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Tree removal permits

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is aware of the increasing community concern for the protection and enhancement of vegetation within our area. The Development Control Plan provides the framework in achieving these objectives.   

Before you prune or remove a tree from your residential or business property, you must apply for permission from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. Removal of trees without Council consent could result in prosecution and fines up to $110,000. If you wish to prune or remove a tree (which is not exempt) you must seek approval from Council before any work is started.

Relevant Authorities

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 control:

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

Local Land Services is responsible for trees and vegetation removal within the above mentioned zones.

Kempsey Office
83 Belgrave Street
PO Box 108 Kempsey NSW 2440
Ph: 02 6563 6700


A tree on private land is classified as:

  • a plant with a lifecycle of more than two years which is at least 3 metres in height, or
  • has a trunk diameter of 100mm (measured 1.0 metres above ground level), or
  • a cycad or mangrove

What trees are exempt?

Noxious or undesirable trees do not require Council approval to remove.  We have provided a listing of these  Noxious, Undesirable and Exempt Tree Species291KB pdf(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 

This page was last updated on: 25 September 2020