Tree removal is an important and often necessary part of home maintenance. Trees, while beautiful and beneficial to the environment, can also pose a threat to your property, pets, or even yourself if they become diseased or unstable. In New South Wales (NSW) there are a variety of tree removal regulations that you must adhere to in order to stay in compliance with the law.
This guide will provide detailed information about NSW's tree removal laws and regulations, as well what you should expect from the process itself. We'll cover topics such as who can legally remove a tree and when; special circumstances like overhanging branches; reasons why trees may need to be removed; understanding the various costs involved; how to find a reliable tree removal service; and safety tips for the process.
By following this guide, you can be sure that you are taking all of the necessary steps to safely and legally remove a tree from your property. Let's begin by looking at the various regulations in NSW when it comes to tree removal.
What To Know Before Removing a Tree In NSW
Trees can be cut at any time of year, but it’s generally best to avoid cutting during the bird breeding season as this is when many birds will be nesting in trees. It's also recommended to avoid cutting down trees in wet conditions.
Which trees are protected in NSW?
Before removing a tree in New South Wales, there are some important things to know. First and foremost, it is important to remember that trees have laws and regulations in place to protect them. The Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH) has a Tree Protection Act which is designed to ensure the preservation of trees in NSW and other areas of Australia.
Under this act, all types of tree protection orders can be issued by the OEH or local councils. A Tree Preservation Order (TPO) requires permission from either the OEH or your local council before any works on protected trees can take place. It is also possible for a Local Environment Plan (LEP) to name certain species of trees as significant and therefore require further protection.
Even if you do not require a TPO or LEP, prior to removing any tree it is important to make certain that it is allowed and suitable to work on. For example, some types of trees are protected by State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) including but not limited to: Koalas and their habitat; Blackbutt trees; Significant vegetation in urban areas; and Mixed Species Old Growth Forests.
When considering the removal of a tree make sure to contact your local council for advice. They may request that you submit an arborist report before approving the job, as well as provide guidance on the relevant Tree Protection Act regulations from OEH. It’s also important to note that nearby power lines may restrict the type of works that can be done and should always be taken into consideration before removing a tree in NSW.
If you are ever unsure or need help, contact your local council or an arborist for advice before commencing any work on trees. Doing so will ensure the safety of all involved and reduce the chance of facing penalties from either the OEH or local council through noncompliance with tree protection laws.
Prioritising Safety: The Need for Tree Removal
Tree removal is an important process in Australia for a variety of reasons. Trees play a vital role in the environment, providing shade, habitat for wildlife and helping to regulate temperatures. However, if trees become overgrown or diseased they can pose a significant risk to people and property. Removing these hazardous trees helps protect public safety while ensuring that healthy trees are left to continue playing their vital role in the environment.
Dangerous trees can cause significant damage if they fall onto buildings, roads and power lines. They can also pose a risk to people if their branches become weak and break off in high winds or storms. Tree removal services provide an invaluable service in Australia by removing these hazardous trees and helping ensure public safety. This process is often complex, as different species have different requirements when it comes to pruning or removal. Professional tree removers are experienced at assessing the situation and determining the most suitable method for removing the trees safely without causing damage to surrounding property.
Tree removal in NSW is governed by various laws and regulations, including the Local Government Act, the National Parks and Wildlife Act, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. Depending on the tree's location, size, and species, a permit may be required from the local government before removal can take place. It is important to understand the local regulations and obtain necessary permits to ensure compliance and avoid fines. Not following the regulations can result in fines, penalties, or even legal action. Additionally, it can be a criminal offence to remove a tree without permission in certain protected areas, therefore before removing any tree, it is important to check with the local council to understand the regulations. Not all trees are created equal, they each have different laws, so it is essential to be familiar with the regulations that apply to the specific tree you want to remove.
The Tree Removal Process
The tree removal process in Australia is a complex one and requires professional guidance. When it comes to tree removal, there are various factors that need to be considered including the size of the tree, its roots, the type of soil and the surrounding area. It is important to get qualified advice from an experienced arborist before deciding whether or not to remove a tree from your property.
In most cases, trees can be removed without any major problems if they have been properly maintained and cared for over time. However, depending on the location and species of tree, as well as local laws in regards to conservation and wildlife protection, some trees may require permits for their removal or you may even need special permission granted by the relevant authorities.The first step in the tree removal process is to assess the size of the tree, as well as its location and any potential hazards. Trees with long branches or those that are close to power lines, homes or other buildings may need additional measures taken when removing them.
Once this assessment is complete, it's time to move onto planning the actual tree removal. Depending on the size and complexity of the job, it's possible for a qualified arborist to do this themselves or you may need to hire a professional team for larger jobs. This team will use specialised tools like chippers, chainsaws and cranes as needed during the tree removal process.
Overview of the tree removal process
The best way to dispose of tree waste is to take it to your local landfill, transfer station, or green waste recycling centre. You can also use it as mulch or firewood, but it’s important to check with your local council first as some councils have restrictions in place.
Can you claim tree removal on your taxes?
Generally, you can't claim tree removal on your taxes. However, there may be some exceptions, such as if the tree was removed for medical reasons or if the tree was a hazard. If you're not sure whether you can claim tree removal on your taxes, you should check with a tax professional.
Is tree removal covered by insurance?
Tree removal is generally not covered by insurance. However, there may be some exceptions, such as if the tree was removed for medical reasons or if the tree was a hazard. If you're not sure whether tree removal is covered by your insurance policy, you should check with your insurer.
Will insurance cover dead tree removal?
Dead tree removal is the responsibility of the property owner. However, there may be some exceptions, such as if the tree was removed for medical reasons or if the tree was a hazard. If you're not sure whether your insurance policy will cover dead tree removal, you should check with your insurer.
Can I remove a tree without permission?
You can remove a small tree without approval if it meets the following criteria:
- The tree is not listed as a protected species.
- The tree is not located in a conservation area.
- The tree is not located on council land.
- The tree is not causing damage to property or posing a risk to public safety.
If you’re planning on removing a large tree, it’s best to hire a professional tree lopper as they will have the experience and equipment necessary to remove the tree safely.
What happens if I remove a tree without approval?
The penalties for illegal tree removal can vary depending on the type of tree and its location. The Land and Environment Court can impose fines of up to $1.1 million as the maximum penalty for illegally removing a tree. This includes but is not limited to:
- Removing a protected tree without approval.
- Destroying habitat for a threatened species.
- Damaging aboriginal heritage.
- You may also be required to replant the tree or pay for its replacement and maintain them until they mature.
Tree removal regulations NSW
It’s important to be aware of the tree removal regulations in NSW before you remove any trees from your property. These regulations are in place to protect our environment and ensure that trees are removed safely.
When removing a tree, you need to consider the type of tree, its location and whether it’s protected. If you’re unsure about the regulations, it’s always best to check with your local council before proceeding.
Type of tree
The type of tree will determine whether you need approval from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to remove it. Generally, you won’t need the approval to remove a small tree that is not listed as a protected species. However, you will need the approval to remove a large tree or a protected species.
Location of the tree
The location of the tree will also determine whether you need approval from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to remove it. If the tree is located in a conservation area or on council land, you will need the approval to remove it.
Some trees are protected by law and cannot be removed without approval from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. These include but are not limited to: Eucalyptus species, Acacia species, Banksia species, Corymbia species & Angophora species.
If you’re unsure whether a tree is protected, you can check the NSW Government’s list of protected trees.
If you need the approval to remove a tree, you can apply online through the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s website. The application process can take up to 8 weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead.