Individual Tree Removal

Overview

Information on this page is accurate at the time of publishing, however is subject to change as further information becomes available on the processes and responsibilities under the NSW Biodiversity Law Reforms.

Have you Checked?

Before proceeding to use the information on this page, you MUST have confirmed that Council is the agency who will handle your application.

If you have not confirmed this, click here: Tree and Vegetation Clearing on Private Land for further information on how to confirm that you can apply to Council.

This page provides you with information on submitting an application to Council (where Council is the approval agency) to remove one or more individual trees which may require approval on your property.

Do you need a vegetation clearing permit from Council?

Work your way through the following questions to determine:

  • If you can apply for a Vegetation Clearing Permit under the new NSW Government Legislation; or
  • If your proposed tree / vegetation removal is Exempt from a Permit; or
  • If you need to contact Council for more guidance.

If you are only proposing to undertake pruning, check out tree pruning to see if you need a permit – otherwise, take the following quick seven question quiz:

Question 1

Is your tree or vegetation removal part of, or related to, a development application (e.g. Subdivision; new or modified building works etc) ?

If Yes, click to expand for guidance, if No, go to next question

Your tree / vegetation proposal will only be considered as part of a wider development application. Please contact Council on (02) 4868-0888 to discuss your proposal with the Duty Planner, visit Council’s Customer Service desk or our Development webpage.

You cannot apply for a vegetation clearing permit.

 

 

Question 2

Is your tree dead or dying?

Dead -  Means a tree that is no longer capable of performing any of the following processes:

  1. Photosynthesis via its foliage crown (as indicated by the presence of moist, green or other coloured leaves);
  2. Osmosis (the ability of the roots system to take up water); 
  3. Turgidity (the ability of the plant to hold moisture in its cells);
  4. Epicormic shoots (the production of new shoots as a response to stress, generated from buds under the bark or from a lignotuber – at ground or underground stem).

Dying - Means a tree that is exhibiting any of the following symptoms:

  1. Permanent leaf loss in both deciduous and evergreen plants;
  2. Permanent wilting (the loss of turgidity which is marked by drying out of stems, leaves and roots):
  3. Shedding of the epidermis (bark dries out and peels off to the beginning of the sapwood).

If Yes, click to expand for guidance, if No, go to next question

Under the new NSW Government Legislation, Council must be satisfied that the tree is dead or dying and is not required as the habitat of native animals.

To satisfy this requirement, you must first request an Exemption from Council’s Tree and Vegetation Assessment officer by way of a written / email request and provide photographic evidence in the form of at least 2 colour photographs.

If your tree meets the following definition of Dead or Dying, email your request for an exemption to mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au

You cannot apply for a vegetation clearing permit.

 

Question 3

Is your tree at imminent risk of falling?

If Yes, click to expand for guidance, if No, go to Question 4 on the next page

Council needs to be satisfied that the tree poses an immediate threat of failing which would endanger person or property.

To satisfy this requirement, you must first request an Exemption from Council’s Tree and Vegetation Assessment officer by way of a written / email request to mail@wsc.nsw.gov.au including:

  • A report from an AQF Level 5 Consulting Arborist; or 
  • Detailed photographic evidence.

 

Question 4

Is your tree on a Heritage Listed property or within a Heritage Conservation Area?

If Yes, Expand for Guidance, if No go to next question

If Yes, Expand for Guidance, if No go to next question

You cannot apply for a vegetation clearing permit.

Please contact Council on 02 4868 0888 to discuss your proposal with the Duty Planner, visit Council’s Customer Service desk or our Development section.

 

Question 5

Is your tree greater than 6m in height and circumference of at least 500mm at a height of 1 metre above the ground?

If No, click to expand for guidance, if Yes, got to next question

A TREX exemption needs to be applied for.

 

 

Question 6

Is the tree within 3m of the foundation walls of an approved habitable building or in-ground pool on the same parcel of land?

If Yes, click to expand for guidance, if No, go to next question

A TREX exemption needs to be applied for.

 

 

Question 7

Is the tree on Council’s Environment Weed List?

Please check the following list to see if your tree is listed as an environmental weed:

 

If Yes: 

The tree is Exempt and you do not need to apply to Council for a clearing permit.

If No:

Based on your answers to Questions 1-7, you must submit an application to Council: