Trees on private properties

Pruning and removing trees on private properties

An application is required to be lodged with Council before pruning or removing a New South Wales (NSW) native tree or Norfolk Island Pine from any private property in Lake Macquarie. Where an application is not required to be lodged is identified in the section below titled When a tree can be removed or pruned without Council's approval.

How to tell if the tree is native

It is the property owner's responsibility to identify if the 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:

Applying to prune or remove a tree

You need to lodge the Application to Prune or Remove a Tree with Council to gain approval for the work. We also recommend you read our Tree Preservation and Native Vegetation Management Guideline to learn about the general information usually to be submitted with the application.

Applications can be submitted online, by mail or in person at our Administration Building at 126-138 Main Road, Speers Point, from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Apply to prune or remove a tree

You will need to provide a site diagram which 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 remove or prune the tree.

When a tree can be removed or pruned without Council's approval

You don't need Council's approval for the following:

Trees blocking drain or sewer pipes

 If a tree is blocking underground pipes, Council's approval to remove or prune it is required. When the tree is on a neighbouring property, the tree owner’s consent is required to be lodged with your application to Council.

If a tree on the neighbouring property is causing blockage to underground pipes on your property, and the owner of the tree does not agree to its removal, you are entitled to prune the tree roots up to the property boundary, but the pruning must not exceed 10% of the tree’s total root structure. A root barrier may then be installed. The work should be carried out by a qualified arborist.

Enquiries and advice about pruning or removing trees

For advice about pruning or removing trees on private properties, call us on 02 4921 0333.

Page last updated: 06 October 2017