Street trees

Street trees are one of the most important natural assets in our area and we are committed to maintaining and increasing our urban canopy. We plant many new trees each year to enhance the ecological, climatic, amenity, aesthetic, economic and cultural value of the area.

If you have a vacant tree pit or grass verge in front of your house, you can request Council to plant a tree by completing the form below.

Request a street tree

Your request and the location will be assessed by our street tree asset officer to determine if the site is suitable. You may only request a street tree for a location directly outside your property.

How can you help?

How to care for your new street tree (PDF 78.6KB).

  • Watering trees twice a week in summer and once a week in winter using a standard 9 litre watering can
  • Mulching around the base of the tree to retain soil moisture, reduces competition from weeds and adds nutrient to the soil. Keep in mind that:
    • The circle needs to be slightly clear of the trunk, 50 to 75 mm high
    • Hardwood chips or leaf mulch are ideal
    • Grass clippings are NOT suitable for mulch as they produce excessive heat
    • Keep the mulch free from weeds and grass.
  • Protect the tree from mower and whipper-snipper damage

Street tree maintenance/pruning

We are committed to the ongoing management of our urban forests. Residents are not permitted to prune street trees themselves, fines of up to $6000 can apply. Contact Council if you would like to request a street to be pruned.

We will prune street trees to:

  • Remove any dead, dying or dangerous branches
  • Allow clearance for pedestrians and vehicles
  • Allow clearance to buildings (generally 2 metres, dependent on site constraints)
  • Improve their health and structure

We will not prune or remove street trees:

  • To allow or improve a view or excessive solar access
  • To reduce fruit or leaf fall, sap drop, bird droppings or similar natural processes
  • Because branches overhang a boundary
  • For any other reason that may violate laws and regulations that protect trees

Request pruning of a public tree

Street tree removal

Removal of trees is seen as a last option. We will assess removal of trees based on the following:

  • The health and structural condition of the tree/s
  • The level of risk the tree poses which cannot be managed through pruning or other risk mitigation measures
  • If the tree is causing significant damage to public infrastructure,
  • If the tree is causing significant damage to structures on private property
  • Any other reason at the discretion of Council's staff, which can be justified either on arboricultural, technical or legal grounds according to particular circumstances

Request removal of a public tree

Current street tree works

Visit the planned Council tree works page for notices about current tree works.

Problems with street trees

Storm damage

If street trees cause damage to your property as a result of a storm, you can provide Council with the address and a Council officer will come and assess the extent of the problem. Council will arrange for a tree crew or our contract arborists to cut up and clear the offending tree/branches.

Storm damage claims need to be made through your own Car or Household Insurance. Under the Civil Liability Act it is unlikely Council will be responsible even though it is a Council Tree. Insurance companies and the Courts view this as an “Act of God”.

Tree root damage

If tree roots are damaging or blocking your stormwater/sewer pipes, cracking your front fence or path it is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain the infrastructure and services to their house.

If you have blocked or damaged sewer or stormwater pipes which are old earthenware or clay pipes and they may have deteriorated, cracked or be leaking at the joints due to age, Council does not accept liability for this type of damage or tree root entry if the pipes were cracked or leaking.

If this is not the case you need to provide evidence to Council that the Council Street Tree has actually overtly caused the damage to your the property while the tree roots are exposed.

An initial assessment of this can be by way of builders, engineers or plumbers report with accompanying photos and Council should be called to inspect the situation before any rectification work is undertaken.

For tree root damage claims, once the required evidence has been gathered and provided, a Council officer will come to your property to ascertain the extent of the damage.

Once a Council officer has inspected and noted the evidence, it will be forwarded to Council's insurance company for assessment and consideration.

Allergies from trees

If you consider that a street tree may be the cause of your allergy symptoms, you will be required to provide evidence that this tree is the cause.

We will only consider the removal of a Council street tree for allergies on the following criteria:

  • The claim must be verified by a medical certificate from a registered clinical immunologist/allergist or clinic such as the Allergy, Immuno and Infectious Diseases Clinic at Westmead or the Asthma Foundation that the tree in question is responsible for the allergic reaction. Medical certificates from general practitioners will not be accepted as a valid claim for tree removal.
  • Where that species of tree causing the allergy is listed as exempt on Council's exempt tree species list.

Approval will not be granted, even with a verified medical certificate, where this tree forms the dominant tree variety in the streetscape because the removal of the single tree will not alleviate the cause of the allergy to that individual.

Where a tree is removed for allergy reasons, the replacement tree will be a suitable native species. 

Still have a tree question?

Lodge an enquiry using Council's online customer request management system.

Lodge an enquiry

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Page last updated: 22 Jun 2023