Yes, but under certain conditions

Under what conditions?

A tree removal permit is required when;

  1. A height exceeding 4 metres, or
  2. A trunk girth (circumference) exceeding 600 millimetres measured at 1.2 metres above ground level, or
  3. A crown spread exceeding 3 metres
  4. The pruning or removal of dead trees
  5. Removal, pruning or control of plants declared a Noxious Plant under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993
  6. Pruning or removal of recognised horticultural varieties of fruit trees grown for fruit production
  7. Pruning or removal of “undesirable trees” as listed in the brochure
  8. Selective pruning of up to a total of 33% of an individual tree’s crown over a 5-year period.
tree removal willoughby council cut down trees

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

Cootamundra wattle
Tree of Heaven
Golden Wattle
Box Elder
Evergreen Alder
Nettle Berry
Camphor Laurel
Leyland Cypress
Coral Tree
Honey Locust
Silky Oak

Tree Replacement

The council Willoughby works on a program where anyone who is granted permits for tree removal has to replace the removed trees.

Normally, the rate of replacement is 3:1.

The landowner is responsible for the replacement.

tree removal willoughby council man cutting a tree

Tips on how to save on tree removal

1. Remove trees during the off-season

During the off-season, there are very few activities going on. As a result, many tree services have their prices low to get as many customers as possible.

2. Look for a free removal

You can get your tree removed for free by advertising to offer the cuttings to anyone who can do the job for free.

You can also contact the power line companies in case the tree is posing a risk to the lines.

Vegetation clearing and tree reports

For any permit to be given for vegetation clearing, you have to provide an application letter and a report from an arborist.

The council requires the Arborist to have a minimum qualification of Level 5 and under the Australian Qualification Framework.

Here are further vegetation management regulations.

Can I get the council to remove a council tree?

Yes. If the tree is becoming a nuisance the council can remove.

This is applicable to trees that are damaging or posing a risk to private property. Trees posing danger to power lines and dead or infected ones.

You can contact the council and explain your concerns to have them remove the trees.

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.

Can I track my application?

Yes. Here is a link to the council’s portal to help you track your application.

Willoughby Council contact details

Phone: 61297771000

Mailing Address: PO Box 57 Chatswood NSW 2057


Willoughby Tree Preservation order - TPO

The above 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 them about the benefits of using a certified arborist for tree trimming and removal work.