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Wollongong City Council

Tree Permit FAQs

Below are some common questions about tree permits.

If you can't find the answer you're looking for below, please email or call us on (02) 4227 7111

You can apply to prune or remove trees as soon as settlement occurs. You may need to give us proof of ownership, like a copy of the advice sent to the Lands Title Office, as our records don’t get updated immediately.

Talk to your strata manager or Body Corporate before starting an application. Their written approval and stamp or seal will need to be attached to the application.

Some strata managers may offer to handle the application on behalf of the owners or residents.

Note that full fees apply for strata applications, even if one of the applicants would individually be entitled to a reduced rate (for example, a pensioner). That’s because the strata body itself isn’t eligible for rebates.

The application will also need to include a clear map of the property or complex and the location of the tree so we can inspect it.

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

The same rules apply to both living and dead trees.

Check the Trees and My Property page for details about which trees do and don’t need a permit.

One of the conditions of approval is that pruning works are carried out by a qualified arborist in line with the Australian Standard for pruning of trees.

Talk to your arborist. They’ll understand the terms used on the permit and should be able to explain it to you.

A permit is valid for two years from the date shown on the permit.

Applications are usually processed within 28 working days from when we receive payment. Sometimes it can take a bit longer if we need more information.

You can email or call us on (02) 4227 7111 to check the status of you application.

You can ask for a review within 12 months of the date shown on the permit. You may need to provide evidence from an expert like an arborist or structural engineer to support your request.

Applications to review a decision can currently only be made on our hard copy form. A fee also applies.

Call (02) 4227 7111 or email us with the property address and details of what trees are being pruned or removed. Make sure you include information about the dates and times that the work on the tree or trees happened.

We can check whether a tree permit or development consent has been issued.

Please note that we do not have records of clearing done under NSW 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme.

Wanting a better view, more light or access to solar panels is not generally accepted as a reason to remove or prune a tree. Sometimes minor pruning can be approved to let more light through. Approval will only be given if the pruning can be done in line with the Australian Standard for pruning of trees.

You will have to go through the normal application process to confirm this.

We need to know which trees your application relates to so we can inspect them before we make a decision. If we can't find the right trees, this can cause delays.

Make sure your application has a site plan that shows 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.

As soon as you lodge your application you should tag the relevant trees 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.

Changes to tree inspections due to Coronavirus

We have changed how we inspect trees for the safety of our customers and staff.

To make sure there is no face-to-face contact, we will phone you before we inspect your tree/s to:

  • make sure we can access your property without you being present, and
  • talk about any other issues we need to consider to make sure we keep everyone safe.

Please make sure you have your correct daytime phone number on your application to help with this process.