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.
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.