Gosford and Wyong Councils amalgamated several years back to create an all-encompassing Central Coast Council.

Upon amalgamation they have updated the way they protect trees making it little bit harder to remove trees on the central coast.

Below is a summary of what trees you can remove without needing to apply for a permit and in which cases you will need council approval before you proceed.

The new rules in my view are a little silly as even though a tree is exempt from needing a permit, you still do need to lodge a form detailing the tree you are removing.

I guess they will be suing this to double check your claim for exemption status.

Below is a list of the rules for removal or pruning. Under each rule you will find a link to the corresponding form which will need to be submitted before you remove the tree.

  1. The 3m removal rule – The removal or pruning of trees or vegetation located within 3 metres of an existing approved structure, located on the subject or adjoining private land, with the written consent of the landowner(s)
    > Form Download – Trees within 3m removal
  2. Dead trees – The removal of a tree or vegetation on land, which is an allotment less than 1,000m² in area and within a R1, R2 or R3 Residential Zone, that the Council is satisfied is dying or dead.
    > Form Download – Dead tree removal
  3. Undesirable species – The removal of vegetation comprising any of the tree species as detailed within Council’s Undesirable Species List
    > Form Download – Undesirable species removal
  4. Shrubs and bushes – The pruning or removal of non-native shrubs or fruit trees, understorey and groundcover vegetation for the maintenance of lawns and non-native gardens. Removal is limited to a maximum area of 50m² within any 12 month period, to be immediately replaced with effective ground cover plants or material to prevent soil erosion.
    > Form Download – Shrubs and bushes removal
  5. 10% Pruning rule – The pruning of a maximum of 10% of tree foliage area within any 12 month period, and the pruning of dead branches, in accordance with the Australian Standard for Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373-2007).
    (No form requirement)
  6. The 3m pruning rule – Pruning branches within 3 metres of powerlines by an AUSGRID approved contractor, or within 1 metre of telecommunication wires, or where directly overhanging the roofline of an approved structure, in accordance with Australian Standard for Pruning of Amenity Trees (AS4373-2007).
    > Form Download – Trees within 3m pruning
  7. Noxious weeds – Removal or pruning of any weed species listed under Schedule 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, and/or those weeds listed on the Australian Government Department of Environment & Energy website “Weeds in Australia”.
    > Form Download – Weed species removal

Central Coast Council significant tree register

Central Coast Council is currently in the process of developing a significant tree register.

How it will work is residents will nominate trees they feel are iconic or a “specimen” tree for that particular species and it will be taking into consideration for significant tree status.

Heritage tree register

Currently the Central Coast Council has a heritage tree register which residents can nominate trees based on three different levels.

Local heritage – A tree is cultural significance for the local area. An example would be the Henry Kendall Cottage in West Gosford.

State heritage – Would be something of Cultural significance for the state of NSW. e.g. Norah Head Lighthouse.
And above that is world heritage, but it would have to be a tree planted by caption Cook to get that kind of status.

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How to apply for a tree removal permit


Go to the above online form and fill it out to make a formal request for tree removal approval on the Coast.

Central Coast Council contact details

49 Mann Street
Gosford NSW 2250
P. 1300 463 954
E. ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au


2 Hely Street
Wyong NSW 2259
P. 1300 463 954
E. ask@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

Central Coast Tree Preservation order - TPO

The above is a summary for your local Councils tree preservation order. Please follow the link for the full document.



If the tree is question is on council property, they will come out and prune any branches that are encroaching on your property. If the tree is on your property however, you will need to foot the bill. All trees on your property are the responsibility of the owner to maintain.

If the council feels you do not have sufficient grounds to remove the tree they may decide that it should stay. You can then get an arborist report from an independent arborist. If the arborist inspection finds the tree is dangerous, you can then resubmit your application for review. If the tree is protected and healthy, the likelihood of getting approval for removal is slim.

Insurance companies will cover the cost of tree removal if the tree came down in a storm or any other act of nature. They will not cover the removal of a healthy just because you want to cut it down. They will also not cover the removal of a dead tree (died years ago) that finally fell after years of neglect.

There are a few things you need to look for when selecting a tree service to remove your tree. Firstly when doing an internet search you need to have a look at their reviews. If they have too many 1 and 2 star reviews, you need to keep looking. Next you need to do a background check. Go to ABN lookup and type in their company name. Have a look to see how long they have been in business and whether they have changed their trading name recently. When they are out quoting your job you need to ask for an arborist certificate and insurance details.

The average cost of tree removal is $890. Knowing this however does not bring you any closer to knowing the cost to remove YOUR tree. The reason is the above is an average price taken form all quotes given including trees from 15 ft. tall to over 80 ft. tall.

To get a more accurate price on your tree removal job, please look at the cost by tree size here, or get 3 quotes from local tree services.

If your neighbours tree is hanging over your yard you can apply to prune it. If the trees branches are ovwehanging your home you may prune without approval. You will need to discuss with your neighbor first before proceeding. The council will not get involved in disputes about tree and who pays for the work etc. If you have a dispute you can get more information here.

Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years of industry experience. He uses his in-depth knowledge of the tree service industry to give readers to most accurate information on tree service costs and helps to educate them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.