Trees and vegetation: permits and protection

Trees and vegetation are important in Banyule. They provide visual amenity, shade, protection and increase biodiversity across our municipality.

All residential areas within Banyule are subject to tree controls (overlays) under the provisions of the Banyule Planning Scheme.

Permit to remove or lop a tree: do I need one?

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

To find out if you need a permit use:

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

Applying for a permit

To apply for a permit:

  • take a photo of the tree(s) you wish to 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; and
  • pay the permit fee of $198 for tree removal or $99 for pruning.

Tree Planning Permit application

Assessing your application

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

A Council arborist may then contact you to arrange a site visit to inspect the tree(s). Our arborist assesses the application and decides 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.

We try to provide you with a decision within 10 days of receiving your application.

Why we protect trees

Trees and vegetation provide a wide range of environmental, economic, health and community benefits within an urban residential environment. Some of these benefits include:

  • 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; and
  • contributing to the improvement of Banyule's Urban Forest Strategy.

 Read Banyule's Urban Forest Strategy

Banyule has a Significant Trees and Vegetation Register(PDF, 175KB) that provides a list of individual trees, groups of trees and areas of vegetation in Banyule that have special significance.

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.

For developers

A planning application that proposes the removal of any protected trees or that will potentially impact on trees on adjoining properties requires an arborist report.

Common mistakes include:

  • not fully considering development impacts on existing trees. Encroaching on a tree protection zone by 10% or more is considered a major encroachment, and buildings works may not be permitted in that area depending on the severity; and
  • 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.

For residents with 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 neighbours trees and ensure they will be sufficiently protected.

Tree Protection Zones (TPZ)

A TPZ is a calculated circular area surrounding a tree that protects it from adverse construction impacts. It also often requires protective fencing to be erected around a tree during the construction phase to ensure no damage is incurred to the tree.

Reporting concerns about a tree being removed

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

Issues with 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 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.