once the structural integrity of a tree has been compromised, it becomes a serious hazard and their risk of falling during periods of high wind or storms drastically increases. 

 

For cases where a tree has become hazardous, obstructive or detrimental to your property, tree removal can be the best course of action. It is important when seeking to remove a tree that you not only abide by the local laws, but that you enlist the help of a trained professional who is fully covered by insurance. A fully qualified Arborist, working with a ground crew, can ensure that a tree is extracted with the least harm to the surrounding ecosystem. Many tree services will leave a stump behind after they have removed the tree. This, however, can lead to many more issues. As well as looking bad, a stump can maintain an active root system that can continue to cause problems on your property, uprooting pavement and damaging underground pipes. To completely remove a tree and all associated problems, it is important to also have a stump grinding service. Our team can completely extract a troublesome tree, grind down the stump and even fill the whole with the mulch that was created by the tree, allowing local natural wood chips to reinvigorate your garden. 

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

The regulations on pruning and removing trees within the City of Hume are provided through the local Planning Scheme. Through that link you will find a map that you can use to determine which of the local regulations are applicable to your property. The strongest tree protections are in the following zones:

 

These overlays are not mutually exclusive – meaning it is possible to have multiple restrictions in place on your property. Pruning is generally allowed within these zones without a permit, if it is for the purpose of maintenance and will not significantly impact the size or shape of the tree. Permits, however, are generally required for removing trees within these areas. 

Council Approval

The Hume Council website states that “you typically will not require a planning permit to remove a tree on your property, although you may need consent from Council.” 

The key difference between a permit and consent from the Council is that permits include an application fee. In both cases you will need to submit a request to the Council that covers these principal questions:

  • Is the tree native to Victoria?
  • Is the tree in the original garden landscaping or shown on the endorsed plans?
  • Are there any tree controls listed on your Certificate of Title?
  • Are there any tree controls noted in developer’s estate guidelines?
  • Are there any conditions on your planning permit protecting vegetation?
  • Is your property larger than 4000 square metres in size?

Requests for consent from the Council also require the following documents:

  • Your name and contact details
  • Your property address
  • A plan of your property showing the location of trees including their dimension and height
  • A description of the tree species
  • An explanation as to why the tree is proposed to be removed

Contact the Council

If you do require a Planning permit, it is best to speak with the Council directly before you lodge your application. This way you can confirm whether you need a planning permit before you invest the time and money into an application. 

Arborist Insights

We ask our local Tree Surgeon for Hume a bit about the work they do, the common jobs in the region and advice for how people should start the process of hiring an Arborist. 

 

What’s the most common type of work you do?

Probably removals I’d say. Removals and block clearances.

 

Why do people remove trees? 

Safety, doing landscaping or renovation. The mess they make. If they want to build a house there. Mostly renovations, the inconvenience of the tree or the mess they make. 

 

What other types of jobs do you do?

We do mulching and stump grinding. Around 30% of our work is stump grinding.

 

Why do people remove stumps?

Most people don’t care about a stump. But If it’s close to a house it can push the foundations, or push a fence over, damage pipes and that sort of stuff. Also if people want to do work there, excavate, or plant something else in its place – they’re the main reasons why our clients want to get stumps removed. 

 

What should people do before hiring an Arborist?

I always suggest ringing the Council first and finding out whether you need a permit for the work you want. If it’s a completely dead tree, or it’s dangerous, I reckon you’ll be fine – but it’s always good to double check.

Cutting to the Chase

While a permit is not always necessary to remove a private tree in Hume, consent from the Council is generally required. As such, it is always a good idea to speak directly with the Council before commencing any treework or lodging permit applications. The Council can help you to identify which regulations are applicable to your property and guide you to the steps necessary to gain permission from the Council. The local Planning Scheme can help you to determine which restrictions are in place in your property, however it is highly recommended that you speak with the Council to confirm and clarify the process for you. Pruning is normally permitted without a permit or consent from the Council, but certain native trees and overlays will require permission. To speak with a qualified Arborist, or to commence work on your trees, contact Jim’s today

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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Whittlesea Council

Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Whittlesea Council

Trees that are well maintained, through pruning, shaping and tactical lopping, provide a broad range of benefits for the community. Healthy trees look good, contribute to the leafy green character of a region, increase property value and even improve mental health and wellbeing, according to research. Trees that have been well cared for also return the favour through their environmental effects. Trees help to filter the air we breathe, reducing harmful gasses in the air and pumping out fresh oxygen. They also provide much needed shade, which is not only great for a picnic, but helps to reduce the effects of ‘urban heat islands’, which trap heat in highly developed areas. 

