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Tree Removal Pittwater Council Regulations
Updated: 14 April 2020
Can I remove a tree in Pittwater Council without a council permit?
Yes, but under certain conditions
Under what conditions?
Tree maybe be removed without council permit if;
You do not require Council permission to remove trees on your property where the tree is;
- Under 5 metres in height
- On the Exempt Tree Species List.
- 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
- Required to be removed under other legislation (including the NSW Rural Fires Act 1997 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979)
- Under 10/50 Legislation some clearing of vegetation is allowed if your property is mapped in the 10/50 entitlement area.
- 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
- 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).
- The removal of trees which are considered a high risk / imminent danger 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:
- Anything on the Biosecurity species listing
- Dead trees
- As a result of a storm have fallen or partially fallen and still present a danger (photos required)
- 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).
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.
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We do our best to keep accurate and up to date information on council policy regarding tree trimming and removal. Councils can change their policy without notice, and we may also make errors, so I recommend using the information on this page as a guide. Please refer to your local council TPO or speak with a local arborist before proceeding.
Does my council have an exempt tree list?
Please refer to the PDF here: https://tinyurl.com/y8v4penq 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
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.
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 about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.
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