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What You Need To Know Before Removing a Tree From Your Property

There will be a time that you’ll need to do pruning or tree removal on your property. We understand that you have to perform those tasks for dozens of reasons. But do you know you can’t just remove trees whenever you want? 

You must know and understand laws and codes for you to perform tree removal in NSW. Tree removal is regulated in New South Wales. There are several factors to consider before you are allowed to remove a tree – even if it is in your own backyard. 

Failing to identify the factors and situations that can get you in trouble is something you should avoid. Don’t worry. We’re here to help you.

Let this article be your guide and resource when planning to do pruning and tree removal in NSW.

Reasons Why You Should Do Tree Removal

We’ve mentioned above that you want to cut or remove your trees for various reasons. However, these reasons for cutting down trees, lopping, and major pruning must undergo an informed process. It should be clear that state and local laws do not allow indiscriminate tree removal.  

Here are some valid reasons why you should do tree removal:

  • People, animals, and property around the tree are at risk.
  • The tree is infested with pests, sick or dying.
  • The tree is already dead.
  • You need to build new structures or do renovations on your property.

How Much Do Tree Removal Services Cost

The cost of tree removal services may vary. Some factors can greatly influence the pricing of these services. Listed below are factors where the pricing of tree removal services is usually based;

  • The location of the tree
  • The access from the main road to the tree
  • Safety and environmental factors that can affect the tree removal process
  • The size and span of the branches of the tree
  • Logistics required (Equipment, manpower, skill level)
  • Stump grinding fees

The average range of tree removal services in New South Wales ranges from $300-$700.

Laws and Regulations on Tree Removal and Pruning in New South Wales

If you’re a resident of New South Wales, it’s important to know about some of the state’s laws and regulations about tree removal.

The rules regarding tree removal differ from council to council. However, each and every legislation covering this topic are patterned after Local Environment Plans (LEPs) and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Most of the time, you will need approval council before removing any tree from your property.

Now that we’ve covered the general rule let’s proceed to some specific laws for special situations.

Environmental Heritage Item 

Some species of trees have significant value in history and heritage or are endangered, so it is strictly prohibited to cut them down. If you own a Graveside Gorge Acacia a Velvety Spiral Pod Wattle, or any species of eucalyptus, then you’re out of luck. These are protected trees and you’re not allowed to remove them.

Regulated Trees

Trees that are huge and really old, regardless of their species, are treated and declared as regulated trees. 

Regulated trees have the following characteristics:

  • Trees that are at least 12 metres high.
  • Trunks with at least 1.5 metres circumference measured 1 metre from the ground.
  • Trees with a canopy spreading at least 12 metres.

Significant Tree Register

If your tree is listed in the Significant Tree Register, you must request to remove it from the list. You should do this before applying for a permit to remove it from your property. 

Note: For Registered and Regulated Trees, a permit is not required for minor pruning. Anything more than minor pruning would require securing a permit from your local council.

10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme

The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme provides NSW residents the right to clear vegetation like bushes and trees within 10 to 50 metres from their home. 

If the 10/50 Vegetation Scheme applies to you, approval from local authorities to remove the trees will not be necessary.

This law is part of the safety measures implemented by the NSW Government to protect the public from forest fires.

Situations Where You are Allowed to Remove Trees Without Getting Persecuted

Here are situations where you can treat trees as “fair game” and can remove them without the need for permits or fear of persecution:

  • Any declared pest plant
  • Any tree that is within 20 metres from your dwelling in a medium to high-risk bushfire area.
  • Any tree that falls under the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Rule.

Final Thoughts

A few hiccups and implications can occur if you decide to remove a tree from your property. Special permits are needed, the species of the tree you want to be removed is a factor, and you need professional advice and assistance when planning to do tree removal.

What do you think about the information presented in this article? Share your thoughts.

Trees Down Under