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Tree Pruning & Removal Guidelines for the Banyule Council


Strategic lopping and pruning of trees is a vital part of supporting Banyule’s healthy urban forest. Trees have a wide array of benefits for the community; providing shade, improving air quality, supporting the ecosystem and looking great. However, trees that are left unmaintained and uncared for can start to have the opposite effect. Overgrown branches can cause a tree to become unstable, overgrown leaves can clutter their surrounding and sick tree can become home to pests and disease. 

Our local Tree Surgeons are specialists in identifying and preventing these common tree problems. Through regular health assessments, trimming and shaping, we can keep your trees both healthy and safe. It’s not always the problems that you can see that cause the biggest headaches. Invasive root systems are a major issue experienced by Banyule residents. Trees or stumps that are too close to houses, walls or pathways can begin to encroach on the foundations, pipes and pavement with their roots. A whole host of problems can emerge once an overzealous root has begun to creep into your territory. Cracks emerging in your pavement and walls are often just the first sign of bigger problems to come. Once these roots have entangled themselves in the pipes and plumbing of your property, there are no cheap or easy solutions.  

For these reasons, among many more, it is important to be very cautious of the location of trees when developing your property. While it is nice to have trees surrounding your new extension or granny flat, you must be conscious of the potential underground threat posed by their root systems. Often the best course of action when planning these sorts of developments and constructions, is to ensure that your investment is free of risk by having trees planted a safe distance from your house. Jim’s Trees specialise in both maintenance and removals. We can extract your trees without damaging the ecosystem, by removing both the tree and the remaining stump, grinding the stump into a natural mulch and filling the hole with the right soil composition to match the local environment. 

Before beginning any such major treeworks, it is imperative that you are aware of the local and state regulations that are relevant to your property. Violations of these laws can result in steep fines. Below is a guide to all the relevant laws and restrictions for pruning and removing private trees throughout the Banyule Council. For any clarification on these laws, you should contact your local council. For expert advice from an Arborist, contact Jim’s Trees. 

Tree Pruning & Removal Regulations

The City of Banyule Council regulate the pruning and removal of private trees through the tree controls in the Banyule Planning Scheme. The provisions in this planning scheme aim to protect trees throughout the municipality in order to preserve the environment and the distinct characteristics of the region. 

To find out which protections apply to your property, the Victorian Environment, Land, Water and Planning website provides an interactive map of the Banyule planning scheme. 

The following is a list of the most important tree controls that restrict the type of work you can do on private trees. If your tree falls within one of the following overlays, it is likely you will need a permit from the council in order to carry out any significant pruning or removal. The fee for this permit is $198 for tree removal or $99 for pruning. 

Vegetation Protection Overlays (VPO)

Environmental Significance Overlays (ESO)

  • Schedule 1 – Yarra River, Plenty River and Darebin Creek
  • Schedule 2 – Macleod Red Gum Area
  • Schedule 3 – Sites of Botanical, Zoological and Habitat Significance
  • Schedule 4 – Significant Trees and Areas of Vegetation
  • Schedule 5 – Streeton Views Estate

Significant Landscape Overlays (SLO)

  • Schedule 1 – Watercourse Environs
  • Schedule 2 – Yarra Valley Landscape Area

Heritage Overlays (HO)

  • Schedule 1 – Darebin Parklands and Rockbeare Park Environs
  • Schedule 5 – Heidelberg Specialised and Major Activity Centres
  • Schedule 8 – Plenty River East Neighbourhood Character
  • Schedule 10 – Urban Design Guidelines for 250 Waterdale Road Ivanhoe
  • Schedule 11 – Ivanhoe Major Activity Area
  • Schedule 12 – Ivanhoe Accessible Residential Area

In addition to these overlays within the Banyule Planning Scheme, Banyule has a Significant Tree Register that provides further protections to individual trees that are considered to have special significance. 

For clarification on any of these tree protections, or if you need help determining which regulations are applicable to your property, you can call the Banyule Council’s Development Planning team on 9457 9808

Arborist Insights

Our local Arborist says that tree removals and block clearances are the most common type of work in Banyule. A lot of these are for the purposes of development. While our tree specialist is happy to help with your next project, his advice for other residents of the Banyule council is to make sure you’ve spoken with the Council before starting any job.

“Yeah, I live in Banyule, it is pretty hard to get a permit to remove a tree that’s over a certain size. Banyule is one of the stricter councils, when it comes to removing native trees and that sort of stuff,” he says.  

Unfortunately he doesn’t have any tricks for speeding up the process with the council, you’ve just got to speak with them and follow the protocol, says our local expert. 

“You can’t really mess with the council. If it’s in Banyule and it’s one of the big gumtrees or something like that, ring the council first and find out whether you need a permit. 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, you know – especially because there are big fines involved,” he says.  

Once you’ve spoken to the council and you’re ready to speak with a tree specialist, our local Arborist says there’s plenty of reasons to choose Jim’s

“The name, the brand, the work ethic, taking pride in our work. Everyone 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

There are a number of regulations you need to be aware of before starting any major pruning or removal work on your private trees in the Banyule region. The most important tree controls are the VPO, ESO, SLO, HO and the Significant Tree Register. If your tree falls within the provisions of any of these controls, you will likely need a permit from the Council in order to carry out work. Even if you are outside all of these schemes, our local Arborist says that it is always a good idea to double check with the Council. For help from a professional Arborist, or to begin your next treeworks, contact Jim’s today

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