Yes, but under certain conditions

Under what conditions?

A tree removal permit is not required when a tree has;

  • A height of 5m or less
  • A canopy spread of less than 5m
  • A trunk diameter of less than 300mm, at ground level.
tree removal Sydney council tree services workers

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
African olive
Norfolk Island Hibiscus
Honey Locust
Tree of Heaven
White Cedar
False Acacia / Black Locust

The following tree species can be pruned or removed without City permission if the tree is less than 10m tall unless it is listed in the City’s Register of Significant Trees:

Common Name

Camphor Laurel
Chinese Nettle Tree
Coral Tree
American Nettle Tree

tree removal Sydney Council Man using chainsaw on a tree

Will the City of Sydney council remove or trim trees?

Yes. Under certain circumstances.

Trees that are considered council trees are those growing on public land. Sometimes the council may have to trim or remove them due to certain reasons.

  • If the trees are becoming a risk to the public through overhanging branches or other ways.
  • In case the trees have damaged or pose a risk of damaging private property.
  • In case the trees are overgrown and need trimming.
  • To provide better aesthetics of the trees.
  • And to prevent interference with infrastructure such as power lines.

What is the cost of tree removal permit application?

When you make an application for a tree removal permit you have to pay some fees. For the city of Sydney it is $75.

However, for someone who is seeking to get a permit for development, you will have to pay $110 for the application and $535 for notification.

How long does it take for the council to assess my application?

The council will assess your application within 28 days.

In case the 28 days are over and you have not received any communication, to wait or approval, then it means your application has been rejected.

Can I appeal the council’s decision?

Yes. There is room for appealing the decision with the Land and Environment Court provided you do it within 3 months of the decision.

Is stump removal in sydney controlled?

If the tree is already removed and you just want to remove the stump, you may do so without council 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.

City of Sydney Council contact details

Phone: 0292659333

Mailing Address: GPO Box 1591 Sydney NSW 2001


City of Sydney Tree Preservation order - TPO

The above is a summary for 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 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 arborists in Sydney here. Just enter your postcode and a few details about your tree job and get 3 obligation free quotes from local top voted contractors.

The cost of removing a tree will depend on a few different factors. Things like the size of the tree, the number of branches, the species and the 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.