Removing a tree in the City of Casey is complicated by a number of factors; the size and variation of the landscape, the Council’s goal of increasing tree coverage; the expansive register of significant trees and the obscurity of the guidelines on the Council’s website.
About the Casey Council Area
Casey’s diverse landscape is home to some 250,000 public street trees and several hundred thousand more on private land. In response to the region being on track to become one of Australia’s top five most populous municipalities, Casey’s Council have prioritised the creation and maintenance of their urban forest as a key strategy in retaining their green landscape and contributing to the region’s liveability.
The City of Casey, the third-fastest growing council in Australia, was formed in 1994 by merging parts of the City of Berwick, the Shire of Cranbourne and the Churchill Park Drive estate. The following suburbs formed the new-found municipality of Casey:
Narre Warren North
Narre Warren South
This young council encompasses a vast area of geographic diversity; from the Dandenong Ranges in the north, to the Western Port shoreline in the south, from the farmland and new housing developments around Cranbourne and Clyde, to the Cardinia Creek in the east.
Casey Council Tree Removal Laws
There are three main planning controls in place within the City of Casey that restrict the removal and pruning of trees:
The Significant Tree Registry
The Four Overlays
The Tree Protection Zone
Each planning control has broad applications and only vague limitations, making them tricky to navigate.
In order to remove or lop a tree within the City of Casey you will first need to discern whether it has been identified as significant. Here you will find the extensive list of categories available to classify a tree as significant, only one criteria needs to be met for a tree to be protected.
Broadly, significant trees are categorised into two types:
River Red gums
Exotics and other Natives
In addition to the Significant Tree Registry, there are four distinct overlays that can be used to restrict the pruning or removal of trees:
Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO). This overlay is specifically designed to protect significant native and exotic vegetation in an urban or rural environment. It can be applied to individual trees, stands of trees or areas of significant vegetation.
Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO). This overlay can be applied where there are environmental constraints on development or other important ecological values are identified. The ESO has broader applicability than the VPO as it may contain requirements for the construction of buildings and the carrying out of works.
Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO). The SLO is appropriate when vegetation is primarily of aesthetic or visual importance in the broader landscape and should be used where vegetation is identified as an important contributor to the character of an area.
Heritage Overlay (HO). The HO can apply to a tree or group of trees with identified historic or cultural significance
Finally there is the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ), the most clearly defined planning control of the three. The TPZ is the area around a tree that is protected from any activity that could be considered a disturbance to the tree, such as construction. The TPZ is calculated by measuring the diameter of the tree at breast height (1.4m) and multiplying that measurement by 12. The resulting distance is the protected radius around the tree, where no such calculations can be made a minimum radius of 20 metres applies.
The Council website states that authorisation for the removal of trees will only be granted when one or more of the criteria in the ‘Tree Technical Manual (2014)’ is met, however no such manual is available online. As such, the process to getting approved to remove a tree remains murky.
The Council does declare that maintaining a healthy and safe landscape involves, “removing dead, poor performing, hazardous and inappropriate trees.”
They also affirm that authorisation for the removal of trees can be given to, “…dead or dying trees, trees that demonstrate an extreme public nuisance, trees included in the street tree rejuvenation programs, trees that pose a hazard to public safety.”
While the process of removing a tree in the City of Casey is complex and the many planning controls can seem daunting, there remain many valid reasons to have a tree removed.
If you need a tree removed, or feel stumped by the complicated tree regulations, give your local Jim’s Trees a call today to have a local expert guide you through the process.
Why Remove a Tree?
Jim’s Trees believe in the preservation and maintenance of healthy trees for the benefit of the ecosystem and the community. However, when assessing the condition of a tree, there are many important factors to consider.
Arvinder, who has been running a Jim’s Trees franchise in and around the Casey Council region for the last three years and is studying a Cert. 3 in Arboral Culture, is always focused on helping clients make the decision that’s best for them.
“Trees close to homes, branches hanging over homes, oversized branches, the structure of the tree, if they have decay in the roots, the condition of the barrel, the condition of the soil, uneven weight distribution. All of these things can give us a good idea of the safety of a tree, so we look at all these things and guide the client to the best options, whether that’s roping, pruning for weight reduction or removing the tree”.
Jim’s Tree Removal
When it comes to removing a tree, your local Jim’s Trees franchisee will be your first point of contact. For Malcolm, an Arborist who has been running a Jim’s Trees franchise in and around the Casey region for the last 10 years, this means being onsite with the clients: “I run and operate my franchise. I do 70% of the quotes and I’m onsite everyday, every job.”
Arvinder says that this customer service has come to be expected from all those who wear the Jim’s uniform:“It’s a big name and brand and everyone knows Jim’s already, you don’t need to introduce yourself when you’re wearing a Jim’s shirt, people know who you are and what you do.”
