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Wollongong City Council

Trees on Your Property

It’s important that you plant the right types of trees, in the right places, and look after them properly.

You may need Council’s permission to prune or remove trees on your property.

You do not need permission to prune or remove trees on your property that are:

  • on the exempt trees list
  • already approved to be removed or pruned as part of a Development Consent.

You do need permission to remove trees that are any of the following:

  • 3 metres or more in height
  • has a trunk diameter of 200mm or more, measured at 1 metre off the ground
  • has branches that spread 3 metres wide or more
  • has large roots that you want to prune
  • dead or dying.

There are two ways to get approval from Council to prune or remove a tree:

  1. Apply for a Tree Management Permit PDF, 108.36 KB.  It can take around 10 working days for your application to be processed.
  2. Get permission through a development application. Use this option to prune or remove a tree as part of work for a proposed development, like a house, extension, granny flat, pool or garage.

If you have questions, call us on (02) 4227 7111.

If the tree you want to prune is on a neighbour’s property, see our Issues with Neighbours’ Trees page.

Residents in some areas close to the bush can prepare for bush fires by clearing trees from around their home under the NSW Rural Fire Service 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme.

If your property is in a 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area, you may be able to clear trees close to your house without Council's approval. Make sure you read the guidelines carefully first; you could be fined for illegally clearing trees.

It is the property owner's responsibility to make sure they follow the 10/50 Code of Practice.

You should also note that you can’t remove a tree under these guidelines if a development consent specifically says it needs to be retained.

For details, and to find out if your property is in a 10/50 area, visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website.

Sometimes trees on your land can become dangerous. This could include part of the tree ‘failing’ (for example, branches falling), roots heaving out of the ground, or significant damage from storms.

When a tree is an immediate threat to people or property, emergency authorities like the State Emergency Service (SES), Rural Fire Service (RFS) or Council can do work to make the tree safe.

Dangerous tree work can only be done on the part of the tree that’s posing a risk; for example, the whole tree can’t be removed if only one branch is causing a problem.

If this happens, the property owner should collect evidence to show why the tree was a threat. This could include:

  • An emergency response reference number
  • Photos of the dangerous tree
  • A report by a qualified arborist.

You will also need to apply for a Tree Management Permit within 72 hours of the emergency if more work needs to be done on the tree, or if it needs to be removed entirely. Evidence to show that the tree was dangerous (described above) should be included with your application.

If a tree on public land becomes dangerous, report it to Council on (02) 4227 7111. You can also use this number after hours.

You should not plant trees on the footpath in front of your house, as this is public land.

However, you’re welcome to ask Council to plant a footpath tree for you. Email us to make a request.

If a tree on public land, such as a footpath, park or reserve near your property needs attention, please report it to us.

We recommend that you apply online for a Tree Management Permit using the button at the bottom of this page. However, if you’d prefer to use a hard copy, download the form below:

Apply for a Tree Management Permit PDF, 108.36 KB

If you are applying for a review of your tree management permit determination, use this form:

Application for Review of Tree Management Permit Determination PDF, 60.89 KB

It's important that your application includes information so we can easily identify which tree/s your request applies to. Please attach details to your application that show where the relevant tree/s are, such as:

  • an aerial map of the property
  • photos
  • a hand-drawn map or diagram
  • plans with the tree locations clearly marked.

After you lodge a tree application, we will inspect the trees listed. Please tag these trees as soon as you lodge your application so we can easily identify them. Use a brightly coloured tape, ribbon, string, or a similar non-permanent material that won't hurt the tree.

Our current fees and charges for tree management applications on our fees and charges page. Prices include GST.

Please note, you will be asked to log in or create an account to use the online forms below.