This guide is designed to help with Tree Removal in Council Areas located in New South Wales
Most information about tree pruning applies to all states in Australia but please keep in mind that tree and vegetation management policy can differ from council to council. Use our Tree Removal Guide for advice on tree removal.
What can I do without council's approval?
Reasonable pruning of up to 10% of a tree’s canopy within 12 calendar months is allowed and does not need councils approval if the tree trunk is wholly within your property.
Addition: You can only remove branches with a diameter less than 50mm in Ku-Ring-Gai Council area and branches with a diameter less than 100mm in North Sydney Council area.
You don’t need Council’s approval for removal of deadwood from a tree and removal of any species of parasite mistletoe or parasitic plant from any part of a tree.
Can my tree be pruned under DA?
There are several circumstances which could complicate approval for tree pruning, like a tree protection status or Biodiversity Values.
Pruning trees for the following reasons needs a DA and is likely to be approved:
- Crown-thinning for views, solar, pedestrian or vehicular access.
- Maintenance pruning to remove dead, diseased or dying branches.
- Selective pruning to remove branches causing conflict, like building encroachment.
- Root pruning to reduce damage to built and natural structures.
- Pruning for service lines, vehicle sight line and Roads and Maritime Services requirements.
Pruning trees which are not located on your property:
In this case, you have to apply for a DA. Your neighbour will be notified of your application and they will be given two weeks to comment before it's determined.
If the application is approved, you won't need your neighbour's permission to prune the tree but you might want to talk them through your plans as a courtesy.
Please keep in mind that the approval doesn't gives you the permission to enter you neighbours property to prune the tree.
How can I prune a tree under DA in NSW?
For a DA application you need the property address and access details, details of the tree(s) and a Tree Location Plan (either a block plan or a text description). You may also provide photos of the tree(s).
If you would like to apply for more than 5 trees, contact your council directly for application
You can apply for approval of a DA online by following a few steps:
- Open the NSW Planning Portal and select the ’Apply online’ button
- Select your council and the service you wish to apply for, then select the 'Get started' button
- Complete the online form and upload the required supporting documentation
- Review and confirm all the information you’ve provided
- Submit your application
Updated 11 Aug 22
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Tree Removal & Pruning Guide
Posted: 11 Aug 22