When removing a tree in Victoria, in most cases, you will need to get a permit from the council before you begin. There are exemptions such as invasive species, dead trees and clearing land around your home for bush fire protection.

Tree removal in Victoria costs $2,240 on average. Prices can range from $750 for smaller trees and right up to $15,000 for very large trees. The ease of access to the tree, as well as tree species, will influence the price.

In Victoria, you must submit the required permits before removing a tree. This is usually done by contacting the local council, as each council has varying requirements, rules and guidelines concerning permits for tree removal.

The cost of removing trees in Victoria is usually dependent on various factors such as; the size of the tree, the species of the tree, the condition of the tree and many others.

These factors affect the cost to remove the tree. Let’s look into the Cost of tree removal in Victoria based on the tree size and height. Where you live in major cities like Melbourne can also affect prices.

Tree SizeHeightCommon TreesAvg. Price
Small TreesUp to 10 metresBottlebrush, Lilly Pilly, Grevilleas$450 – $3,000
Medium Trees10 – 20 metresPine trees$1,500 – $4,500
Large Treesabove 20 metresGum trees$3,200 – $15,000
Tree Removal in Victoria 2023

Do I need a permit to cut down a tree on my property in Victoria?

Yes, you may need a permit to cut down a tree on your property in Victoria depending on the size of the tree and the local council laws. In most councils, homeowners are required to apply for a tree works permit before removing a tree on their property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule such as:

  • Dead and fallen trees
  • Hazardous trees
  • Invasive tree species
  • Trees within 3m of your home
  • Trees on fence lines
  • Clearing trees in fire zones

See here for a list of local councils in Victoria and links to their respective tree preservation orders.

Fines for cutting down trees in Victoria without a permit

The fine for cutting down trees in Victoria without a permit can be anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 per offence. This fine is usually determined by the council and the extent of the offence.

Removing endangered or threatened native tree species, or a historical tree will attract a higher fine as these are highly protected trees in victoria.

Some councils have stricter rules and may also seek a criminal conviction and a more substantial fine in the magistrate’s court. This is usually done to discourage other residents from cutting down trees without a permit.

What trees are protected in Victoria?

Some trees in Victoria are protected on a state and local council level. These trees are outlined in the local council’s TPO (Tree Preservation Order). Trees in Victoria are protected by the recently implemented Tree Preservation Bylaw.

These protected trees are usually native tree species, significant heritage trees and trees that have exceptional value to the city of Victoria. Many trees are protected in Victoria. Here are some of the major trees that are protected in victoria;

  • Oregon White Oak
  • Pacific Madrone
  • Pacific Dogwood
  • Pacific Yew
  • Western Red Cedar
  • Douglas Fir
  • Big Leaf Maple
  • Wattle trees (Acacia species)
  • Paperbarks

Eucalyptus trees (e.g. Avon peppermint, Burdett gum, Cider Gum, yellow gum, etc.)

What trees can be cut down without a permit in Victoria?

Although victoria has very strict laws regarding tree removal, there are some trees that are exceptions to the rule. Trees that can be cut down without a permit in victoria include;

  • Dead trees
  • Fallen trees
  • Trees in fire danger zones (within 10m of a building)
  • Trees that can cause damage to property (e.g. within 3m of a building foundation)
  • Storm damage trees
  • Trees that can be hazardous
  • Invasive/pest tree species

Firezone tree management

Most of Victoria is a designated fire zone. This means these areas are prone to bushfires and require specific fire zone tree management. Vegetation management for bushfire protection is very important in Victoria and as such they allow residents in specific areas to remove trees and undergrowth within a certain distance to their homes.

10/30 rule

This refers to clause 52.12 of the Victorian building Act 1993, which allows landowners and residents to clear any vegetation:

  • within 10m of an existing building
  • other than trees within 30m of an existing building.

10/50 rule

It allows a landowner and residents to clear any vegetation:

  • within 10m of an existing building
  • other than trees within 50m of an existing building.
Firezone tree management

What is a defendable zone?

A defendable zone is a portion of land surrounding a building where the vegetation is modified and managed to reduce the impact of fire contact and heat that usually accompanies bushfires. Defendable zones should be accessible to vehicles and provide enough space to manoeuvre.

They should also be maintained regularly and kept clear of any potential hazards and blockades. In Victoria, applying for a planning permit within a Bushfire Management Overlay makes it subject to specific bushfire provisions regarding defendable zones.

Tree Removal Laws & Permits by Council

If you are looking to get a tree removal permit in victoria, it will usually depend on the council you live in. While victoria as a whole has by-laws that guide tree removal, it is usually contingent on the council to enforce these regulations and issue permits.

Click on the below council link for more information:

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.