Yes, but under certain conditions.

Under what conditions?

A tree can be removed without council approval if;

  • The tree has a trunk circumference of 2.0m or less measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level
  • Trees with multiple trunks, it is those with trunks with a total circumference of 2.0m or more and an average circumference of 625mm or more measured at a point 1.0m above natural ground level.

A number of tree species are exempt from regulated tree controls. Please see the tree exemption list below.


In addition to the above, there is no need to see council approval if:

A tree that is dead

The tree is within 20 meters of a dwelling in Medium or High Bushfire Protection Areas.

The trees are located within 10 meters of an existing dwelling or existing in-ground swimming pool unless it is one of the two following species of trees:
a) Agonis flexuosa (Willow Myrtle)
b) Eucalyptus (any tree of the species)

tree removal Unley council man removing trees in a home

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

Box Elder
Silver Maple
Tree of Heaven
Evergreen Alder
European Nettle Tree
Chinese Nettle Tree
Camphor Laurel
Monterey Cypress
Moreton bay fig
Narrow-leaved Ash
Desert ash
Norfolk Island Hibiscus
Prickly-leaved Paperback
Radiata Pine / Monterey Pine
London Plane
White poplar
Lombardy Poplar
Black locust
Weeping willow
Evergreen Willow
Crack Willow
Basket Willow
Golden Weeping Willow
Peppercorn Tree

Do you need a permit to prune trees in Unley council?


In cases where you will trim or prune protected or significant trees, then you have to get a permit.

tree removal unley council man on a tree with a chainsaw

How to get your tree removal application accepted by Unley Council?

Here are some of the things you should consider doing if you want your application to be accepted.

  1. Provide proof of ownership of the property
  2. Make sure that you provide as many details as possible on reasons why it is necessary to work on the said trees.
  3. Ensure that you make the application fee.
  4. Ensure that you have gone through tree guidelines and make sure that your subject trees are not protected or significant.

What about street trees? Can I remove them?

The Unley council is in charge of all the trees in public areas such as streets and parks.

This is a program under the urban forest.

However, the council recognizes that in some cases it may be necessary for street trees to be removed for reasons such as infrastructure installation.

As a result, the council leaves room for anyone who wants to remove a street tree.

However, you have to fill an application form to the council. Here is a link to the form.

How to apply for a tree removal permit

Unley City Council contact details

Phone: (08) 8372 5111


Unley Council Tree Preservation order - TPO

The above is a summary of your local council’s 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.