While wearing a uniform onsite may seem like a small thing, Malcolm believes that it is this attention to the details that has helped Jim’s to thrive and build the trust of the community:
“It’s those 1%’s that we focus on and drill into everyone. People like to have the recognisable brand. If something does go wrong, at least clients know they have a 100% customer guarantee. A lot of people will find that comforting, there’s something more than just the crew on site, clients know that we’re insured and will do all the necessary paperwork to give them that comfort that everything is in order in case something does go wrong.”
This reputation inspired Arvinder to begin his Cert. 3 studies in Arboral Culture:“I’m the first contact with the clients to speak about the trees, so I knew a little about it but I thought it would be good if I did the proper study as well so I could explain things better to the client, so it’s better for the client and better for the business.”
Alternatives to Removing a Tree
While tree removals account for a large majority of Jim’s tree work due to the immediate risk posed by dangerous trees and the obstruction they can cause to community developments, local franchisees will always provide alternative options for clients where possible.
Three key alternatives provided by Jim’s Trees that should always be considered are pruning, lopping and bracing.
Arvinder says that the uneven weight distribution of trees is one of the major causes of trees falling, a problem that is often a direct result of improper pruning:
“Some people don’t know how to prune trees properly, they just cut the tree from one side and don’t worry about the other because sometimes a tree is between two boundaries. So sometimes the neighbour on one side will cut the tree and won’t care about the other.”
Regular pruning of trees within the Australian Pruning Standards can help ensure the health of your tree, prevent the tree becoming dangerous and prevent the need for removal.
Lopping, or the removal of tree limbs, is an important strategy in safeguarding your home against falling branches and in the overall health of a tree. While most tree types are susceptible to the dangers of overweight branches, Gum Trees are especially prone to this problem:
“Oversized limbs can be a hazard when they’re too close to a house. In heavy storms branches can snap and fall, especially Gum Trees whose branches snap very quickly from the high weight.”
Bracing a tree is an alternative to removal that can not only save you money on removing the tree, but also reduce other property costs while helping to preserve the property’s natural beauty, says Malcolm:
“Roping it up and bracing it so that if branches fail they stay caught in the ropes and we can come back and fix it up for them is a great alternative to removing a tree which can make the property hot, increase the air-conditioning bill, the power bill and change the whole aesthetic of the property.”
No Cutting Corners: Jim’s Approach
For all of our Arborists, safety is the number one priority. Ensuring the safety of all staff, clients and pedestrians is at the forefront of each and every job. Before starting any job, a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is taken to check for all potential hazards of the tree and its surrounds. All staff onsite then participate in a Toolbox Meeting to discuss the best and safest procedure for that individual tree, says Malcolm.
“That’s the first thing we learn through training with Jim’s, how to keep ourselves, our staff and the public safe. That’s why we take extreme precautions, JSA before every job, every necessary precaution is taken for every single job. Looking after everyone so everyone gets to go home at the end of the day.”
The training provided to all our staff is designed to ensure the highest quality and safety is met. Top quality training combined with top quality tools and equipment gives our Arborists the competitive edge to meet our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
To Malcolm it is this reputation that keeps him motivated to ensure the highest safety requirements are met for every job:
“We have a national brand that we have to protect. We’re all in it together, every franchisee has to be on their best game, one bad thing reflects badly on the whole group. It’s a highly risky job, that’s why we need to take all precautions that we can.”
Arvinder believes that it is the focus on the needs of the clients that elevates Jim’s above the rest:
“Other tree cutting services don’t focus on the needs of the customer, they think the job is done once the tree is down. We do a full service cleanup afterwards.”
Common tree types in Casey
Algerian Oak, Quercus canariensis
Common Oak / English Oak, Quercus robur
Morton Bay Fig, Ficus macrophylla
Blackbean, Castanospermum australe
Black Poplar, Populus x canadensis
Bunya Bunya Pine, Araucaria bidwillii
Desert Ash, Fraxinus oxycarpa
Dutch Elm, Ulmus x hollandica
Deodar Cedar, Cedrus deodara
Flame Tree, Brachychiton acerifolia
London Plane Tree, Platanus acerifolia
Manna Gum, Eucalyptus viminalis
Red Iron Bark, Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Smooth Barked Angophora, Angophora costata
Peppercorn Tree, Schinus mollis
Cutting to the Chase
Removing a tree in the City of Casey can be a complicated process to navigate, constantly changing rules on top of all the safety and financial factors you need to consider is enough to leave anyone confused. Our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee will remove the stress and uncertainty from the process. No more waiting around for a tree service to call you back, no more wondering whether you’ll have all the right permissions and equipment, no more cleaning up the mess after the tree is down, we have you covered. Give us a call today.
https://jimstrees.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Screen-Shot-2019-07-05-at-10.48.02-am.png482766jameshttps://jimstrees.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/trees.pngjames2019-06-21 08:49:592019-07-05 10:51:27Tree Removal & Pruning Guidelines in the City of Casey