What You Need To Know Before Removing Trees On Your NSW Property

The same regulations governing tree removal in Sydney, frequently detailed in tree removal reports, typically extend to pruning as well, particularly throughout the Greater Sydney area.

Most councils will have a height restriction on average 5 meters with a trunk diameter of 300mm and crown spread of 4 meters.

The main document is the LEP ( Local Environmental Plan) devised by the state for each council and each council has DCP (Development Control Plan) which contains each councils plans for trees what can and can’t be done and exempt trees not needing permission.

What are the reasons for wanting a tree removed?

There are many reasons to need or want a tree cutting down, pruned or removed on your property, but it is also very important to note that in some cases, you may not be able to.

You see, there are very strict rules when it comes to having a tree removed, all of which depend on the state and local council where you live. This is because there are “protected” trees, which may be incredibly rare or on the verge of extinction, so naturally, their preservation is taken very seriously.

In such instances, obtaining tree reports or DA (Development Application) tree reports can be crucial. These documents assess the impact of the proposed action on the tree and its environment, providing essential information for council decisions.

  • It might be dying, or perhaps already dead
  • It could be pestiferous and diseased, posing a hazard to other surrounding plant life
  • The tree may have been planted in an incorrect or inconvenient position #
  • To clear way for new renovations
  • You are concerned for the safety of you or one of your neighbours

What does it cost to have a tree removed?

There is always the option of felling a tree yourself, but this is something that we do not recommend at all. The best approach is to hire a professional tree removal specialist to assist you. They will have considerable experience and all of the required equipment to pull the job off safely and efficiently. The cost can range anywhere between $500 and $5000, depending on the following factors:

  • Where the tree is located
  • How easy the tree is to get to
  • What sort of precautions need to be taken
  • The size of the tree, how high it is and how far the branches reach
  • Overall removal, transportation and stump grinding fees

Tree removal & pruning rules For New South Wales

It is important to remember that simply for having a tree exist on your property, it does not mean that you are free to do with it as you please. As a matter of fact, if you remove a protected tree from your property without first seeking and receiving approval from your local council, you can get into a lot of trouble, including incurring significant financial fines.

There are native species which are protected throughout the entire country. In addition to that, you will need to provide very specific reasons, typically detailed in an arborist report, to get approval for the removal.

There are certain species which are considered to be pests and are exempt from the tree removal rule. You’re also exempt when pruning, and maintaining protected trees when intervention is in the best interest of the tree’s survival.

Ultimately, each individual council has the final say when approving a tree for removal. This is decided using TPOs and LEPs (tree preservation orders, and local environment plans).

Provided that a tree isn’t significant or “protected” you are free to remove it as you wish. However, it is also worth checking out the significant tree registries before going ahead and having anything removed. Of course, if you’re unsure then you should definitely call for professional advice and assistance.

LEP’s used to identify significant or “protected” trees:

  • The trees historical or Aboriginal importance
  • It’s botanical importance
  • The landscape amenity
  • Functional purposes (e.g., habitat, windbreak etc)

Not only that, but councils will also use tree preservation orders to control what can be done to trees that aren’t protected. It all depends on the way in which the tree impacts the land. As such, your local council does reserve the right to deny the removal of a tree.

All of that said, it is still possible to remove a tree that is protected by TPO’s and LEP’s, under the following circumstances:

  • If the tree is damaged and dead, posing an immediate danger
  • The roots of the tree and interfering with utility lines and pipes
  • The tree is threateningly close to a building
  • If the tree is blocking a boundary between yours and a neighbouring property
  • Branches are overhanging and being a nuisance
  • Certain other conditions provided by your local council

Please do be aware that the current maximum penalty in the local court is $110,000, whilst the Land and Environment Court could charge you up to $1.1 million. In addition to that, if you live in an area that is within proximity to bushland, which is naturally prone to bushfires in extreme heat, you will also have to adhere to the New South Wales Rural Fire Services’ 10/50 vegetation clearing rule.

If you're uncertain about the species of a tree on your property or its conservation status, seeking advice from local arboriculture professionals is a wise move. Consulting arborists excel in pinpointing tree species and are well-versed in the intricacies of local regulations. Should there be concerns about the tree posing a risk to your family's safety, consulting with your local council for additional guidance is recommended.

Concluding this guide to tree removal and pruning rules in New South Wales, it's clear that navigating the complexities of tree management requires expertise and precise knowledge. Whether you're dealing with protected species, pondering the requirements for removal, or ensuring compliance with local regulations, the importance of professional advice cannot be overstated.

At Canopy Tree, we specialize in providing a wide array of tree reports, extending beyond just tree removal to encompass all facets of arboricultural assessment. Our team of qualified professionals is equipped to offer the detailed insights and evaluations necessary for informed decision-making.

If you find yourself in need of expert guidance, whether to decipher the specifics of your local council's regulations or to understand the health and structural integrity of the trees on your property, we are here to help.

For comprehensive tree reports tailored to meet your needs, contact Canopy Tree today. Reach out to us through our contact form or call us directly for prompt and professional service.

Our expertise is your solution for ensuring the health, safety, and compliance of your trees.

things you need to know before removing tree on your property in nsw

Contact Us

    Call 1300 799 540

    Your Full Name (required)

    Your Suburb (required)

    Your Contact Number (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Type of Work (required)