 

The work of an Arborist is not limited to maintenance, they help to preserve an ecosystem through the sustainable extraction of trees and the planting of new saplings. Trees that are too close to homes or developments can cause innumerable problems for property owners, both on the surface and underground. Overhanging branches are an acute concern for residents, as the shedding of their leaves and vegetation can damage tiles and block drains, while the potential for them to snap and fall onto a roof or person is a legitimate fear. These issues can all be mitigated through regular trimming, shaping and care from a qualified tree surgeon. Root systems, however, can be a much trickier problem to solve. As root systems expand away from the base of the tree, up to twelve times the distance of the tree limbs, they can cause havoc for any pipes, walls or pavement in their path. Cracks in pavement is often just the start of further issues to come. As these systems entangle themselves in a building’s plumbing, they can block pipes and cause leaks. To prevent these sorts of headaches, it is important that you factor trees and their roots into any development or renovation plans. 

 

The City of Whittlesea, located just 20km north of Melbourne’s Central Business District, is a vast and unique municipality covering almost 500 square kilometres. Approximately 70% of Whittlesea is categorised as rural area, making its tree population particularly robust and fundamental to the character and prosperity of the community. Our Arborists, commonly known as Tree Loppers, are an essential part in preserving and growing this population of trees. Maintaining or removing private trees in Whittlesea is the responsibility of residents and homeowners. This responsibility is heavily regulated by laws within the local Planning Scheme. Despite this, it is in the best interests of both residents and the wider community that everyone uphold this responsibility by enlisting the help of qualified and fully insured Arborists. 

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

While the Whittlesea Council support the proper care and treatment of private trees by qualified Arborists, they use restrictions within the local Planning Scheme to ensure that all work is carried out in a way best suited to preserving the character and environment of the region. It is therefore important that all residents are aware of these restrictions so that they can keep their trees healthy and safe without risk of violating any laws and incurring steep financial penalties. This guide will outline the key regulations and tree protections that are afforded by the Planning Scheme. It is highly recommended that you contact the Council directly for clarification and confirmation of the laws applicable to your property. 

 

The first step to navigating the laws on pruning and removing private trees throughout Whittlesea is to determine which restrictions are relevant to your property. This can be done either by contacting the Council, or by checking the interactive map supplied by the Victorian Environment, Land, Water and Planning website. From here you will be able to see which ‘overlays’ cover your property. The overlays are zones with specific restrictions on the type of work you can undertake and the permissions you need to carry out that work. 

The overlays that assign the strictest tree control measures are: 

Permits

Trees within these zones, particularly native trees, are heavily protected and will require a permit from the Council in order to carry out any removal or significant alteration through heavy pruning of lopping. 

Planning permits can be applied for through the Council website. It is recommended that you speak with the Council before lodging this application, as the application fees can be expensive and a permit is not always required for minor treework – even within the overlays. 

Exemptions

There are exemptions which allow residents to carry out work within the overlay zones without applying for a permit. The Council provides two examples of these exemptions. You do not need a permit to remove:

  • vegetation around your rural property for protection from bushfire
  • previously planted (rather than native) vegetation

Other exemptions are outlined in the bylaws of the Planning Scheme, including cases where there is imminent danger posed by a hazardous tree. For clarification on individual cases and exemptions, contact the council directly. 

Culturally Significant Trees

Trees that are considered important to the landscape, the culture or the history of the region are given extra protections under the Whittlesea Planning Scheme. This includes both native and non-native vegetation. The River Red Gum is one such example, is considered to be of high heritage value. Any plans to alter or remove a River Red Gum must be submitted to the Council for approval.

Arborist Insights

Our dedicated tree surgeons took some time out of their day to give us some insight into the work they do for the local community. One of our Arborists, who has owned and operated a Jim’s Trees franchise since 2013, is very familiar with all aspects of the business.

 

“My role is quoting jobs, climbing trees, removing trees, removing stumps, trimming – the whole lot,” he said. 

 

However, when we asked our tree expert about the greatest challenges that he has faced when removing a tree, well he was a little stumped. 

