Moreton Bay Council has some restrictions on tree removal. Whether you can remove your tree will depend on whether your tree is located in the Environmental Areas Overlay. See the image below or use the following link to see if your address is within the restricted area.

Look up: Click to see if your address is included in the Environmental Overlay

moreton bay council logo

You can remove a tree on private land if it is not;

Located within the Environmental area overlay and:

Located in the Limited development zone;
i) Caboolture West local plan – Green network precinct;
ii) Overlay map – Riparian and wetland setbacks; or
iii) Water supply buffer on Overlay map – Infrastructure buffers;

Native vegetation identified as a significant tree listed in Schedule 2 of Planning scheme policy – Heritage and Landscape Character;

A habitat tree.

A habitat tree is defined as a native tree with a diameter greater than 0.8m at 1.3m above the ground. Habitat trees often have large canopies and structural hollows where animals live, breed and shelter.

Are there exemptions?

A native vegetation clearing exemption applies if:

  • Clearing within an approved development footprint;
  • Clearing necessary for emergency access (within approved buffer);
  • Emergency tree removal for an immediately dangerous tree.
  • Clearing is immediately required in response to an accident or emergency;
  • Clearing is necessary to remove the risk of serious injury or damage to infrastructure;
  • Clearing necessary to construct and maintain a property boundary fence (within the approved buffer);
  • Clearing necessary for works and maintenance within an easement for public infrastructure or drainage purposes;
  • Clearing in accordance with a bushfire management plan, submitted to and accepted by Council;
  • Clearing of weed species, maintaining existing open pastures and cropping land, windbreaks, lawns or created gardens;
  • Grazing of native pasture by stock;

Native forest practices were exempt under the planning scheme

What about dead trees?

Dead trees are dangerous and not protected in the Moreton Bay council area. It may be considered a habitat tree if a possum currently lives there. Still, once dead, the tree quickly becomes unstable and falls under the exemption “Clearing necessary to remove the risk to serious injury or damage to infrastructure”.

If the tree is at risk of hitting persons or property if it falls, you are well within your rights to remove it.

How to apply for a tree removal permit

You will need to lodge a request on the council’s website. Once you have done so and paid any applicable fees needed, an arborist employed by the council will come out to inspect the tree and give the thumbs up (or down) for removal.

If they are unsure, they will ask you to obtain an arborist report from a third party as supporting evidence to help with your case for tree removal in Brisbane.

Lodge request here: Tree removal application

Fines for illegal removal in Moreton Bay

Fines for illegal tree removal in the Moreton Bay Council area are not specified or advertised. If any of the other local councils are anything to go by, you could expect to pay fines in excess of $10,000 for every violation. I suggest getting your facts straight before removing the tree.

Moreton Bay Council contact details

Phone: 07 3205 0555




Postal Address

Moreton Bay Regional Council
PO Box 159
Caboolture QLD 4510

Moreton Bay Council Tree Preservation order - TPO

To go directly to the source and read the tree preservation order for yourself, please follow the below link. If you are still unsure, make sure you either contact a local arborist/ tree service or contact the council directly.

Link: Moreton Bay Council tree removal laws

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.