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Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the Bayside Council

Bayside City Council

Tree removal and pruning in the City of Bayside is an important part of maintaining its healthy urban forest. Comprised of four main vegetation types; heathland, woodland, swamp and coastal vegetation, the Bayside landscape is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. According to the Bayside Council, the high quality soil profile within the Bayside region allows for the relatively fast growth of trees. As with many surrounding municipalities however, development and infrastructure upgrades have caused a “loss of mature trees” and has had “a negative impact on neighbourhood character.” As such, the Council has set a goal of becoming known for its “tree corridors,” “quality streetscapes” and “green city appearance.” While it is common for councils looking to preserve their trees to become cautious of arborists, a study authorised by the Bayside Council demonstrates their understanding of the importance of arborists in this process:

Tree removal services

“Use of appropriately trained arborists is important in sustaining a healthy and sustainable tree canopy.”

Despite this clear-headed approach to the conservation and development of its urban forest, the Council’s study also acknowledged the occasionally counter-productive nature of its tree regulations: “Laws and regulations generally help to protect trees, but may in some cases discourage good tree management or retention.”

Thus, if you intend to carry out tree works in any of the following suburbs falling under the jurisdiction of the City of Bayside Council, it is recommended that you read on to familiarise yourself with the rules, process and options for the removal or pruning of trees.

  • Beaumaris
  • Black Rock
  • Brighton
  • Brighton East (shared with Glen Eira)
  • Cheltenham (shared with Kingston)
  • Hampton
  • Hampton East
  • Highett (shared with Kingston)
  • Sandringham

Bayside Council Tree Removal Laws

Most trees within the Bayside Council region will need a Planning Permit to remove or prune as they will likely fall under the many planning controls, heritage overlays or the significant tree register

To apply for a Planning Permit to carry out treeworks on one tree or plant, you can submit a VicSmart application. For a Planning Permit to carry out treeworks on multiple trees or plants, you can submit a planning permit application form.

If you are uncertain as to whether you need a planning permit, it is highly recommended that you contact your local Jim’s Trees who can inform you of what you need and assist you with the application process.

Daryl, who has run a Jim’s Trees in the Bayside Council with his son for the past two and a half years, says that they are always happy to assist those unsure about the application process:

“Oh yeah we can assist them. Yeah no problem. Sometimes you get people you know can’t speak English properly or something like that, you want to help them out or pensioners. So yeah, we help them along with the council.”

Whether it’s calling up the council or finding out all the information needed for the application form, Daryl says they are available to provide that extra assistance:

“Yeah a bit of both. We can call up the council and help them fill the forms out right. Their residential address and everything else that goes with it there. So we can help them fill it out and put it to the council.”

The Council outlines three circumstances where you will need a permit to carry out tree works on your private property:

  1. Your property has an existing planning permit, heritage overlay or significant landscape overlay.
    • To find out if your property is within an existing protected overlay, go here.
    • To find out if your property has an existing planning permit, contact your local Jim’s Trees or call the Council’s planning department on (03) 9599 4666.
  2. The tree is native and within the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO3)
    • A map of the VPO3 can be found here.
    • A permit is required to remove any native tree (including ferns and palms) within the VPO3 which is:
      • Greater than 2m high, and
      • Has a single trunk circumference greater than o.5m at a height of 1m above ground level
  3. A Local Law Permit is required for a tree that:
    • Has a single or combined trunk circumference greater than 155cm measured at 1m above ground level. If the tree has several trunks, the 4 largest trunks circumferences should be added together; or
    • Is planted in accordance with the replacement planting condition of a Local Law permit; or
    • Is listed on our significant tree register.

