Is My Tree Protected? Tree Removal Laws in Australia

Is My Tree Protected? Tree Removal Laws in Australia

You look out into your backyard, and there is another layer of leaves floating in the pool. No matter how often you skim them out, they’re always back before you know it.

Or maybe, you’ve been eying a particular corner of your backyard to build a shed, and it would be perfect if it weren’t for that one tree right in the middle of it.

Before you start planning to remove them, you should know that there are laws that protect many trees in NSW, so before you call up a local tree pruning service, you should understand how they work.

What Do Tree Removal Laws Do?

Tree removal laws are designed to stop people from removing trees, even on their own property, before receiving the appropriate permissions.

This helps to protect biologically and ecologically significant trees, as well as trees that might have functional or historical importance. Sometimes, trees are more than just trees, and the government of NSW does not want you to remove trees before they’ve been inspected and deemed not significant under one of the legal criteria.

Why Might You Want to Remove a Tree?

Sometimes, trees are just in the way of something you want to do on your property, or they’re a nuisance. Other times, they might be a fire hazard, or they could be causing structural or other kinds of damage.

The laws and regulations are slightly different in each of these cases, but the process stays the same. You will start with a call or visit your local council to apply for tree removal permits.

What Kind of Trees Can’t Be Removed or Trimmed?

The rules and regulations vary slightly depending on where you live and what kind of trees are native to the area. There are also trees that might be included on a significant tree register, either because of their type or because they have historical or another kind of importance. These are trees that you almost certainly will not be able to remove.

Size is also a factor, and you will only be permitted to remove trees that fall within specific size parameters.

What Happens If You Remove Protected Trees?

There could be local and other fines for removing protected trees without permission. These fines start at $5,000 for a first offence, so they definitely are not small. They can also go up to $110,000, just from your local council!

Removing or damaging protected trees can get you into a lot of very expensive trouble. So while it’s always good to use a professional tree pruning service, you should also ensure that you follow all the rules, laws and regulations for your area. Dot the I’s and cross the t’s before you start messing with any trees!