See a list of common questions in regards to the Tree Management Application.
Lodging a Tree Management Application
When is a Tree Management Application Needed?
You must complete a Tree Management Application (linked below) and pay the relevant fee to get a permit for managing trees. The fees are in accordance with Council's fees and charges (updated each financial year).
You will need approval if:
- The tree(s) is not on Councils Exemption List (See FAQ's below for full list)
- The proposed clearing is on land with an Environmental Protection Zoning under Council's Local Environment Plan
- Your clearing is not permitted under State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in non rural areas) 2017
- You have Threatened Species, 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.
How Long Does a Permit Last?
Tree Management Permits are valid for 12 (twelve) months from date of issue.
When Should You Hear Back?
The completed form with the owner's consent and payment must be submitted to Council and will be assessed within 14 business days. This can vary depending on the number Council has received. Delays may occur due to storms and other emergencies, residents should contact councils customer service on (02) 4677 1100 if they would like to know how their application is proceeding.
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.
If Your Application is Refused
If your application is refused you can lodge an appeal through Council or the Land and Environment Court.
Are You Developing and Wish to Remove a Tree?
Tree Management Forms cannot be used to remove trees for the purposes of development.
If you wish to remove trees for development you will need to lodge a Development Application Form. Tree removal will be assessed as part of the development application process.
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.
Download Tree Management Application Forms:
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are concerned about a tree that appears to be dangerous, Council recommends that you contact either a consulting arborist to inspect the tree and remove it if posing imminent danger. A tree is exempt from requiring approval if a consulting level 5 arborist or Council Officer identifies it as an imminent hazard or risk.
Council requires you take a photo(s) with supporting evidence for trees that are removed in this manner. This evidence must be submitted with a valid Tree Management Application after the tree removal. 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.
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.
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.
There is a tree on my property, that is being assessed as part of my Development Application. Do I need to separately request to remove the tree?
No, assessment of the removal of the tree will normally occur as part of the overall assessment of the Development Application.
Removal of a tree or vegetation that is declared a weed regional significance by the NSW Government under the Biosecurity Act 2015 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|
|Chinese Celtis||Celtis Sinensis|
|Cocos Palm/Queen Palm||Syagrus Romanzoffiana|
|Cootamundra Wattle||Acacia Baileyana|
|Coral Tree||Erythrina x Sykesii|
|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|
|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|