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Do I Need Council Approval to Remove a Tree?

There are different rules and regulations for tree removal in every city. These rules vary depending on the council area you live in. Some might not be too strict for small and medium trees while others require approval for tree removal no matter the size.

In most cases, you will not need a permit to remove a tree. You can do so by getting permission from the tree owner. The problem arises when you have a tree on private property.

image - Do I Need Council Approval to Remove a Tree
Do I Need Council Approval to Remove a Tree

Most homeowners do not want the responsibility of removing a tree on their own, so they opt to hire a tree removal company. If you have a tree causing a problem on your property but the homeowner does not want it removed, you should consider a Marietta tree removal company.

What is the Council Approval Process?

  • First, you must ascertain that you need council approval to remove a tree on your property. You can check this on the regulations provided by your local council. Usually, these contain a detailed walkthrough of their terms and requirements.
  • Gather all the information your council will need to issue a permit. Although the requirements differ depending on your local council, most require details on the tree size, species and condition, fire zones, location, and relevant tree-related restrictions. Most councils also require that you accompany your application with an arborist report; this is to verify that you have accurately answered the details mentioned above.

We recommend hiring an experienced and qualified arborist for the permit application process. They can help you answer all the details required by the council to review your application.

  • Now you can submit the filled application form together with the arborist report. Most times, you may have to part with a few bucks for the processing fee. Also, you may have to wait anywhere between a few days and several weeks before hearing back from the council. Since you may not be able to accurately predict the council’s response, it is best to wait for confirmation before scheduling your tree removal.
  • Once the council has confirmed their consent, feel free to book and begin your tree works at your convenience.

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What Tree Type Needs Council Approval?

In general, all tree removal requests need to be accompanied by an application from the city to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. For most councils, the type of tree for whose removal you need approval can be found on their website.

Some councils may require approval for the removal of large or exceptionally tall trees that are causing issues, whereas others allow smaller trees to be removed without unnecessary formalities. In general, unless you have council approval, you may not be able to legally remove large trees.

Tree size differs from Council to Council. Some councils have tree grading that guides staff in making decisions on tree removal.

Most council areas have an appeal system where residents can voice their objection to the Council’s decision to remove a tree. The local Council will then investigate and allow or deny your appeal.

It is critical to seek council approval whether you want to remove a tree within your council area or outside of it. Failure to do so may land you on the wrong side of the law.

Reasons for Tree Removal

You shouldn’t find it too challenging to acquire tree removal approval from your local council as long as you have a valid reason to do so. These reasons differ depending on where you live but most local councils approve the removal of dangerous, dead, and fallen trees, or those that pose a fire risk.

Also, the council may have no problem approving the removal of trees that are blocking you from constructing a boundary fence, those under 3 meters tall, and trees within 3 meters of your pool or house.

However, your local council may not look too favorably on aesthetic tree removal reasons such as the shedding of leaves or obstructing a view. Also, some areas are on the protected tree list, meaning that you cannot obtain a permit to have them removed.

This mostly includes trees of cultural significance, rare tree species, and sometimes, strategically located trees.

If you aren’t familiar with the local laws concerning tree works, it would be best to hire an arborist. This way, you are assured that they will meet all local council regulations and help you with council approval where necessary.


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