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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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