Permits and protection for trees and vegetation

All of our residential areas are subject to tree protection overlays under the Banyule Planning Scheme.

If you want to remove, destroy or lop a tree on your property, you may require planning permission based on criteria such as the size and species.

To find out if you need a permit:

  • check the vegetation controls on VicPlan
  • contact Council's Development Planning team direct on 9457 9808 for advice.

If you want to prune a protected tree, you may also require planning permission.

This will depend on the extent of the live canopy you wish to prune, and if the pruning will destroy the tree.

Application

To apply for a permit:

  • take a photo of the tree(s) you wish to prune, remove or lop and sketch a basic map of where the tree is located on your property
  • complete our tree removal permit form
  • upload your photo and map
  • pay the permit fee of $202.90 for tree removal or $101.50 for pruning.

Tree planning permit application

Assessing your application

To make a decision whether the tree can be pruned, removed or lopped, we will register and allocate your application to our arborist for assessment.

The arborist may then contact you to arrange a site visit to inspect the tree(s). The application is assessed, and a decision is made if the tree(s) are appropriate to be lopped or removed and if a permit should be granted.

Decisions are made based on:

  • the health and retention value of the tree(s)
  • if the tree(s) poses a risk to human life or property.

If your application is for only 1 tree, we try to provide you with a decision within 10 days of receiving your application.

Protection

Trees and vegetation provide environmental, economic, health and community benefits, including:

  • keeping the environment cool in hot weather
  • providing habitats and shelter for local birds, animals and insects
  • providing a more physically appealing environment
  • improving air quality by removing pollutants and lowering temperatures
  • contributing to the improvement of our urban residential environment.

Trees and development sites

Trees are an important consideration for planning assessments.

We always require information if any trees protected under any planning overlays are proposed for removal and also to be able to determine the impacts on any trees on adjoining properties that may be affected by a development proposal.

Reference material

Residential concerns

Your trees are important. Any development proposal needs to ensure there will be no adverse impacts on the trees on your property. As part of any planning proposal, we always require information from the applicant to determine the impact on your neighbours trees and ensure they will be sufficiently protected.

Trees on neighbouring properties

Disputes between neighbours regarding overhanging trees are considered civil matters and must be resolved directly between relevant parties. For further information on resolving tree disputes please visit the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.

You may apply for the pruning, lopping or removal of trees on a neighbouring property, however prior permission must be sought to access a neighbour's property and to carry out any works.

Reporting concerns

If you are concerned about a neighbour's tree(s) being removed without our approval, contact us on 9457 9808 so we can investigate it.

Developer information

A planning application that proposes the removing or impacting protected trees on adjoining properties requires an arborist report.

Tree protection zones

A tree protection zone (TPZ) is a fenced, circular area surrounding a tree that:

  • protects its roots from high traffic soil compaction and ground disturbance
  • provides its roots space to maintain tree health and minimises interruptions to its growth
  • prevents vehicle or machinery damage to the its trunk and branches.

Common mistakes include:

  • Not fully considering development impacts on existing trees: encroaching on a tree protection zone (TPZ) by 10% or more is considered a major encroachment, and works may not be permitted in that area depending on the severity.
  • Excluding trees on adjoining properties: all arboricultural reports should provide construction impact assessments for any trees in proximity to property boundaries or that may be affected by a development.

Protecting trees

Before starting works, you must ensure that all conditions on your permit relating to tree protection and management have been satisfied and that all required protection measures have been installed.

Tree roots that collect water and nutrients are found within the top 600mm of soil. Roots in this layer must be protected during works so they continue to grow.

  • You or the builder must have a permit to do works around a tree.
  • Create a TPZ around the tree with no open trenches or altered soil levels.
  • Put a circular fence with signage around the TPZ to prevent anyone or machinery from working too close or stockpiling materials.
  • Provide ground protection such as mulch within the TPZ.
  • Keep construction waste out of the TPZ.
  • Do not attach anything to the tree or use it as a support or anchorage.
  • Do not allow fuel, oil or chemicals within the zone.
  • Do not attach wires, nails, screws or any fixing devices as a support or anchorage for machinery.
  • Keep the tree mulched and watered during and after construction.