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 (see FAQ's below for full list of exempt trees).
If your tree is not exempt and you still wish to remove it, you will need to submit a Development Application.
If You're Developing
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. Tree removal will be assessed as part of the development application process.
Tree Management Application
Visit our Tree Management Application page for further details.
About Lodging a Tree Management Application
To find out more about lodging a tree management application visit our Tree Management Application page.
If you wish to plant trees on your private property you do not require approval to do so.
Our Community Nursery provides five free native plants to residents per year. See our Community Nursery page for further information.
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.
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.
Please contact Council if you have a dead tree that you wish to remove.
A permit or approval is not required to remove a tree that is dead or dying if Council is satisfied that:
- the tree is dead or dying; and
- the tree is not required as the habitat of native animals
The Vegetation SEPP identifies that either Council or the Native Vegetation Panel may be the decision maker for this exemption (clause 8(2)).
I have trees on my property that I want to remove to build a shed, garage port, granny flat etc. What do I do?
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.
- 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.
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|
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 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.