Tree pruning and removal

An application must be lodged with Council before pruning or removing a NSW native tree or Norfolk Island Pine from any private property in Lake Macquarie. Please use the assessment tools below to determine what action is required to prune or remove a tree located on your property.

Tree Pruning Assessment Tool

Step 1.Assess

Use our Tree Pruning Assessment Tool to determine if you can prune a tree located on your property. You can go back and change your answer to any question at any time. To start over just refresh your browser window.

Assess a tree

The Tree Pruning Assessment Tool does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • If your property forms part of a Heritage item, is located within a Heritage Conservation area, forms part of an Aboriginal Object or is within an Aboriginal place of heritage significance. In this instance Development Application consent or approval from the NSW Government may be required for the removal or pruning of any tree.
  • If your property is classified as rural land, any request to remove or prune a tree must be assessed by Local Land Services (LLS). LLS can be contacted on 1300 795 299 or visit the Local Land Services website for more information.

Step 2.Apply

If the Tree Pruning Assessment Tool determines that you require approval from Council before you can prune the tree, you can submit an Application to Prune a Tree online.

We recommend you read our Tree Preservation and Native Vegetation Management Guideline(PDF, 1MB) to learn about the information usually submitted with the application. If you are applying on behalf of the property owner ensure you include a Statement of Consent(PDF, 338KB) with the application.

You will need to provide a site diagram that identifies the tree in relation to buildings and other site features. The site diagram can be sent as an attachment with the online application process or use the system to generate one for you. You will be required to pay an application fee during the lodgement process.

After your application is submitted, we will carry out an inspection of the tree to determine if it is necessary and appropriate to prune the tree.

Apply online

Tree Removal Assessment Tool

Step 1.Assess

Use our Tree Removal Assessment Tool to determine if you can remove a tree located on your property. You can go back and change your answer to any question at any time. To start over just refresh your browser window.

Assess a tree

The Tree Removal Assessment Tool does not apply in the following circumstances:

  • If your property forms part of a Heritage item, is located within a Heritage Conservation area, forms part of an Aboriginal Object or is within an Aboriginal place of heritage significance. In this instance Development Application consent or approval from the NSW Government may be required for the removal or pruning of any tree.
  • If your property is classified as rural land, any request to remove or prune a tree must be assessed by Local Land Services (LLS). LLS can be contacted on 1300 795 299 or visit the Local Land Services website for more information.

Step 2.Apply

If the Tree Removal Assessment Tool determines that you require approval from Council before you can remove the tree, you can submit an Application to Remove a Tree online.

We recommend you read our Tree Preservation and Native Vegetation Management Guideline to learn about the information usually submitted with the application. If you are applying on behalf of the property owner ensure you include a Statement of Consent(PDF, 338KB) with the application.

You will need to provide a site diagram that identifies the tree in relation to buildings and other site features. The site diagram can be sent as an attachment with the online application process or use the system to generate one for you. You will be required to pay an application fee during the lodgement process.

After your application is submitted, we will carry out an inspection of the tree to determine if it is necessary and appropriate to prune the tree.

Apply online

How to tell if a tree is native

It is the property owner's responsibility to identify if a tree is native, non-native or otherwise exempt from requiring consent prior to removal or pruning.

Council does not provide a species identification service and will only identify the species after an application is received.

Some suggestions to identify tree species prior to lodging your application are:

  • A consulting arborist or horticulturist can identify the species and complete a health and hazard assessment of the tree. They can confirm whether Council consent is required.
  • A reputable tree service operator may be able to identify the species, provide advice on whether Council consent is required for pruning or removal, and provide a quote for any works.
  • Take a sample (e.g. leaves and fruit/seed/nut) to a local nursery for identification.

 

Trees on neighbouring properties

Branches from native trees overhanging from a neighbouring property can be pruned back to the boundary as long as pruning does not exceed 10% of the tree canopy. Pruning works are to be carried out in accordance with acceptable industry standards. Pruning that exceeds 10% is subject to an application to Council. 

You should discuss the pruning with your neighbour first and work should be carried out by a qualified arborist.

Offcuts are green waste and should be disposed in your green waste bin. In the interests of maintaining good neighbourly relations, offcuts are not to be thrown back onto the neighbouring property.

Council does not have the authority to enter into disputes between neighbours about trees. This is deemed a civil matter covered by NSW State Legislation Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006. You can seek legal advice from a solicitor, the Community Justice Centre, Chamber Magistrate at your Local Court, or the Land and Environment Court.