 

“Oh yeah there’s been lots of big trees, but nothing that’s too difficult … You know, if it requires a crane to remove then it requires a crane. A tree can always be removed, any tree can be removed. There’s always a safe way to do it, and if you can’t climb it, you use a machine, or a crane, or a boom lift.”

 

One of our other Tree Surgeons, who has operated his Jim’s Trees Franchise in and around the Whittlesea region since 2015, says that the biggest challenge they face is a lack of public knowledge of tree regulations.

 

“I think a big issue that we have is that people think they own the trees on their properties; they think it’s my tree I have the right to remove it – which is a hard thing to get past.”

 

In terms of the work they do though, our specialist says that pruning and maintenance is one of their priorities. 

 

“We don’t tend to take down a lot of trees. We do a lot of maintenance on trees, especially the big stuff … so taking the leaves off houses, pruning big hedges, that sort of thing. We don’t really like to remove big trees unnecessarily.” 

Cutting to the Chase

Before you start the process of hiring an arborist to prune or remove your private trees, you should familiarise yourself with the local laws and determine which regulations are applicable to your property. This guide has provided all the information you need to educate yourself on the Council regulations, plus links to help you start the application process for a planning permit. To clarify any of these restrictions, or to confirm the overlays relevant to you, contact the Council directly. To enlist the help of an experienced local tree specialist, contact Jim’s today

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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Maroondah Council

Guidelines for Pruning & Removing Trees in Maroondah

The importance of keeping a healthy tree population is great in Maroondah where there are an estimated 70,000 street trees and more than 750,000 others spread across parks and reserves. In addition to looking good, trees provide a community with a range of unique benefits. These trees are protected by restrictions through the local Planning Scheme that generally require residents to apply for a permit from the council in order to remove or lop their trees. It is essential that you do not allow these laws to discourage you from maintaining your healthy trees and removing any hazardous or obstructive ones

Trees that are too close to pavement, walls or houses can become problematic in a number of ways. The root system of a tree can extend up to 12 times the distance of its limbs. These roots can entangle themselves in pipes, push up foundations and cause cracks to emerge in footpaths, walls and paving. Cracks appearing in your walls or footpath is a sign of more issues to come. 

While underground hazards can sneak up on you, overground issues can develop so gradually that you don’t even realise your trees have become dangerous. Trees close to houses can cause serious problems in the form of overhanging branches. These branches hang over your roof, dropping leaves and sticks onto your tiles and threatening you with serious damage if they snap and fall. Overhanging branches that have been left without the assessment and assistance of a qualified Arborist are dangerous to your family, your home and your wallet. 

One of the most common types of overhanging branches around the Maroondah area is from a Eucalyptus Tree. These big gums are often close to homes and beloved by residents for their native character and impressive size. Their wood can be some of the densest of any tree, making their branches particularly heavy. Once a branch has been neglected and left to grow large an unruly, the extra weight can compromise its structural integrity. Suddenly any strong wind or storm can pose a huge threat, possibly leading to the breaking of a branch and the damaging of your roof. 

If you’ve been putting off pruning your trees or having them assessed by a qualified tree specialist, we’ve put together this guide to the Maroondah Council regulations to make the process as easy as possible to ensure you can keep your trees beautiful, healthy and safe. What follows is a list of the key regulations, links to more information about each of those and an online mapping tool that will help you determine which overlays are relevant to your property. To apply for a permit, or for further clarification on any of these laws, you can contact the council directly on (03) 9298 4287.

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

Private trees are offered protections through the Maroondah Planning Scheme. A variety of ‘overlays’ specify regions in which different levels of restrictions are in place, preventing you from pruning or removing a tree in that zone without a permit. These overlay zones are not mutually exclusive, meaning that you may have multiple overlays that apply to your property. If multiple overlays intersect over your property, the best best thing to do is to contact the council and discuss your options with them.

Restrictions

The Planning Scheme requires a permit for removing:

  • trees within the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) – see exemptions
  • trees in the Heritage Overlay (HO)
  • trees in the Neighbourhood Character Overlay (NCO)
  • any native vegetation in a Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) – see exemptions
  • any native vegetation from a property greater than 4000m2 

Exemptions

A permit is not required in the SLO or VPO in the following cases :

  • you are complying with a formal Notice to Clear fire hazards specifically referring to trees or native vegetation
  • clearance of electricity lines is required (pruning only the minimum to keep the line clear)
  • you wish to prune a tree for regeneration or ornamental shaping (SLO only)

Permits

To commence work on trees that are protected in the Planning Scheme, you must apply for a permit, along with the application fee and any extra information, including the Certificate of Title and scaled site plans. The application fees for removing trees are charged per tree, and range from $115 – $240 for a single tree depending on the overlay. Application fee details can be found here.

