Pruning and Removing Trees

Under the WLEP 2012 Tree and Bushland Preservation there are restrictions on which plants and trees you can prune, remove or transplant on your own property. If you wish to prune or remove a tree you must first submit a Tree Pruning / Removal / Transplanting Form and receive Council approval.

Pruning Trees

Trees in bushland don’t require pruning but in urban areas, pruning can improve safety around the tree and benefit the tree's health. Incorrect pruning can damage trees so Council recommends that major pruning work be undertaken by a suitably qualified arborist. Details on pruning restrictions and requirements are outlined in the WLEP 2012 Tree and Bushland Preservation. Most pruning will require Council’s consent.

Reasons for pruning trees:

  • Improving the health of the tree
  • Improving the appearance of a tree
  • Removing safety hazards such as dead, diseased or defective wood
  • Decreasing weight
  • Eliminating unsound structures such as V-crotches
  • Removing nuisance low-hanging branches
  • Removing unwanted fruit and leaves
  • Making space for power lines and buildings

Removing Trees

Council may consider granting consent to remove a tree where:

  • A tree is likely to cause substantial property damage to houses or buildings
  • There is substantial evidence that a tree is structurally unstable and is a high degree of hazard (arborist report and testing may be required for significant trees)
  • The tree is causing substantial and continuing structural damage to a dwelling or structure (structural engineering assessment may be required)
  • Where the tree is in poor and declining health (with a short life expectancy) and there are no options to mitigate the decline in health

Consent will generally not be given to remove a tree where:

  • A tree is shedding leaves, fruit or bark, as this is considered a natural process
  • A tree is causing minor damage to property (eg driveways/fences/pathways)
  • The objective is to improve a view
  • There are unsubstantiated fears about large trees
  • A tree is causing blockage to pipes
  • A tree is causing minor shading
  • To allow for a proposed development (this would be considered under the development assessment process and is not a valid reason for removal under the WLEP 2012 Tree and Bushland Preservation)
  • The tree does not suit the existing or proposed landscape

Where permission is granted Council will generally require a replacement tree to be planted. What can be planted will be subject to other Council documents and factors such as native species and Heritage Conservation areas.