Yes, but under certain conditions

Under what conditions?

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 that has fallen or partially fallen and still presents a danger (photos required)
  • The pruning or 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 removal warringah council tree worker 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.

What is 10/50 Vegetation Clearing?

It is a directive by the council for people living close to bushes.

These guidelines are put in place to guide people living close to a bush to help them prepare in case of bush fires.

As a result of the scheme, people are allowed to do the following.

  1. Clear trees on your property within a distance of 10metres. You do not need to seek approval to do this.
  2. You can also clear any underlying vegetation like shrubs (not trees) on your property that is within 50 metres of your home.

What is the penalty for Illegal tree works?

If you are found guilty of any tree work offence within Warringah council you will pay fines of as high as $1.1 million.

Daily fines may continue if the damage continues.

tree removal warringah council tree services

How to handle overhanging council tree branches?

In case you have branches of council trees on your property you can trim them yourself.

However, you have to make sure that the trees are not in a conservation area or protected by Tree Preservation Order.

Once you trim the trees you have to make sure that you dispose of all the cuttings without leaving any on council land.

What about removing council trees?

When it comes to the removal of council trees that is the council’s work.

All you can do in case you want a council tree to be removed is send a request to the council to have them handle the issues.

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.

Warringah Council contact details

Phone: 1300434434

Mailing Address: PO Box 882 Mona Vale NSW 1660


Warringah Tree Preservation order - TPO

The above 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.