Which Restrictions Apply To You?

The tree controls applicable to your property can be found in a number of ways: 

Arborist Insights

Our local tree specialists have been working in and around the City of Maroondah for a number of years. They’ve accumulated a wealth of experience on caring for private trees around the region and have kindly agreed to share some of their knowledge with us. 

When you picture the work of an Arborist, you may just be thinking of tree loppers removing big trees, however their work is often based around maintenance and smaller jobs. These are the aspects that keep the ecosystem thriving. Tree cutting and extraction remains an essential tool, but it is part of a wider strategy of tree management.

“Predominantly it’s tree removal, secondly tree pruning,” says our local specialist when asked what work takes up most of his time, “but we also do stump grinding and pruning. Some people like to reduce the costs by cutting the tree themselves, we then help with chipping and removing the green waste for them.” 

When it comes to health assessments, our expert says they can give a good idea of which trees are healthy, but they aren’t fortune tellers! 

“It’s hard to tell because with trees it’s a natural thing, it can be hard to know for sure which trees will survive and which won’t. After examining the tree we can give the general health situation, but we can’t predict exactly how many years a tree might survive.” 

Around the Maroondah region, our local Arborist has identified the three leading causes of trees becoming unbalanced and dangerous. 

  1. People cutting only from one side when a tree is on a boundary
  2. Wet/loose soil
  3. Trees not properly pruned/maintained to the Australian Pruning Standards (APS)

To ensure you avoid these pitfalls and keep your tree healthy, enlist the help of a qualified Jim’s Tree Surgeon who can assess the health of your trees, maintain the healthy ones in line with the APS and remove any trees that have become hazardous or obstructive. 

Cutting to the Chase

The intersecting and overlapping overlay zones can be a source of confusion when trying to determine which tree controls are relevant to your property in the Maroondah Council. This guide has provided all the necessary links and information to determine which overlays are relevant to your property and the conditions by which you would need to apply for a permit. We have also provided links to the permit application process. If you are still unsure of which restrictions apply to your property, or you would like confirmation before paying the application fee, you should contact the council and speak with them directly. For specialist advice from a local Arborist, or to begin your next treeworks, contact Jim’s today

 

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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines in the Manningham Council

Guidelines for Pruning & Removing Trees in Manningham

Our tree specialists, also known as Arborists or Loppers, provide a range of services throughout Manningham to help residents and the community to preserve a healthy urban forest. These services include trimming, tactical lopping, canopy shaping, tree cutting, stump extraction and tree health assessments. 

The urban forest throughout the City of Manningham provides the community with a range of unique benefits. From reducing the effects of urban heat and providing clean oxygen, to their beautiful aesthetic value and the important role they play in the ecosystem. It’s for these reasons that the Council of Manningham have rules that regulate the pruning and removal of trees, to ensure that tree works are carried out in a way that will preserve the balance of the environment and the character of the region. 

While most people are aware of the crucial role that trees play in the environment and all of the wonderful contributions that they make to our community, many people are unaware of the dangers posed by trees that have degenerated through age, sickness or neglect. Trees left unmaintained can grow unevenly, causing them to become imbalanced and a serious risk of falling. The chances of these imbalanced trees crashing to the ground is greatly increased during storms; heavy rains can loosen the soil around the roots and base of a tree while strong winds can take hold of their branches and canopy like a sail. 

Despite an awareness in the community of these risks during storms, many people are oblivious to the fact that sick, damaged or unkempt trees can lose their structural integrity and fall without the force of a storm. Trees left unpruned and without the assessment of a qualified Arborist can be dangerous to nearby residents, pedestrians, traffic, wildlife and property. Excess foliage on branches can lead to more than falling leaves and a cluttered garden. This extra weight on the limbs can put a strain on branches and increase the chances of them snapping. On overhanging branches, this falling foliage can damage roof tiles, block gutters and cause leaks. While regular assessment and maintenance from a local tree specialist might seem costly, it is a far cheaper alternative than trying to fix the greater problems to your garden and your property that can come from a neglected tree.

