While trees on the Nature Strip play a significant role in neighborhoods, they can become a nuisance. They can sometimes be dangerous. And if this is the case, can you trim or remove them?
No, you cannot trim or remove trees on the Nature Strip. This is because it is illegal. The Nature Strip is part of public land, and the only people allowed to perform any tree care work on the Nature Strip are people or services authorized by the Council. And in most cases, councils prefer to do any tree maintenance work independently.
Here is what you should know.
The nature strip belongs to the public. This means that it is under the care of your local council. They have the authority and power to plant trees and carry out any maintenance on the trees on the Nature Strip.
Therefore, unless you get express written permission from the Council in your area, you shouldn’t attempt to trim or remove any tree from the area. If you attempt to do so, you will be breaking the law. And you can be fined for it.
What should you do if a tree on the nature strip needs trimming or removal?
If you feel that a tree should be removed or trimmed, there is only one thing that you can do: ask the council to remove or trim it.
Contact the council
The first thing that you should do is to contact your local council. You can do this by:
- visiting their website and filling out a form specifically designed for tree removal or tree trimming requests
- writing them an email using their official contact email
- calling them
- visiting their offices and submitting an in-person request
Make an official request
Your request should always be accompanied by:
- An official “ask” for tree work to be done
- Reasons why the tree in question needs to be trimmed or removed
- Evidence supporting your request. This can be a photograph or a video of the status of the tree. It should be clear enough and be able to show why your request is valid
- Your contact information. This will be needed in case they need further details
After submitting your request, all that remains is to wait.
The relevant authority will come to the area, assess the tree individually, and then make a decision on whether it should be removed.
However, just because you have requested that they remove or trim a tree doesn’t mean that they will do it.
They may not honor your request
In fact, in most cases, they don’t honor such requests.
This is because most requests do not meet their threshold, especially when they consider the benefits of taking action against the effect that such removal or trimming will have on the environment, neighborhood, and the tree’s health.
What this means is that your request for tree work is likely to get denied if you are planning on requesting removal or trimming because:
- The tree is shedding a lot of leaves and branches on your property
- The tree is blocking pipes — this is so mainly because it often has little to do with the tree and more to do with faulty plumbing like a burst pipe
- The tree is resulting in hay fever. This has nothing to do with the tree because grass is often to blame.
- The tree is too large
When they do honor your request
Cost Calculator for Tree Lopping
When can you trim or remove a tree on the nature strip?
You can remove or trim a tree on the nature strip only after you have gotten a permit from the local council.
It is important to note that just because you apply for a permit does not mean that you will get it.
To get it, you will not only need to provide a good reason as to why you should be allowed to perform any tree care work on the strip but also because your approval will depend on your ability to:
- carry out the work without damaging any utilities like sewerage, water, telecommunication, and power lines.
- carry out the work safely in such a way that people don’t get injured
- carry out the work without interfering, or at least minimizing interference, with the normal functions and activities of the nature strip
What will happen if you trim or remove trees on the Nature Strip?
If you trim a tree that is on the nature strip, you will be breaking the law. As a result, you will be penalized by the Council. This is usually in the form of fines.
In some cases, especially if the act is extreme, you can be cited for a misdemeanor. You may even be charged with the destruction of public property.
Are there times when you are allowed to trim or remove trees on the Nature Strip without a permit?
No, most city councils undertake to do any tree care work on Nature Strips on their own.
Councils typically reserve the right to trim and remove trees in the Nature Strip. They do this because they have qualified experts on their staff, and these experts are often better suited to evaluating whether a tree really needs to be removed or trimmed.
Need for tighter control
By controlling the removal or trimming process, councils ensure that:
- It is done safely in a way that no one is injured and no property is destroyed
- The functioning of the Nature Strip, and the areas surrounding it, are not interfered with
- Trees are only removed when removal is necessary, especially after weighing the choice against the public good
- Utilities aren’t damaged. This includes telecommunications, sewerage, water, and power infrastructure
High impact activity
They don’t allow people to do it because tree care work is impactful. This is because:
- It results in wounds that can act as entry points for pests and disease-causing bacteria
- It often stresses the tree. Therefore, when carried out at the wrong time, or when wrong techniques are used, it can result in poor tree health
- Some tree care maintenance routines, like topping, can have a devastating effect on a tree’s lifespan, and yet some people still practice them. Therefore, to avoid incidences where a tree’s life is compromised, they prefer to have tighter control over the process of caring for and maintaining trees in the Strip
- They usually have enough time, expertise, and resources to get the job done right. And so they prefer to do it themselves
Tree maintenance activities
- Carry out regular inspections to make sure that the trees are in good health and condition
- Carry out inspections when requested in order to determine whether a tree needs removal, trimming, or any other tree work.
- Clear footpaths, crossings, and roads
- Remove dangerous, dying, or dead trees
- Control root growth
- Prevent and treat tree diseases
- Remove weak or fallen
- Branches and limbs
- Water and fertilize the trees
- Removing stumps
- Prune trees to create clearance from street lights, power lines, street signage, and traffic signals.
Can you plant your own trees in the Nature Strip?
Yes, you can plant your own trees in the nature strip. Some Councils give you the freedom to choose which trees to plant. Others are restrictive and outline the trees that you can or can’t plant.
However, you can’t just plant trees on the Nature Strip whenever you want. Before doing so, you will need to get permission from the local authority in your area. This usually involves applying for a permit.
Use this free service to find a tree expert near you
If you need help taking care of your trees, or figuring out what you can or can’t do on a Nature Strip, GoTreeQuotes.com offers a free service that quickly matches you with the top-voted local experts in your area.
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- You scroll to the top of the page and enter your Zip code.
- Answer questions about your tree care needs
- Your details will be forwarded to three local experts.
- You will then receive a price estimate for the job and some friendly advice.
IMPORTANT: There is no obligation to hire. This is a free tool and service to be used at your pleasure.