Yes, it is possible to have a tree removed in Hornsby without a Council permit, but only under certain conditions.

Under what conditions?

Tree removal is allowed without council approval if:

  1. The tree is within 3m of the foundations of an approved building.
  2. The tree is less than 3m high
  3. The removal of or pruning to a tree where the Council is satisfied the tree is dying or dead and is not required as the habitat of native fauna.
  4. Where the 10/50 rule applies;

Your property may be affected by the NSW 10/50 Entitlement, which permits removal of any tree on your property within 10 metres of your residence (in most circumstances) if your property is deemed to be in a ‘clearing entitlement area’ which meets the 10/50 Code of Practice.

Hornsby Indigenous Trees

Hornsby council also has indigenous trees. The council through the community has identified trees that are native to Hornsby. These are trees that people are discouraged from removing due to their significance to the council.

Follow the link below to get details of such trees, a fact sheet and their characteristics.

Tree removal Hornsby Council cutting down a tree

Are there charges when applying for a permit?

When you apply for a tree removal permit you will have to pay an inspection fee. This is because an officer will be sent to your land to inspect the tree.

Follow this link to understand the fees.

Are there refunds?

Yes. In cases where you have made an application and it happens, the trees are exempt that do not require a permit, you will get a refund of your application fee.

However, if the officer visits the site and carries out the inspection, then a fee of $100 will be retained.

Breaching the Tree Protection Measures

If you happened to do any work such as pruning or removal of trees within the protected trees without obtaining a permit from the council, you will have committed an offence.

Upon committing such an offence there are three things that can happen.

  • You can be taken and charged at the Land and Environment Court.
  • You may get an instant fine on spot up to $10,000 per offence.
  • You may also get an order to replace trees with a new one.
  • In other cases, you may also be required to maintain them.

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.

Hornsby Shire Council contact details

Phone: 61298476666

Mailing Address: PO Box 37, Hornsby NSW 1630


Hornsby Shire Tree Preservation order - TPO

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


There are a few ways to go about it. You should always go for a qualified arborist with plenty of experience. Make sure they have more than 20 reviews online and have a minimum score of 4.5 stars or great.

We can match you with a top-voted tree removal service in Sydney here. Just enter your postcode and a few details about your tree job and get 3 obligation-free quotes from the local top voted contractors.

The cost to remove a tree will depend on a few different factors. Things like the size of the tree, number of branches, the species and location on your property will all play a role.

The average cost of tree removal is $871. But the real range is $225 – $4,500. Make sure you get at least 3 quotes before deciding on one company.

Tree removal and pruning is difficult to quote just by a description over the phone. Same goes for sending pics of the tree. This is because it is hard to gauge the actual size of a tree from images as well as look at access for machinery. An on-site inspection is needed to make sure you are given a fair price.

You may prune any branches that are hanging over your yard from your neighbour’s side, just as long as you are working within the cities Tree Preservation Order.

You may remove your neighbour’s branches, but if it violates council tree pruning laws, you will get a fine. You are best speaking to a local arborist first before proceeding.

Tree trimming will vary depending on the tree, number of branches and access. The average price of tree trimming is $429, but that the true price range is $75 – $1,800.

You can check out our Tree Trimming Cost Guide here to get a better idea of tree trimming cost by tree size. Or you can use this Free Service and compare local top rated tree service actual quotes.

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.