Tree pruning and removal
There are different rules in Moreland around the pruning and removal of a tree that is on Council property, and one that is on private property.
Unauthorised pruning, removal, or suspected poisoning or vandalism of a tree planted on public property is an illegal act, and offenders will be fined under the Council local laws.
On this page:
- Removal of a tree on private property
- Removal of a tree on public property
- How to request the removal of a tree from public property
- Removal of a council tree as part of a property development plan
We encourage residents to retain trees on private property, and to replace trees which are removed.
Planning to prune or remove a tree on private property?
If you are planning on pruning or removing a tree on private property, you may need to apply for a Tree Works permit. This depends on whether the tree is considered to be mature.
Visit our Tree Works permit page for more information on how to apply for this permit.
Trees that are mature cannot be pruned or removed from private property without applying for a permit and gaining Council permission. If your tree is not mature according to council definitions, you do not need a permit to prune or remove your tree from private property.
If you want to prune or remove a mature tree on private property in Moreland, you must first obtain a Tree Works permit from Council.
Determining whether your tree is mature
You can use the table below to find out whether the tree you are looking at pruning or removing is considered to be a mature tree, and therefore cannot be removed without a permit.
|Mature tree||A tree on private property which is greater than 8 metres in height and has a trunk diameter greater than 40 centimetres (measured 1.2 metres from the ground).|
If you are looking to prune more than 15 per cent of the canopy of a mature tree, or remove a mature tree, you will need a Tree Works permit.
A Mature tree is a tree on private property which is greater than 8 metres in height and has a trunk diameter greater than 40 centimetres (measured 1.2 metres from the ground).
Trees protected by a planning permit or an overlay
If a tree on your property is protected through the provisions of a planning permit or an overlay in the Moreland Planning Scheme, you need Council permission before undertaking any works.
See Tree Works permit for further information.
Unauthorised removal of a tree
Unauthorised tree removal or suspected poisoning or vandalism of trees is a serious issue and vigilantly investigated by Council.
Offenders are fined under the Council local laws.
Unauthorised tree removal or suspected poisoning or vandalism of public trees is a serious issue and vigilantly investigated by Council. The fine includes the tree valuation, removal of the tree, if required, tree replacement and maintenance for the initial establishment period.
Preserving existing trees is of prime importance to Council and practical techniques are used to maintain the health of trees in streets, on nature strips, and in open space.
The table below indicates situations where the Council will consider removing a tree, and situations where the Council will not remove a tree.
|Reasons Council will consider removing a tree||Reasons Council will not consider removing a tree|
In the case of allergies being put forward as a reason to remove a tree, medically-verified allergy testing results need to be provided to Council before a request to remove a tree for this reason will be considered.
For blocked pipes and drains, see stormwater drains for information about responsibilities and the reporting process.
For property damage by tree root, see injury or property damage reporting process.
To report an urgent issue, such as a fallen or hanging branch which is dangerous, contact Council by phone on 9240 1111 (24 hours).
If the reason you are requesting removal of a tree is one of the circumstances Council will consider, request removal of a tree through the Council website. Upload a photo of the tree to help us respond to your request. Alternatively, you can contact Council.
After you have reported the issue, a Council arborist may assess the tree or branch. Council notifies you of the outcome if requested.
On occasion, a property development proposal may include removal of a street tree. If this is the case, you must indicate this in the property development plan when applying for a planning permit.
If you neglect to advise Council of a street tree you are proposing to remove by including it in the development plan, you will need to submit a revised planning permit application.
When designing a development plan, you should always consider alternatives that do not require removal of existing street trees.
If Council approves the removal of a Council tree as part of a property development plan, the developer must pay for the cost of tree valuation which includes an amenity value, tree removal and replacement as part of the conditions of permit.
Council calculates the amenity value of council trees using a system developed by the City of Melbourne. The calculated amenity value is a factor of the base value (PDF 349Kb) from trunk diameter, species, aesthetic, location and condition. The calculated amenity value can range from a fraction of the base value to many times the base value.
Council is vigilant about protecting trees in areas where development occurs. Council always enforces protection orders and ensures compliance with conditions of a planning permit.