Tree Pruning and Removal
Trees are a significant natural resource and contribute to the amenity and character of Strathfield Local Government Area.
When is a Development Application required for the removal or pruning of a tree?
A Development Application is required when proposing to remove a tree(s). You will need to lodge a Development Application for the removal of trees, including heritage trees, trees in a heritage conservation area and trees with Aboriginal heritage value.
You will NOT need to submit a separate application for tree removal if tree removal or pruning is proposed as part of a Development Application for the construction of a building.
You will need to lodge a development application to remove trees or vegetation: Click here for application form.
In the case of multi-unit dwellings, consent of the Strata Management must be obtained prior to making an application to Council to remove the tree. If the owners are a company, the signature of the Directors, the ABN and/or company seal should be provided.
A development application for the removal of trees will be notified to adjoining properties for a minimum of 14 days.
The following fees apply in accordance with Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges.
Application Fee: $110
Notification Fee: $295
Consent will generally NOT be given to remove or prune a tree for the following reasons:
- leaf, fruit, bark, or twig drop
- minor shading
- view improvement
Owners must notify their neighbours of any proposed tree removal or pruning prior to commencement of work.
Property owners or agents/strata management may only apply to remove a tree wholly located within a property.
Part O - Tree Management of Strathfield Council’s Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2005 prohibits the following:
- Cutting down, removing, injuring or poisoning any part of a tree above or below ground, having a height greater than four (4.0) metres or a girth greater than half (0.5) metre measured at point one (1.0) metres above ground level.
- Undertaking works within 5 metres from the base of a tree
- Failing to plant, protect or care for a tree which is required to be planted, protected or cared for as a condition of consent.
Council consent is not required for:
- Pruning, control and eradication or removal of trees, which are listed as noxious weeds by the Department of Primary Industries for the Strathfield Local Government Area. Refer to the website: Department of Primary Industries for the Strathfield Local Government Area
- The following trees - Ficus elastica (Rubber Tree), Privet (large and small leaf), Umbrella Trees, Rhus Trees, and commercial fruit tree varieties.
- Exempt species area listed in Appendix 1 of the DCP unless the trees are or form part of a heritage item and/or are a contributory element to the heritage significance of a conservation area or where the tree is listed on Council's Significant Tree Register.
- Removal of dead branches from a tree in accordance with AS 4373-2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees.
Council recommends that photos be taken by property owners prior to the removal of the above in order to confirm the identity of trees should the need arise.
Camphor laurel is not listed by the Department of Primary Industries as a noxious weed for the Strathfield Local Government Area and removal of Camphor Laurel trees require approval.
What if the tree is on my neighbour’s property?
If the tree is on your neighbour's property please refer to the Trees on Neighbouring Property section of this website for further information.
Penalties for Breaches
Substantial penalties and legal costs have been awarded to the Council for offences for unauthorised pruning and removal of trees. Where breaches are evident, the general policy of the Council is to prosecute.
If you remove, damage, or lop a tree without Council’s consent, you may be liable to a significant fine.
Please be aware that trees on public land, including nature strips are Council property.
You may also be liable to a penalty for engaging or allowing another person to remove, prune or lop a tree without Council’s consent.
Illegal Tree Pruning By Tree Lopping Contractors
It has come to Council’s attention that residents are being approached by as yet unidentified contractors, proposing tree works that are stated to fall within Council’s “10% rule” of acceptance and therefore not requiring a Tree Pruning Permit.
Typically they give a false first name, do not provide a business name, ABN number, or insurer and contact information, ask for cash payment (often in advance) and do not provide an invoice. Their work is often incomplete, or creates tree hazards and tree health issues that did not previously exist.
Please note that within the Strathfield Council Municipality no such 10% exemption rule applies.
Council is committed to maintenance and enhancement of its green canopy.
Perpetrators of illegal tree works are liable to prosecution as are those (the unsuspecting property owners) allowing such works to occur. The maximum penalty in the Land and Environment Court of NSW is $1.1 million plus orders, for each tree or offence.
Residents are requested to report these tree lopping contractors and if possible provide the street or address, business name that is on the vehicle, a truck description and most importantly the registration number.