Common tree types

  • Acacia implexa Lightwood
  • Banksia integrifolia Coast Banksia
  • Eucalyptus camaldulensis River Red Gum
  • Eucalyptus melliodora Yellow Box
  • Eucalyptus ovata Swamp Gum
  • Eucalyptus pauciflora Snow Gum
  • Corymbia maculata Spotted Gum
  • Elaeocarpus reticulatus Blueberry Ash
  • Eucalyptus cephalocarpa Silver-leaved Stringybark
  • Eucalyptus cinerea Mealy Stringybark
  • Eucalyptus cornuta Yate
  • Eucalyptus crenulata Silver Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus polyanthemos Red Box
  • Eucalyptus pulchella White Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus rubida Candlebark Gum
  • Eucalyptus tereticornis Forest red gum
  • Lophostemon confertus Brush Box
  • Cedrus deodara Deodar Cedar
  • Jacaranda mimosifolia Schinus molle American Pepper
  • Tilia cordata cultivars Small-leaved Linden
  • Ulmus glabra ‘Lutescens’ Golden Elm
  • Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark
  • Ulmus procera English Elm
  • Zelcova serrata Japanese Zelkova

Arborist Insights

When it comes to reasons for removing a tree around the Bayside Council area, Daryl says that safety is the main reason. Old, sick and damaged trees can pose a serious risk to the community, the environment and the health of the ecosystem. There are many things that can cause a tree to become unsafe, Daryl says: “From diseases and old age of trees, branches failing and possum attack etc.”

In addition to the many factors that can deteriorate the health of a tree, there is of course the big one, storms: “Yes. Definitely storms. You’ve got the storm, then you’ve got the after effect where people get more worried or a bit more aware when storms happen so they look around and say ‘Oh we’d better act now instead of later,’ or ‘we should have done that we’d better do it now.’”

While storms can be dangerous for any species of tree, Daryl says that there are certain types that people should be particularly cautious of: “Yeah some gum trees, when you’ve got a lot of the flowering gums and that, you’ve got the weight factor. And then you get the storm, the rain and the winds and they tend to snap off.”

When Daryl and his team are onsite to inspect a tree, there are a range of factors they look for when assessing its health: “Yeah you do a visual inspection on any obvious things like cracks in the branches, dead or dangerous branches, any Bracket Fungus in fruiting bodies on the tree, that type of thing.”

In some surrounding municipalities felling a tree is a rare occurrence due to the confined spaces and surrounding hazards. Often a cherry picker is required to help in these tricky circumstances. Around the Bayside Council however, Daryl says that climbing is his preferred method:

“We don’t really use a cherry pick a lot to be honest. I prefer climbers, they do a better job. The only reason we use a cherry picker or a crane is that the access is bad. You can’t get it out of there so you need to lift it over the top of the house…or if it’s a dead tree or a danger for the climber to get into it. Safety is the main concern.”

However removing the tree is rarely the first option. Daryl prefers to give a full assessment of the trees health and will advise preserving trees where he can: “You don’t want want to take a tree out if you don’t have to. You try and keep the tree alive…pruning it properly might give it the chance to come back better, it’ll grow better. Better for the tree better for the house better for the people that live there.”

To keep your trees healthy and avoid the need to remove them, Daryl advises maintaining the tree through pruning at least every one to two years. However, for those in need of expert help with their trees, Daryl says that they are normally able to help out clients within one to two weeks: “Sometimes we can even do it the same week depending on the workload we’ve got on and the amount of people we’ve got working. Sometimes we can do it the same week or at worst really the week after.”

So when it comes to choosing a tree service, Daryl believes it is the trust in the brand and the assurance of quality that draws people to Jim’s: “They’re a national brand…people respect that more and they presume they’re going to get a better service which they do. We always make sure we look after the climber and client and make sure the properties are left in a better condition than they were before or they can’t even tell that we’ve been to them. That’s a good sign.”

Cutting to the Chase

While the City of Bayside hopes to build on its “green city appearance”, they acknowledge that the best way to do that is with the help of qualified, expert arborists. Jim’s is here to help you with the preservation and development of a safe, healthy and beautiful urban forest. Key to this is the maintenance of healthy trees through regular pruning and the removal of sick and damaged trees. For help with your next treework, or for guidance through the rules and regulations of tree removal in your council area, contact your nearest Jim’s Trees today.

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