Trees on public land

Managing and maintaining our trees

We regularly undertake work to maintain the health and vigour of our trees to ensure:

  • Unimpeded pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfare
  • Safety by removing deadwood or structurally unsound branches
  • Building and services clearances
  • Improved line-of-sight, and/or
  • Formative pruning of young trees.

Reporting an issue with a tree on public land

We can prune or remove trees on public land if they are dangerous or causing an issue. An online service request is available or you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 722 542.

Our responsibility to the community

The following will not generally be considered as justifiable reasons to prune public trees or native vegetation:

  • Leaf /sap/resin/seed/flower/fruit drop, bird or bat droppings, as these are all natural processes of trees and wildlife, or
  • To improve street lighting into private property.

We do not prune trees within private property, but we may serve notice on property owners to prune or remove trees and other vegetation encroaching onto public land.

Pruning around overhead powerlines and service wires is undertaken by contractors employed by Ausgrid. This usually involves clearance of at least 1.5 metres from bare low voltage overhead mains, and 0.5 metres from low voltage overhead Aerial Bundled Cables (ABC).

Ausgrid can be contacted in an emergency on 13 13 88, for general enquiries on 13 13 65 or via the Ausgrid website.

Private trees overhanging public space

Where trees or shrubs from private property overhang and cause obstruction on a public walkway or carriageway, we can request the owner to prune or remove the encroaching vegetation.

To request that a tree on private property be pruned please lodge an online service request or you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 722 542 to report the problem.

Removing or pruning trees on public land

We know that trees require attention in order to maintain their health and appearance. We acknowledge they can sometimes cause problems. In addition to our regular tree maintenance, we will investigate requests for work on specific trees. If you have concerns regarding a street or park tree please lodge an online service request or you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 722 542 to report the problem.

Please provide the following information:

  • Name, address and daytime contact number
  • Location of tree/s
  • Reasons for the requested pruning or removal

Planting trees on public land

We encourage community participation in the greening of our streets. If you would like a street tree planted outside your property, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 722 542 or fill in our Street Tree Planting Request form for assessment and possible planting.

Where suitable, we will gladly plant a tree on your nature strip, free of charge. However, any street tree planting carried out by residents without consulting us may result in:

  • sightline difficulties
  • inconsistency of trees in the streetscape
  • future damage to our infrastructure or private property, and/or
  • public liability claims or the added difficulty of ongoing maintenance.

As trees planted on our property become our responsibility, the legacy of such tree problems may not become evident for years.

In such cases, we will look at options with residents to reach a suitable outcome, however, if there are no alternatives, we may remove inappropriately planted trees and replant with a more suitable tree.

If you would like to become actively involved in the planting out of a larger section of your street and are prepared to coordinate the selection, planting and maintenance of planted trees, it is recommended you consider signing up to Council's Community Street Tree Planting Project PDF, 75.28 KB.

A minimum of five (5) households are required for any particular project to proceed and Council must make sure that any projects are carried out in an appropriate manner that ensures both the success of the project and the safety of the participants.

Council needs to know who is involved in these projects and that participants fully understand the conditions applied to volunteers involved in such projects.

Please ensure that the conditions on the form are read and fully understood by all participants registering. When you have completed the form, please return it to Council for assessment.

Street tree identification manual

In order to assist in the identification and selection of appropriate tree species for planting throughout the City, we have a Street Tree Identification Manual which details all species of trees and shrubs nominated in our Street Tree Masterplan.

This manual provides a detailed description of the tree or shrub, its overall dimensions at maturity, whether it is native or exotic, evergreen or deciduous and the topographical precincts throughout the City where it is most suited.

It also provides photographs of the tree, its fruit, flowers, leaves and bark and gives a brief description of all these components.

The manual is also a very practical and useful resource for assisting in the selection of appropriate tree species for planting on private property.

The manual has been divided into six volumes and they can be accessed by selecting the following links:

Volume 1 Tree Species A-B   PDF, 14155.43 KB
Volume 2 Tree Species C-D   PDF, 14505.33 KB
Volume 3 Tree Species E-F   PDF, 14625.82 KB
Volume 4 Tree Species G-L   PDF, 14912.53 KB
Volume 5 Tree Species M-R   PDF, 12907.94 KB
Volume 6 Tree Species S-Z   PDF, 9887.94 KB

Last Updated: 14 April 2023
Back to top