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

The Manningham Council regulates the pruning and removal of private trees through restrictions provided by the local Planning Scheme. Various overlays within this scheme prevent residents and homeowners from undertaking work on their trees, including removal, lopping and substantial pruning, without a permit being approved by the Council. The overlays that provide the strongest tree protections are:

The specifics of each overlay and the protections that they offer to private trees can be found in the hyperlinks. To determine which overlays are relevant to your property, the Victorian Environment, Land, Water and Planning website has an interactive map of the Manningham Planning Scheme that can assist. 

If your property is within one of these overlays and you require a permit to commence treeworks, all of the information you need on the permit application process can be found here.

It is important to familiarise yourself with these overlays and tree protections, not just to ensure that you are preserving the natural character of the community and the balance of the ecosystem, but also because there are steep fines for violating these laws. Residents responsible for the removal of trees and other vegetation without a permit can incur fines of up to $140,000.

Arborist Insights

Our local Tree surgeon, who has been running a Jim’s Trees Franchise since 2013, took some time out of his day to answer some questions about taking care of trees in the Manningham region. 

How often should trees be pruned?

Every tree is different, it depends on things like the species, the location etc. Hedges should definitely be maintained every 6 months to a year, to stop them growing out of control.

What are some of the hazards you have to overcome when removing a big tree? 

Some of the big obstacles are obviously branches overhanging roads – if it’s over a road you obviously get traffic control who deal with a lot of that. Around houses, you know where you have swimming pools, tight access – they’re probably the most complicated parts. A dead tree over a house can be challenging too. 

How do you get around those problems?

Well you have to rope everything down, rig it all pretty small and just take your time, you can’t drop anything big, just rope everything down and lower it with a rope. It takes a bit more time, but yeah you just take it easy. 

Do you do much in the way of stump grinding and mulching as well? 

Yeah we do mulching and stump grinding. Around 30% of the work we do involves stump grinding. Most people don’t care about a stump.

What are the main reasons for removing a stump? 

If you want to do work there, or excavate, or plant something else. If a stump is close to a house it can push the foundations, or push a fence over, damage pipes and that sort of stuff – they’re the main reasons why our clients want to get stumps removed. 

Why should people choose Jim’s?

The name, the brand, the work ethic, taking pride in our work. Every in Jim’s takes pride in what they do, and they all have that same work ethic and standards. Other companies can get away with sub-par quality, but we can’t get away with that because we’re a franchise. So I think that’s what makes us better than the rest of the tree services out there.

Cutting to the Chase

Preserving the health and safety of the urban forest in Manningham is a top priority for our Arborists, for the local Council and should be for residents too. Through services like health assessments, pruning, lopping, shaping, removal and stump extraction, our team can help to maintain the health of your private trees and remove the trees that are intrusive, obstructive or hazardous. The regulations for removing or lopping private trees are enforced through the overlays within the local Planning Scheme. In this article we have provided links to all the necessary information on those laws, as well as to the information on applying for a permit. For clarification on any of these regulations, or to check whether these laws apply to your property, it is recommended that you contact the Council. To speak with a professional Arborist, or to start work on your trees, contact Jim’s today.  

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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Hobsons Bay City Council

Careful maintenance and preservation of the ecosystem is essential in the Hobsons Bay region, with its suburbs stretching across beaches, wetlands, creeks and grasslands. Situated on Port Phillip Bay and covering approximately 66 square kilometres, Hobsons Bay boasts one of the most environmentally diverse municipalities near the heart of Melbourne. Key to the existence of such rich biodiversity is the cultivation of a thriving urban forest. This requires the regular assessment and pruning of healthy trees, as well as the removal of sick, damaged or obstructive trees. 

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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Maribyrnong Council

While lopping, trimming and removing private trees throughout the City of Maribyrnong is regulated by state and local planning controls, it remains an important strategy to cultivating a healthy urban tree population and a safe community. Trees that have been left without the care of regular maintenance and health assessments by a qualified Arborist can become a hazard for the surrounding ecosystem. Excess foliage can clutter the garden below, blocking sunlight, air and nutrients from accessing the vegetation beneath. This foliage too, can present a danger for the health and stability of the tree on which they grow. Our tree surgeons specialise in maintaining the health of private trees and removing the branches and trees that have become obstructive or dangerous. 

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