Do I need permission to lop or remove a tree on my land?
You need to contact the Council before cutting, damaging or removing any trees on your land.
You will require a planning permit for tree removal, unless a tree is; close to a house; causing a fire risk; causing a problem with drains or diseased. If the trees are a risk or diseased you still need to have the removal certified by a suitably qualified practitioner and evidence supplied to Council PRIOR to undertaking the removal.
If you are removing a tree or trees as part of a development application you need to indicate the locations of the tree or trees on your site plans. Council officers will decide whether the trees should be removed or not in their overall assessment of the development.
What if my property is classified "Landslip"?
There is no vegetation removal allowed in the Landslip area without prior approval of council Permit Authority. Contact Council to discuss further.
Clearing large numbers of trees
You are required under the Forest Practices Act 1985 to obtain a Forest Practices Plan, if:
- you are clearing more than 1 hectare of trees or 100 tonnes of timber for any purpose, and
- those trees are over 5 meters high in height, or
- tree ferns are being cleared,
These are assessed and issued by the Forest Practices Board and are completely separate from any council approval, however these plans may be submitted to Council if a planning permit is required.
If you are clearing 'vulnerable land' you must always first obtain a Forest Practices Plan, regardless of the size of the area. Vulnerable land is defined in the Forest Practices Regulations 1997 as land:
- More than 800m above sea level
- Within 40m of a watercourse
- Having a slope of more than 26 degrees
- Within 2Km upstream of a water supply intake
- That is habitat for threatened species, as defined under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.
Can I get a tree lopped or removed from my neighbour's property?
Councils do not generally get involved in negotiations between neighbours regarding trees. It is up to you to talk to your neighbour and work out a mutually acceptable solution.
If your neighbour decides they do want to remove a tree they also need to apply to Council for permission by contacting the Planning Department on 03 63 767 900.
Can I get a tree lopped or removed from Council land?
You will need to submit a written request to the Council, stating where the tree is and what the issue is. Someone from the Council will inspect the tree and if a decision is made that the tree is unsafe or diseased, council will organise to remove it.
Are there significant trees in my area and what does that mean?
Yes, Break O'Day Council has a Significant Tree Register.
Contact the Council on (03) 6376 7900 to find out further information.
Can I object to a tree being removed?
It is possible to object and also to appeal council's decision, if:
- A planning permit is required to remove a tree and the application is advertised, or
- The tree or trees are part of a larger development proposal which is advertised.
If you object, you must do so to the council within fourteen days of the development proposal being advertised.
If you wish to appeal council's decision, you must: have already lodged an objection within the specified time and submit your appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT) within 14 days of receiving notice of Councils decision.
What about tree roots and drains?
Tree roots can be aggressive and can often exert pressure on buildings, footpaths, fences and pipes. Existing cracks in pipes allow root invasion, as tree roots will seek out sources of moisture and nutrients.
Under the Local Government Act 1993 councils 'by notice in writing served on the owner or occupier of land, may require the owner or occupier to cut the roots of a tree or bush, the roots of which are interfering with any building or structure on or under other land' (part 12, Section 184).
Pouring herbicides down blocked drains will not clear the roots but will almost certainly result in pollution problems and will kill the tree. Find out where the drains and pipes are on your property before planting trees. Many Council's have information about trees to avoid near drains. Plans of public and private drains can be viewed at the Council, please contact on (03) 6376 7900 for further information.