Yes, but under certain conditions

Under what conditions?

Tree maybe be removed without a council permit if;

You do not require Council permission to remove trees on your property where the tree is;

  1. Under 5 metres in height
  2. On the Exempt Tree Species List.
  3. In an area in which the Council has authorised their removal as part of a hazard reduction program, where that removal is necessary in order to manage risk
  4. Required to be removed under other legislation (including the NSW Rural Fires Act 1997 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979)
  5. Under 10/50 Legislation some clearing of vegetation is allowed if your property is mapped in the 10/50 entitlement area.
  6. Removed by Rural Fire Services because they pose or will pose a significant threat to access along required fire trails or to human life, buildings or other property during a bushfire
  7. The removal of a tree, where the base of the trunk of the tree at ground level, is located within two metres of an existing approved building (not including decks, pergolas, sheds, patios or the like, even if they are attached to a building).
  8. The removal of trees that are considered a high risk / imminent danger is certified by a Level 5 qualified arborist. These trees can be removed without Council consent by the owner of the tree subject to the owner obtaining written confirmation from the arborist that clearly states:
  9. Is anything on the Biosecurity species listing
  10. Dead trees
  11. As a result of a storm have fallen or partially fallen and still present a danger (photos required)
  12. The removal of hedges (unless required by conditions of a development consent)

Hedge” means groups of two or more trees that:

(a) are planted (whether in the ground or otherwise) so as to form a hedge, and
(b) rise to a height of at least 2.5 metres (above existing ground level).

tree remocal Pittwater Council man using power saw on a tree

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.

Clearing and Pruning guidelines

The council allows you to prune trees or clear vegetation under the following conditions.

  • Pruning within the Australian Standards AS 4373 – 2007. And if you will prune up to 10% of the tree’s canopy and within a 12-month calendar.
  • In case you are removing a deadwood part of a tree.
  • When removing a parasitic plan or any tree’s part that is parasitic.
  • If clearing you are about to do meets other legislation criteria.

Is it illegal to remove trees without a permit?

Yes. It is an offense to remove or prune trees that require a permit without obtaining one.

Anyone who is found guilty of any tree damaging offence, will be fined by the Land and Environment Court a fine as high as $1.1 million.

In some circumstances, you may also be required to replace trees and take care of them up to maturity.

A reward of $10,000 is also offered by the council for anyone who provides information that may lead to the successful prosecution of a tree damage offender.

tree removal Pittwater council tree services workers

Does my council have an exempt tree list?

Please refer to the PDF here: for a full list of trees that can be removed without approval.

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.

Pittwater Council contact details

Phone: 1300434434

Mailing Address: PO Box 1336 Dee Why NSW 2099


Pittwater Tree Preservation order - TPO

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

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.