What You Should Know About Suburban Tree Removal

What You Should Know About Suburban Tree Removal

Tree removal in urban properties may be needed for a number of reasons:

  • To make way for an addition or a new dwelling
  • To make space in the yard
  • To remove a problem tree or to maintain tree health

Before picking up that chainsaw it is a good idea to check if you need a permit to remove or prune your tree!

People are sometimes surprised to find out that they do need a permit.  After all the tree is on their private land isn’t it?  Despite the trees being on your land the Council can impose vegetation controls and this is quite common across metropolitan Melbourne, as well as in the rural areas.

In some places the local Council have vegetation controls which mean that you may need to apply for a permit to remove or even prune your tree.  This may be a planning permit or a local law permit, depending on the controls that the Council have in place.

What is Required for a Permit

If you need to apply for permission you will generally require a report from a qualified arborist with your application.  If a tree is assessed as dangerous and posing an immediate risk to property or life you should immediately contact the Council to confirm that the tree can be removed.  For all other types of tree removal, you will be required to lodge your application and provide justification for the proposed removal.

Tree controls can be complex, and sometimes specific types of vegetation or activities may not require a planning permit.  It is best to speak to the Council first to learn more about the specific controls for your property.  You can also contact a consulting arborist in your area. Their job is to assess the health of trees and provide recommendations regarding any maintenance work required or justification if they deem it prudent to remove the tree. They should also be able to provide you with some advice as to what tree controls apply to your site.

Generally the Council will also require new tree planting to be done on the property, to replace the tree or trees to be removed.  If the tree removal is done as part of a development application (for example an application to build units on the site), the requirement for additional planting will be covered within the request for a landscape plan as part of the proposal.  If the tree removal is sought on its own, the permit will usually contain details of the new planting that must occur as well. You may need to prepare a plan showing the tree planting, or contact the Council to confirm once the planting has been carried out for them to inspect.

There are also additional rules that apply for sites of 0.4 hectares and greater that relate to native vegetation. This will be covered in a separate post.

If you need assistance with an application to remove a tree, or need advice on the planning controls over your property, give us a call and we will discuss your options with you.