Trees on Private Property

View from Warragamba Lookout

Tree Removal

Trees within the boundaries of a private property may require Council approval to be pruned or removed, depending on the circumstances.

There are a number of circumstances when approval for tree removal is not required within the Wollondilly Local Government Area. However, if you are unsure whether your tree meets the exemption criteria you can complete an Exempt Tree Removal Form to receive written advice on whether the tree you wish to remove is exempt or not.

If your tree is not exempt and you still wish to remove it, you will need to submit a Development Application.

Tree Planting

If you wish to plant trees on your private property you do not require approval to do so.

Trees on Slopes or Watercourses

Trees are not permitted to be removed within a watercourse or on slopes greater than 15 degrees. Council approval is required for such activities.

Weed removal is permitted but must be done in a way that does not disturb the soil.

Removal of a tree or vegetation that is declared a noxious weed by the NSW Government under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 can be removed without prior approval. To find out more information about what tree removals the exemptions cover please see Council's Fact Sheet.

Additionally any species of tree identified below regardless of size is exempt from approval; unless the tree is affected by heritage protections:

Common Tree Name

Scientific Tree Name

African Olive Olea Europaea
Bamboo Phyllostachys Spp, Bambusa Spp, Aundanaria
Black Locust Robinia Pseudoacacia Spp
Box Elder Acer Negundo
Camphor Laurel (less than 20m in height only) Cinnamomum Camphora
Canary Island Date Palm Phoenix Canariensis
Cassia Senna Pendula
Chinese Celtis Celtis Sinensis
Cocos Palm/Queen Palm Syagrus Romanzoffiana
Cootamundra Wattle Acacia Baileyana
Coral Tree Erythrina x Sykesii
Cotoneaster Cotoneaster Spp.
Date Palm Phoenix Dactylifera
Evergreen Alder Alnus Jorulensis
Evergreen Ash Fraxinus Griffithii
Golden Wreath Wattle Acacia Saligna
Honey Locust Gleditsia Triacanthos
Ice Cream Bean Inga Edulis
Leighton's Green Pine Cupressocyparis x Leylandii
Privet Ligustrum Spp.
Oleander Nerium Oleander
Peppercorn Schinus Spp.
Radiata Pine (less than 20m in height only) Pinus Radiata
Poplay (less than 20m in height only) Populus Spp.
Queensland Silver Wattle Acacia Podalyriifolia
Rhus Tree Toxiocodendron Succedaneum
Rubber Tree Ficus Elastica
Silky Oak Grevillea Robusta
Sweet Pittosporum Pittosporum Undulatum
Tree Lucerne Tagasaste Chamaecytisus Palmensis
Tree of Heaven Ailanthus Altissima
Umbrella Tree Schefflera Actinophylla
Wild Tobacco Tree Solanum Mauritianum
Willow Salix Spp.
Yellow Bells

Tecoma Stans

You will need approval if:

  • The tree(s) is not on Councils Exemption List
  • The proposed clearing is on land with an Environmental Protection Zoning under Council's Local Environment Plan
  • Your clearing is not permitted under The Native Vegetation Act 2003
  • You have Threatened Species, an 88b Planning Restriction on the title for conservation purposes, a Biobanking site or Endangered Ecological Community
  • If the clearing is on slopes greater than 15 degrees
  • In a water course
  • Or if the removal activity is pre-empting another activity such as agriculture or a residential dwelling or shed etc.

You may also need consent for tree removal if you are planning on constructing a driveway where established trees already exist. To find out more about tree removal for the construction of driveways please click here.

You must complete an application form and pay the relevant fee to get a permit for removal of 1-5 trees. The fees are in accordance with Council's fees and charges, which are updated each financial year.

The completed form with the Owners consent and payment must be submitted to Council and will be assessed within 14 business days.

It is recommended that you submit any supporting documentation along with your application such as photos, reports etc.

If your application is refused you can lodge an appeal through Council or the Land and Environment Court.


Request for permission to remove dead, dying or dangerous trees

Tree removal permit



Development applications for tree or other vegetation removal should include the following information:

  • A completed Development Application form signed by the property owner
  • Five copies of the site plan accurately showing scale, north point, the dimensions of the property, the location of all vegetation on the property and the extent of tree clearance for which approval is being sought
  • Payment of the Development Application fee in accordance with Council's Fees and Charges
  • Please Note: An Arborist report or a Flora and Fauna Survey may be required following an initial inspection by Council's Environmental Officer.



Any person that undertakes or authorises tree clearance that contravenes the provisions of the Tree Preservation Order shall be guilty of an offence against the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and will be liable to prosecution.

A person found guilty of an offence against the Act shall be liable to a penalty. In addition to a penalty, a person found guilty of an offence may be required to plant new trees and vegetation, and maintain them to a mature growth.

If you are concerned about a tree that appears to be dangerous, Council recommends that you contact either a consulting arborist or tree surgeon to inspect the tree and remove it if needed. A tree is exempt from requiring approval if a consulting arborist or Council identifies it as an imminent hazard or risk.

Council always recommends you take a photo or have some supporting evidence for trees that are removed in this manner. This is to ensure you are not liable for a fine if the tree was proven to be in good health.

If it is found that the tree does not pose an immediate hazard you may apply for an exemption, permit or Development Application from Council for its removal.

If the dangerous tree is on Council property (including on nature strips), please make a Customer Request to Council.

In the circumstance where a tree has fully or partially failed and is presenting a risk to persons or property, or is blocking access; the SES may be able to assist. The SES can be contacted on 13 25 00.

You will need consent to remove trees if they don't meet Council's exemption criteria.

If the trees do not meet Council's exemption criteria, it is required that you get consent for the removal of the trees as part of the application for the building activity (e.g. building a shed). This can be obtained through a Complying Development Certificate or Development Application, depending on the size of the trees in question.

Rural properties may have some exemptions under the Native Vegetation Act and can be obtained through Local Land Services.

Please Note:
  • Council cannot accept tree or vegetation removal applications for the purpose of clearing for property resale value or to preempt future building.
  • Clearance of bushland areas, including understory plants and shrubs will also require consent and unauthorised clearing may incur fines.


Council's Duty Planners between 8am and 12pm Monday to Friday on 4677 1100 for inquiries relating to tree removal for building purposes.

Assessment of the removal of the tree will normally occur as part of the overall assessment of the Development Application. However, a separate application can occur through the TR10 application if there are safety concerns associated with the tree.

Technically a response regarding your TR10 application should be provided within 10 working days; however, this can vary depending on the number of applications Council has received. If you have concerns about your safety from a falling tree please contact an arborist or if your concerns are more immediate and you believe the tree is about to fall you can contact the State Emergency Services on 132 500.

Council recommends that trees approved under this approach are removed within 12 months of receiving approval from Council. 

If your Request for Permission to Remove a Dead, Dying or Dangerous Tree (TR10) application is refused you can apply for a Tree Removal Permit or submit a Development Application for removal of the tree. Alternatively, if the tree continues to deteriorate you can resubmit a Permission to Remove a Dead, Dying or Dangerous Tree (TR10) application.

If your Development Application is refused you may appeal the decision in the Land and Environment Court.

No you do not need to be home when the inspection is taking place. However, clearly marking the tree that requires inspection with some paint or a ribbon will assist Council with it's assessment of the tree.