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10/50 Tree Removal/Vegetation Code of Practice

It is crucial for people residing near the forests and rural areas of New South Wales to secure their property against bushfires and similar incidents, especially during summer.

That’s why it is important to understand NSW’s 10/50 code of practice when possibly considering removing trees from your property. Following the 10/50 process will pay off in the long run, as it’s streamlined by the NSW Rural Fire Service as one way to protect your home from the bushfire season.

That said, we’ll break down and simplify the 10/50 vegetation clearing scheme and how you can implement it at home.

Removing Vegetation Without Government Permits

The 10/50 vegetation clearing legislation entitles landowners to cut down and remove trees and vegetation without council permits. It’s worth noting the rule applies to all properties within bushfire zones and those that meet the 10 to 50-metre criteria.

Establishments Covered by the 10/50 Rule

According to the legislation, the 10/50 vegetation clearing scheme covers the outer walls of residential and accommodation buildings. These also include manufactured houses, caravans, and living quarters.

The 10/50 rule also covers institutions such as nurseries, schools, and hospitals, requiring them to control and mitigate the vegetation around the facilities.

How to Implement the 10/50 Rule?

The rule requires you to measure 10 to 50 metres perpendicular to the building in question, for starters. If you have adjacent establishments such as a garage or deck, then begin measuring from their outer walls.

However, garages and decks located far from the populated buildings should not be included in the 10/50 rule. Keep in mind that the rule only takes place in populated facilities approved by any legally recognised personalities or authorities. Otherwise, the said rule will not apply.

10/50 vegetation clearing

Reference: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/1050-vegetation-clearing

Vegetation Covered in the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Rule

The 10/50 rule includes taking down trees and vegetation. You could be asking what exactly could be counted as ‘vegetation’? Don’t worry, many of our customers ask the same thing. We will cover it all below!

What’s technically considered a tree or vegetation?

Firstly, the 10/50 vegetation clearing defines trees as any permanent wooden plants located within the vicinity.

A tree should also have a single stem that reaches at least three metres in length with a chest-height circumference of above 30 centimetres.

Following the definition, we do not consider shrubs as trees under the rule. That said, any low-growing plants with small branches and vines are not included under the ten-metre rule, but any shrubs within a 50-metre radius are subject to removal.

The vegetation clearing rule only allows any facility to prune and cut down trees within a ten-metre radius. Nevertheless, when lopping and cutting a tree, it’s crucial to ensure a safe and efficient process.

For your tree pruning and removal, Trees Down Under streamlines a time-tested and reliable service to clear your establishment from unwanted vegetation. We will follow the regulations and policies indicated in the 10/50 legislation to ensure that we violate no environmental policies.

10/50 Rule: Other Points to Consider

When planning your building’s 10/50 vegetation clearing scheme, do not include the trees erected on slopes, regardless of the slope angle. That’s because the tree’s root system holds the soil together and prevents erosion. 

If you don’t own the property (i.e., leasing or renting it), you’ll need the landowner’s approval and directives before you can implement the 10/50 vegetation clearing under the entitlement area rule.

Furthermore, the rule gives you a broad range of clearing methods you prefer, as long as you don’t use heavy equipment and procedures that alter the natural soil profile. That includes using graders and bulldozers or ploughing the leveled soil throughout the clearing operation.

Besides, clearing trees and foliage via burning is strictly prohibited. That’s why our arborists at Trees Down Under use safety gears and equipment to cut down any tree from top to bottom.

The rule also prohibits people from removing vegetation within a heritage site or about ten metres of a prescribed fire/peak streamflow. To determine whether there are prescribed streams or heritage areas near your site, feel free to use the official online tool from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

10/50 Vegetation Clearing Rule Restrictions

As discussed, any aboriginal land, slopes, or cultural heritage sites are restricted from the vegetation clearing rule. 

Keep in mind that the rule applies only on properties within a 10 to 50-metre radius entitlement area, be it public or private property.

Who Can Implement the 10/50 Rule?

According to the legislation, only the landowner has directives and jurisdiction to clear vegetation within the specified radius.

For renters and tenants, you’ll need a written and legal direction from your landowner. Otherwise, any environmental violation won’t be covered under the ruling.

If you’re still unsure whether your property will fall under the 10/50 rule, feel free to reach out to our experts. We will be able to provide expertise, as well as provide any services required to help you safely and efficiently remove any unwanted trees in your property.

Trees Down Under