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Tree Removal and Pruning Guideline in the Frankston City Council 

Frankston City Council Map

Understanding the local and state regulations on removing and pruning trees is important to ensure that all work carried out on your private property is done legally and in line with the community goals for the local ecosystem. While these regulations can often appear confusing and opaque as a result of intersecting planning schemes and inaccessible information, the Frankston council have simplified the process since their introduction of the ‘Tree Protection Local Law 2016 No.22’. 

This local law does not supersede all other planning schemes, such as the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO), but it does provide a clear set of rules for when permission is needed to “prune, cut, trim, top…remove, damage, kill or destroy” a tree.

Tree Removal and Pruning Laws

Below is a summary of the relevant local laws and planning schemes that govern the treeworks that can take place within the Frankston City Council. For further clarification of any of this information, or for assistance with the process, contact us on 131546 or access our 24/7 online portal today.

The local tree protection law introduced in 2016 requires residents of Frankston to apply for a permit to undertake treeworks on a private tree if the circumference at the base of its trunk is equal to or greater than 110 centimetres. 

For trees with a trunk circumference of this size or larger, you must apply for a Local Law Permit if you wish to:

  • Remove or damage the tree;
  • prune, trim or lop more than one third of the tree’s foliage;
  • Carry out works within the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ)

The TPZ is an area around a tree that is protected from any significant development or intrusive work that could damage the tree, its roots or the earth that supports the structure of the tree. The radius of the TPZ is measured from the centre of a tree’s trunk and is equal to the diameter of the trunk times 12. The diameter of the trunk is measured at 1.4 metres from the base of the tree and the minimum distance of a TPZ is 2 metres. 

Local Law Permit

To begin work on a tree that falls under the scope of this local law, you must apply for a Local Law Permit

In this application you must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Payment to cover the application fee
  • Plan of the property indicating the location of the tree(s) to assist during the site inspection. The tree(s) should be labeled stating if the request is to prune, remove or undertake works near the tree. A sketch plan with measurements and showing major features is usually adequate
  • Details of new trees to be planted to replace the existing trees

When considering your application, the council considers the following:

  1. a) The type of tree;
  2. b) The effect on the aesthetics of the neighbouring area;
  3. c) The health, condition and hazard status of the tree; and
  4. d) The reason for the request to remove the tree.

The Costs

Tree pruning and works within the TPZ, for any number of trees, costs $68. Tree removals, for up to three trees, costs $120. After three trees, the cost of each additional removal is $40. If residents choose to circumvent these laws and carry out treeworks without a permit, the offender and/or property owner will potentially be liable to fines of up to $2,000 per offence. 


If your tree is under 110 centimetres then you will not need to apply for a Local Law Permit. You are not necessarily in the clear though, as the tree could still come under the influence of the Frankston Planning Scheme. The link provided takes you to an interactive map that can show you which, if any, planning schemes are in place over your property. 

If your tree falls within the restrictions of a planning scheme then you will need to apply for a Planning Permit in order to carry out treeworks. If this is the case you will not need to apply for the Local Law permit. 

The other key exemption from the Local Law permit is for tree species that are classified as weeds in the local law, this list of “Major Environmental Weed Species” can be found here

Arborist Insights

Around the Frankston City Council our local tree specialists have identified some of the key reasons for residents wanting trees removed, important things to watch out for in your trees and the best practices for preserving and maintaining a healthy tree population. 

When it comes to tree removals though, safety is first and foremost on the minds of Frankston residents says our arborist, Daryl:

“Mainly safety, really,” he says. As for what causes the Frankston trees to become damaged and dangerous, there are a whole range of factors “from diseases and old age to branches failing and possum attacks.”

While these issues can develop slowly over time, there is another factor that can cause a tree to go from healthy and stable to dangerous almost immediately, storms:

“Definitely, you get the storm, the rain and the winds and then branches sort of tend to snap off. You get the storm then you get the after effect where people get worried and have a look at their trees and say ‘oh better do this’ or ‘that tree is close to the house or close to the lines.’ People get a bit more worried and a bit more aware when storms happen so they look around and say ‘Oh we’d better act now instead of later.’” 

Though our tree specialists note dramatic increases in work after storms, their recommendation is to ensure the safety of your home through regular maintenance and pruning. In addition to safety assurance, pruning can improve the general health of your property and its aesthetics appeal:

“You should try to keep the tree alive by pruning it; pruning it properly might help it to come back better, it’ll grow better. Better for the tree better, better for the house, better for the people that live there,” says our top arborist.

As far as how regularly you should be getting an expert to prune your trees, annually or biennially is the advice of our specialists. 

Cutting to the Chase

Despite the Frankston City Council’s recent local laws on tree removal and the clarity of information on their website, there are still a number of different regulations and planning schemes that govern what residents can do with their private trees. This guide has compiled all the necessary information and forms you will need to begin your treeworks, but we advise you to contact your local Jim’s trees in order to confirm the permits you need to carry out pruning and removal of your trees. For help with the process and to begin your next tree works, contact us today

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