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Tree Removal Canberra Cost Guide 2020
Updated: 13 May 2020
Before you get your tree removed in Canberra, know what you might be charged and being aware of the rules for the removal of trees on private land.
That way you don’t get ripped off from a tree service or get a fine from council.
The average cost for tree removal in Canberra is $879. The range is between $550 and $3500 for large trees. It will depend on the size of your tree and difficulty to access and remove.
THE LAW: If you remove a tree that is covered by the ACT tree preservation order, the fines can range in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The rules and regulations are outlined in Canberra’s Tree Preservation order (TPO). It is very specific about the exact tree height, canopy breadth and trunk diameter of what is considered a “significant tree”.
Any tree classified as significant, can only be removed if you obtain a permit from council. Anyone found guilty of significant tree removal Canberra without a permit, could face heavy fines.
Let’s get some facts straight for you.
Rules for Tree Lopping Canberra
Before you rush out and get a quote for tree lopping Canberra ACT, there are a few basic rules that need to be followed .
Firstly, even though a tree is on your property, doesn’t mean it actually belongs to you. The government considers the tree to be public property and belongs to everyone in the community as everyone benefits from it.
More bird life
Reduced temperatures during summer
Reduced soil erosion
Canberra city has come up with a set of rules and guide lines to protect the cities trees to maintain the urban forest and it’s natural eco system.
ACT Tree Protection – Removal of trees on private property
Tree removal Canberra on private property is allowed without Canberra City Council approval if;
1. The trees height is less than 12 or has a canopy smaller than 12 meters in diameter.
2. Or if the trunk circumference is not greater than 1.5 metres, when measured one metre above ground level.
If the tree has two or more trunks, the total combined circumference cannot exceed 1.5m when measured 1 metre from the ground.
If your tree falls outside the above exemptions, you will need to fill out an application form and request approval prior to any works being done.
Once the application has been submitted and the application fee paid, you can expect to see a council officer come out and inspect the tree within 2 weeks.
All trees that are found on the NSW noxious weed act, are considered a pest in the region and you will not need approval to remove such a tree.
A list of such trees can be found here: NSW Noxious Weed List
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Councils Approvals for Tree Removal
Councils will not give approval to remove a tree if it’s filling your gutters with leaves for example. That is a minor annoyance and the council sees far greater value in retaining trees then appeasing your leaf issues.
Issues like it lifting or cracking house foundations is a major issue and in most cases they would approval it on the spot.
Occasionally they will as for a second opinion, which means an arborist will need to be contracted to draw up a report to be submitted to give his or her personal recommendations on whether or not it should be removed.
Tree on Public Property
The above applies to trees on private property. What about the tree on the nature strip?
Am I not in charge of maintaining the nature strip?
As a rule of thumb you should never touch a tree on council land. There are very few councils around the country that allow it and Canberra is no different.
If the tree on the nature strip needs removal it will be addressed by the city.
Pruning of a Neighbour’s Tree
You are well within your rights to prune a neighbour’s tree that is overhanding your property.
We do however, highly recommend letting your neighbour know before going ahead with the pruning work. They should not have an issue with it, but it is always best to pay them the courtesy and let them know first.
If you have any issue with your neighbour when looking to prune their tree overhanging your property you can go through the disputes centre.
Disputes centre website:
Council contact number:
Light for solar panels
There is a big push in Canberra for the adoption of solar panels. They are very lenient on residents wanting to prune or in some cases remove trees that are blocking sunlight.
Firstly make sure your tree does not fall outside to above exemptions for tree removal or pruning. If it is too large, you will need to apply to council.
Hiring the Right Tree Services
Avoid the risk by going through our curated service.
Go Tree Quotes is the place for those in Canberra looking for qualified tree removal specialist.
We have put together a large list of knowledgeable and insured experts who are qualified, insured and have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the industry.
This is all but guarantee the job is done right.
Is your Tree a Safety Hazard?
An arborist should be able to assess the quality of your tree, the structural integrity, and the best way to tackle its removal or pruning so that it isn’t detrimental to the surrounding environment or passers-by.
With their knowledge, they will be able to determine whether the health and integrity is jeopardized to the point that it could be a risk to lives, and as such require complete removal.
They will have the correct equipment, skills and knowledge to be able to either lop the tree, or in some cases remove it completely.
Finding a Tree Surgeon in Canberra
Ensure that you hire the right person for the job by going through our curated service at Go Tree Quotes.
We have put together a list of qualified arborist in Canberra, meaning that you can get a knowledgeable, skilled expert for the job.
You can do this by filling out our online form with all relevant information about the tree, including size and location. From there, we will match you with three contractors in your area who are best suited to do the job.
You can then choose the right one for you based on past customer reviews and the quoted price.
The ACT Councils have ules regarding which trees are protected and whch can be removed without a permit. These laws are based on the size of the tree. The bigger they are, the more likely they are protected. You will need to fist check the Tree Preservation Order for your local council. If your tree is not considered significant and is not protected you may remove it.
Tree removal and pruning is tricky to quote just by a description. Depending on the size of the tree and difficulty to remove, the price will fluctuate up or down. An on-site inspection is needed to make sure you are given a fair price and the tree service is prepared on the day with the correct machinery.
This is a common question, but your chances are better getting a landscaper in to lay new turf and build a retaining wall free of charge. Tree services are like any other business and charge for their services. They quote and call out will be free, but if you contract them to remove the tree you will need to pay the quote amount.
If your trees has fallen as a result of a storm or any other act of nature, your insurance company will cover it. If the tree is still standing you will be hard pressed to convince an insurance company to pay for its removal. The same is true if the tree has been dead for many years and has just fallen due to negligence. You are expected to upkeep the trees in your yard, so if it has fallen due to neglect, your insurer will most likely not cover the costs for removal.
You may prune any branches that are hanging over your yard from your neighbour’s side, just as long as it is not breaching your councils TPO. You may remove your neighbour’s tree after they have given you permission and if it does not breach the council TPO.
If your tree is protected due to its size will need to apply for a permit to remove the tree. To know whether your tree is protected, please refer to your local Tree Preservation Order for more information.
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.
This will depend on the size of the tree being removed. The best way to gage whether you are getting a good price, is to get more than 1 quote. A good number of quotes is 3, but there is nothing wrong with getting 4 or 5 quotes for very large jobs.
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.
If the tree is question is on city 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.
Most of the time, you will only need to give the tree company access to your yard to do the job. You will not need to be present while the tree is being removed. Arrangements can be made for payment after you have returned home and inspected the finished job.
Stump removal is normally priced separately. If you have a quote for a tree to be removed, make sure they have specify whether that price includes the removal of the stump. If it does not, they may try to get away with charging you an extra fee for removal. This is a dirty trick, but can be easily avoided if you have it written on the quote exactly what is included in the price.
Author: Ben McInerney is a qualified arborist with over 15 years 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 about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.
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