Private Land - Tree Removal

DISCLAIMER
Important information concerning the interpretations of legislation and other policies contained in this page. It is recommended that the Disclaimer be read in conjunction with the information provided.

Felling or lopping trees on private land

Council's Health and Environmental Services By-law 3 of 2011 places restrictions on tree removal on private land.

A permit is required before lopping or removing any native tree that:

  • has a trunk circumference of greater than 80cm at 1.5, or more above ground level,
  • is listed on a register of significant trees,
  • is protected under an agreement under Part 5 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 or covenant on the title.

You will need to fill out and lodge an application form. Applications for tree removal can be found online at www.kingborough.tas.gov.au under the Council application forms tab, or collected from Council's Civic Centre.

Trees have traditionally been regarded by the community as important elements in the Kingborough landscape and because of this, council is keen to ensure that the vegetated character is preserved. You will need to get approval before removing individual trees or lopping branches either on private land or council land. These provisions may vary between zones or overlay areas. To clear large numbers of trees usually requires a Forest Practices Plan.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Do I need permission to lop or remove a tree on my land?
  2. How long does it take to get permission to remove a tree?
  3. Does it cost anything to remove a tree?
  4. Can I get a tree lopped or removed from a neighbour's property?
  5. Can I get a tree lopped or removed from council land?
  6. Are there significant trees in my area and what does that mean?
  7. Can I object to a tree being removed?
  8. What about tree roots and drains?

1. Do I need permission to remove a tree on my land?  Return to top of page

Approval is required to cut down, ring-bark, top, lop, remove, injure or wilfully destroy any tree which;

a) has trunk circumference of greater than 80 cm at 1.5 metres or more above ground level
b) is listed on a register of significant trees
c) is protected under an agreement under Part 5 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 or covenant on the title.

Approval is not required for;

a) environmental or declared weeds as listed in the Kingborough Planning Scheme 2000
b) exotic species not listed on a register of significant trees 
c) a tree whose removal is approved under a permit under the land use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

You are likely to get approval if the tree is unsafe. However, the council will still need to inspect the tree and assess its situation.

Use the Application to fell or lop trees form or contact Council's Customer Service Department on Ph: 6211 8200 for further information.

If you are removing a tree(s) as part of a development application you need to indicate the locations of the tree(s) that are within ten metres of the proposed development. Council officers will include assessment as to whether the tree(s) should be removed or not in their overall assessment of the development.

The Forest Practices Act 1985 stipulates that a Forest Practices Plan is required for the following forest practices, including land clearing:

  • harvesting and regenerating native forest
  • harvesting and/or establishing plantations
  • clearing forest for other purposes
  • clearing and converting threatened native vegetation communities
  • constructing roads and quarries for the above purposes
  • harvesting tree ferns

These are assessed and issued by the Forest Practices Authority and are completely separate from any council approval.

Further information about the Forest Practices Board and Forest Practices Plans can be found on the Forest Practices Board website.

If you are clearing 'vulnerable' land you must always first obtain a Forest Practices Plan regardless of the size of the area.  (Definition of 'Vulnerable Land' can be found in the Forest Practices Regulations 1997)

2. How long does it take to get permission to remove a tree?  Return to top of page

After you submit an Application to fell or lop trees form it will be sent to the council's NRM Department and they will assess it. Usually someone will have to inspect the tree and make a recommendation. You will then receive a permit informing you of the decision, usually within two weeks of submitting the application.

3. Does it cost anything to remove a tree?  Return to top of page

An Application to fell or lop trees is free of charge. Residents cover the cost of tree removal and any subsequent reports that may be required (eg. Arborist’s report) themselves.

4. Can I get a tree lopped or removed from a neighbour's property?  Return to top of page

Councils do not generally get involved in negotiations between neighbours regarding trees. It is up to you to talk to your neighbour and work out a mutually acceptable solution. If your neighbour decides that they do want to remove a tree they will need to apply to council for permission by using an Application to fell or lop trees form.

6. Are there significant trees in my area and what does that mean?  Return to top of page

Some trees, such as the line of poplars north of the Southern Outlet overpass on the eastern side of the road, are heritage listed; that is, they are considered historically significant. Development on heritage listed sites requires careful consideration to maintain the character of the site. If you apply to get a tree removed, the council will check whether it is heritage listed and inform you.

7. Can I object to a tree being removed?  Return to top of page

You will need to contact the council to find out if you can object to a tree being removed. In many cases no specific appeals process will exist but council may be happy to receive comments.

It is possible to object and also to appeal council's decision, if the tree(s) are part of a larger development or subdivision proposal which is advertised.

If you object, you must do so in writing to the council, within 14 days of the development application being advertised.

If you wish to appeal council’s decision you must:

  • have already lodged an objection to the council with regard to the proposal
  • submit your appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal
    (RMPAT) within 14 days of receiving notice of council's decision.

For further details on the process of lodging appeals can be found on http://www.rmpat.tas.gov.au/ or by contacting the office on 6233 6464.

8. What about tree roots and drains?  Return to top of page

Tree roots can be aggressive and can often exert pressure on buildings, footpaths, fences and pipes. Existing cracks in pipes allow root invasion, as tree roots will seek out sources of moisture and nutrients.

Under the Local Government Act 1993 councils 'by notice in writing served on the owner or occupier of land, may require the owner or occupier to cut the roots of a tree or bush or remove a tree or bush the roots of which are interfering with any building or structure on or under other land' (Part 12, Section 184).

Pouring herbicides down blocked drains will not clear the roots but will almost certainly result in pollution problems and will kill the tree. Find out where the drains and pipes are on your property before planting large trees. 

Household drainage plans can be viewed at the Customer Service counter by visiting Council's Civic Centre at 15 Channel Highway, Kingston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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