Tree removal and pruning applications

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Removing or pruning trees on a residential or business property may require permission from us.

Applications for tree removal or pruning can be made online and may need to be supported by a report from a certified (AQF Level 5) Arborist. If an application is approved, a permit will be issued in writing. 

A pruning permit is required for all species of trees on private property with the exception of fruit trees. Trees that are dead and do not have habitat hollows and trees that are not classed as Koala food trees do not need approval to be removed. Please refer to Koala Food Trees in the Development Control Plan.

Do I require a tree removal permit?

The responsible authority to assess tree removal on private lands depends on your land zoning.  Please check your land zoning against the below before making an application to Council.

Council controlled land zones for tree removal permits include:

  • General Residential - R1
  • Low Density Residential - R2
  • Medium Density Residential - R3
  • High Density Residential - R4
  • Large Lot Residential - R5
  • Village - RU5
  • Industrial - IN1, IN2, IN3 and IN4
  • Business - B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6 and B7
  • Environmental - E1, E2, E3 and E4
  • Recreation - RE 1 and RE2
  • Special Purpose - SP1

Zones where tree removal is not under Council's control:

  • Primary Production - RU1
  • Rural landscape - RU 2
  • Forestry - RU3
  • Transition - RU6

If the tree you wish to remove if within one of the above zones, you will need to request a permit from Local Land Services.

Which trees do not require a removal permit?

Noxious or undesirable trees do not require Council approval to remove.  We have provided a listing of these Noxious, Undesirable and Exempt Tree Species(PDF, 291KB) that we do not want planted in your garden.

Illegal tree clearing and logging in these zones can be reported to the Office of Environment & Heritage:

How we assess applications

We will consider the following criteria when assessing an application for tree pruning or removal:

  • Is the tree dead, diseased, dangerous, defective or damaging? Is this support by a suitable qualified Arborist report?
  • Will the mature size of the tree exceed the available space and/or will the way the tree grows become an issue?
  • Is the tree in an unsuitable or overcrowded situation?
  • Is there clear evidence of damage to utilities and/or services?
  • Is the tree interfering with the efficiency of an existing solar heating appliance? (In most cases thinning of the tree will be the preferred option)?

Reasons an application may be refused

  • The tree provides an important habitat for animals and environmental benefits.
  • The tree is located along a creek
  • The landscape would be significantly affected if the tree was removed for example front boundaries, ridgelines or rural views
  • The reason for removing the tree does not fit into one of the reasons above
  • If the tree is hollow bearing (trees with hollows are termed 'habitat trees').

The following reasons will not be considered for the removal of trees:

  • View: Pruning and/or removal of trees to optimise or enhance a view or outlook
  • Shade: This is not a valid reason for removal, however in a case where tree-shade to a property is affecting a person's health, then judicious crown thinning of tree/s may be permitted
  • Leaf/flower/fruit fall: Tree fall is a natural part of a trees life cycle and is not regarded as a sufficient reason to prune and/or remove trees
  • A healthy tree on vacant residential zoned land well clear of boundaries and no building work has been approved.