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Tree Removal Application, Fees & Charges

Making an Application

To lodge an application for Inspection please print and complete:

Applications are processed within 14 days for trees on private property. Applications for trees on public land are processed within 15 days or less. Any further information requested by Council upon receipt of application should be provided within 21 calender days.

An application for tree works must be signed by the owner of the tree.

It is important that any supporting information be included as part of the application.  Council will require an Aborists report from a qualified Aborist to accompany applications for removal of significant trees. 

In the case of unit blocks, body corporate endorsement must be obtained before lodging an application for tree works. In the case of joint ownership (trees growing on a shared boundary) all stakeholders must sign the application. If you wish to remove or prune a tree that is located on a neighbouring property, an application must be lodged by the owner of the tree.

Once completed and the appropriate fee paid, a Tree Preservation Officer will visit the site and assess the tree based on the criteria outlined in Council's control for preservation of trees or bushland.

Applicants do not have to be on site while inspection is taking place unless it is necessary, for example the site has a difficult access. If you require an onsite appointment with Council's Tree Preservation Officer an additional fee of $85 applies.

Please include a cheque or money order for the amount appropriate to your application when posting to Council. Address all correspondence to:

Attention:  Tree Preservation Officer
Northern Beaches Council
P.O. Box 882
Mona Vale NSW 1660

Credit Card payments are accepted at Council Customer Service Centres however, an additional 0.7% credit card service fee applies

What should you do if you wish a neighbour to prune a tree on an adjoining property?

Residents are advised that Council has no power to compel a tree owner to prune or remove a tree. In the first instance residents are advised to consult their neighbours about the problem. Sometimes a dispute may arise between neighbours about removal or pruning of a tree and who should pay the cost of this work. Council has no authority over neighbourly disputes and this is a matter between residents. If you cannot resolve a dispute amicably, application can be made to the Land & Environment Court under the Neighbour Tree Dispute Act 2006.

Why does Council charge a fee for tree inspections?

The fee was introduced by Council to cover costs of administering the Tree Preservation and providing on site advice to residents on tree maintenance and selection. Funds raised are used for replanting and tree maintenance.

Pruning of Trees

The pruning of a tree by less than 10% of the foliage area is exempt from the requirement of consent. This covers most situations such as limbs overhanging or touching buildings, wires etc., or damaged branches. Pruning a greater area requires Council's written consent.

Crown thinning is the recommended method of pruning trees. This involves the re-shaping of the tree, retaining the original height and width, by the pruning of selected branches only, in order to ultimately obtain a structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing shaped tree. You should remember that indiscriminate lopping/pruning can be a danger to your safety and the health of a tree. For this reason, all pruning should conform to the Australian Standard (AS4373-1996) and be undertaken by a professional Arborist.

What can I do if my neighbour has planted trees inappropriately and they are causing damage or inconvenience to me?

Council has no legal ability to control tree planting on private property, except where this is associated with a development approval condition. If your neighbours trees are causing or likely to cause damage to your property, and your neighbour is uncooperative, you should seek advice from a Community Justice Centre, and/or seek legal advice.

Council can only act where an application under the Tree Preservation has been received.

What happens when a decision is made?

All approvals / refusals will be sent by mail to the applicant.