Removing trees in Sydney requires careful adherence to specific regulations. Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner or property manager, understanding these regulations is crucial before you take the decision to remove or prune a tree. 

Our guide below will walk you through the essential steps and considerations for legally and safely removing trees in Sydney.

What to Know Before Planning Tree Removal?

Before proceeding with tree removal, consider the following steps to ensure a smooth and compliant process:

  • Assessment: Have the tree assessed by a qualified arborist to determine its health, significance and whether it’s protected.
  • Permit Application: If required, submit a permit application to your local council, including all necessary documentation and fees.
  • Neighbour Notification: Inform your neighbours about the planned tree removal, especially if the tree is near property boundaries.
  • Safety Measures: Ensure tree removal in Sydney is done safely, with appropriate measures to protect property and the public.

Tree Cutting Regulations in Sydney

First and foremost, determine whether the tree you wish to prune or remove is protected. Trees may be protected for various reasons, including heritage significance or their contribution to the local ecosystem. 

The City of Sydney’s development control plan outlines which trees are protected and the criteria for their protection. These regulations help protect significant heritage and native trees, contributing to the city’s environmental sustainability and aesthetic appeal.

Heritage-listed trees typically require development consent for any work, while others may only need a permit. However, some trees are exempt and can be pruned or removed without a permit, especially if they are dead, dying, or threatening human life or substantial property.

When Do You Need a Permit?

Applying for a Permit or Development Consent

You must apply for a permit or development consent if your tree is not exempt. The process involves applying and paying a fee. It’s important to note that even pruning branches overhanging from a neighbour’s tree may require an application; while a neighbour’s permission is not needed, it’s courteous to inform them.

Hiring a Qualified Arborist

Hiring a qualified arborist with a minimum Cert III in Arboriculture is essential for any tree work. This ensures the job is done safely and follows the Australian Standard for Pruning Amenity Trees (AS4373). Poorly executed tree work can cause irreparable damage to the tree and potentially lead to penalties for non-compliance with the permit conditions.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Removing or pruning trees without the necessary permits or consent can lead to significant penalties. Depending on the severity of the offence, penalties can range from a penalty infringement notice to prosecution in the local court or the Land and Environment Court, with maximum penalties of up to $2 million for companies and $500,000 for individuals.

If Your Permit is Refused

If your permit application is refused, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court within three months. It’s essential to understand the reasons for the refusal and consider whether modifying your application could address any concerns the City of Sydney raises.

Tree Removal Services in Sydney

Tree removal in Sydney requires careful consideration of local regulations, a clear understanding of the permit process, and the engagement of professional services to ensure compliance and safety. By following these guidelines, property owners can navigate the tree removal process effectively, contributing to the preservation of Sydney’s urban forest and community safety.

If you’re considering tree removal and need expert advice or services, don’t hesitate to contact Artview Landscapes. Our team of qualified arborists and tree care professionals is here to assist you with all your tree removal needs, ensuring compliance with local regulations and the safety of your property and the community.

2024-04-08T20:58:16+10:00April 5th, 2024|