Yes, but under certain conditions.

Under what conditions?

There are some instances where approval is not required for the removal of trees.

To remove a tree without approval you must meet one of the following criteria – the tree must:

  1. Be located within three metres of the wall of your house or a neighbouring house
    (excluding carports, pergolas, fences, retaining walls and the like) measured from the closest point of the trunk to the footings of the building
  2. Have a circumference at breast height not greater than 450 millimetres for a single trunk tree or not greater than 300 millimetres for each trunk of a multi-trunk tree
  3. Be dead and not provide a habitat for hollow-dependent fauna.
  4. A noxious weed under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993; or

tree removal Newcastle Council tree examination

Exempt trees

There are trees that can be removed no matter what their size or condition as they are considered a pest by your local council.

The above-listed conditions do not apply.

Does my council have an exempt tree list?

Yes, see table below

Common Name

Cocos Palm/ Queen Palm
Coral Tree
Camphor laurel
Golden Cypruss
Umbrella Tree
all types of willow
Radiata pine monterey pines
Rubber Tree
Brazilian Tree
Black Locust
Honey Locust
Rubber Tree
Coral Tree
Camphor Laurel
Tree Lucerne
Cape Wattle
Tree of Heaven
Golden Wattle
Cootamundra Wattle

Penalties to Vandalism and Damage of Private Trees

There are heavy penalties for removing trees without a permit or damaging of any private trees.

The following applies.

  1. Maximum Penalty by a Local Court of $100,000
  2. Maximum On-the-spot Penalty infringement Notice- by the council – $3,000
  3. A maximum penalty of $1.1 million can also be imposed by the Land and Environment Court.

Development and trees

The council of Newcastle is very serious about both public and private trees that form a huge part of the urban forest.

As a result, any development you want to do you have to consider the guidelines of the council about development and trees.

Here is a link to a manual to help you understand the guidelines better.

The Development Control Plan and Technical Manuals –

tree removal Newcastle Council machines removing trees

What about Council Trees?

The council is in charge of all public trees. This means that any maintenance, care or removal that needs to be removed.

However, residents are allowed to report any public trees that require maintenance work.

Overhanging Tree Branches

The first recommended approach to overhanging branches is talking to your neighbour for them to cut the branches.

However, in case your neighbour is not cooperating and they are becoming a nuisance then you can file a legal report for the case to be decided by a magistrate.

How to apply for a tree removal permit

Newcastle Council contact details

Phone: 02 4974 2000

Mailing Address: 282 King Street (PO Box 489) Newcastle NSW 2300



Newcastle City Council 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 Newcastle 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.