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Tree Removal Australia – Stay Smart, Save Money
Updated: 12 March 2022
Tree removal in Australia can be a bit of a nightmare. Firstly it’s expensive, plus there are specific rules and regulations in each district and if you don’t know your local council’s rules, you could land in hot water and end up paying a hefty fine.
We are here to guide you through the process and save you a tonne of time and money along the way.
Cost of Tree Lopping
There are lots of things that contribute to the cost of tree removal, but there is a formula to working out a rough price so you know what to expect when it comes time to get prices.
We have put together a comprehensive cost guide that you can use to research your specific tree in more detail and get an accurate figure.
How to save on tree removal
This is what we all really what to know… right?
Maybe you have already asked around and you figured out it’s going to be an expensive affair.
But we’ve got you covered.
We have an entire page dedicated to saving you money on tree removal which you can visit here.
But here is a quick summary.
Access to the tree
A tree located in the front yard of your property is going to cost significantly less than if the same tree were to be located in your backyard will poor access.
Solution: Do your best to grant access. If your neighbour has a rear driveway, or you back onto a lane or park, consider removing a panel of fence to allow the tree company to get their equipment as close as possible to the tree.
Room to move
If you have a small yard with a manicured garden beneath a giant tree you want to be removed, the arborist is going to have to tiptoe around your yard and take forever to remove the tree. The more room to move the faster they can get the job done, the less it will cost you.
Solution: Transplant small ornamental plants while the work is happening. Remove all breakables and such as pots and garden furniture to help them out. It will save them time and money.
Dispose of palm trees yourself
Half of the cost of removing palm trees is soaked up in dumping fees. Due to the acidic nature of palms, they cannot be turned into mulch and need to be disposed of. Get the contractor to just cut them down and not remove them will slash your cost by 50% on average.
Solution: You can get them to put the trees out the front for a council clean-ups or dispose of them over time in the green waste bin. At $215 per tonne (about 2 cubic meters of palm) it’s worth the effort.
Sell the timber on eBay for firewood
This one is going to depend. If the tree is in the front yard and easily accessible, then it will actually be more of a hassle for them to cut the tree into firewood size pieces. But if you have poor access, you can just get a price to cut the tree down, and leave the timbre.
Solution: The time and manpower saved in carrying logs from the back of your property to the front by hand (we are talking hundreds of dollars, you can advertise the timber on eBay for firewood. Not only are you saving on the tree removal cost, but you are making money on the sale of the wood.
Someone will actually pay you to haul the timber!
Get Quotes from Economical Tree Companies
If you get 3 quotes from the top end of the market, you are going to be selecting from 3 expensive prices. The trick to saving the most money on removal is getting the ‘right’ companies to quote the job.
Solution: GoTreeQuotes is a free service that matches homeowners with the best-priced local tree companies. Just fill in the 2-minute form here and get 3 x quotes within 24 hours.
Local council tree removal regulations
Each council within a city has a different set of rules for tree pruning and removal depending on its Tree Preservation Order TPO.
To see the local rules for each council please refer to your city below for more details.
Like the most large city’s, the rule varies depending on if you are right in the centre or on the outskirts. You can see the specific rules here and find your local council or by going to our Sydney page and downloading a summary.
Melbourne probably has the tightest rules out of any city as they have an extensive significant tree register where they have nominated specific trees within the urban forest that they would like to retail. You can go here to see if your tree is among them.
Failing that you will need to view your specific council’s rules and regulations on tree removal in Melbourne to know whether you will need council approval before proceeding with the removal of your tree.
As opposed to the above two cities, Adelaide’s tree removal rules are quite relaxed. They have outlined some minimum requirements for a tree to be regarded as a ‘significant tree’. Anything smaller than those requirements can be removed without approval.
View those requirements here on our Adelaide tree removal page.
Similar to Adelaide, Perth is not too strict when it comes to tree removal. A lot of local councils do not have a say on what you can do with trees on your private property. Also unlike any other city, they allow residents to prune street trees.
That being said there are some regulations for tree removal depending on the council, so be sure to get your facts straight on tree lopping in Perth before you go ahead and remove your tree.
The rules for tree lopping in Brisbane vary from council to council, so you will need to get your facts straight before getting quotes, but in general, as long as the tree is not in a conservation corridor or listed as a significant or heritage tree then you are in the clear.
But have a look at more details here.
Sunshine Coast QLD
The Sunshine Coast is governed by one local council which has a tree management plan. If your tree falls outside the below rule then you may remove it without council approval.
No permit for tree lopping on the Sunshine Coast is required if;
– A plant declared as a pest Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002;
– A plant identified as a locally significant pest species in the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area Pest Management Plan; or
– A plant which is otherwise an exotic species; provided that the removal:-
(i) is consistent with any current development approval that attaches to the land;
(ii) does not involve the removal of vegetation on a heritage place identified on a Heritage and Character Areas Overlay Map;
(iii) does not involve the removal of vegetation identified as character vegetation in a local plan; and
(iv) does not result in the total clearing of an area of vegetation greater than 250m2
Gold Coast QLD
The regulations for removing trees on the Gold Coast are numerous. To get more information on whether you will need council approval you can download our summary below, or go to direct to the tree preservation order outlined by the Gold Coast here.
Tree lopping regulations all fall under the once council so I can layout the rules below.
You will need to apply for council approval if;
a) Trees that are are 12 metres or higher or have a canopy 12 metres or wider and/or
- b) Have a trunk circumference of 1.5 metres or more, one metre above natural ground level and/or
c) Have two or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks, one metre above natural ground level, is 1.5 metres or more.
Note: “significant tree register” means a register of trees of cultural significance to the Council, which is kept and maintained by the council. To qualify as a significant tree it needs to be larger than the rules for removal above, so if your tree falls outside the above rules then you should be safe to remove.
There are many tree lopping companies in Canberra that are not worth engaging due to their lack of skill and a lot of the time inflated prices. We have curated a list of the best ones to engage. Let us know about your tree job by filling in the 2-minute form and we will send you the best local contractors who have been voted by locals as best priced. This is a free service.
Central Coast NSW
There are 3 councils that cover the rules for tree removal on the Central Coast. They are Gosford, Wyong and Lake Macquarie Councils.
On the Central Coast, there are two things to take into consideration, the specific rules which have been laid out by the council, and the NSW fire hazard zones where the 20/50 rule applies.
Like the Central Coast, there are 2 things to take into consideration, the regulations governing the lopping of trees in Newcastle and the 20/50 rule which allows you to remove trees within 20 meters of your come and undergrowth within 50 metres of your home without permission.
Newcastle is made up of three main councils, Cessnock, Maitland and the city of Newcastle. You can find the Tree Preservation Orders on each, by going to our council rules page. You can find the best company for the job by letting us know about your tree job and getting the top voted local contractors to quote the job.
Applying for a work permit for tree lopping
If you have looked at the above rules and regulations for tree lopping in your local council area, and you do in fact need council approval for tree removal, then you will need to make an application.
You can search for your council’s application form here. Just put in your pose code and you will be linked to the permit.
Upon application, you will generally need to pay a small fee to cover the cost of the council coming out to view the tree and give the ok.
What if my application is knocked back?
More than half the time councils do not give approval for removal. The closer you are to the centre of the city the less likely you are to get approval. The reason being there are fewer trees so they are a precious commodity.
There are a few things you can do and or say that will boost your chances dramatically of being able to remove the tree in question. To get more details on the right and wrong things to say to the council visit our page on council approvals.
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