Trees on private land – FAQs

Q: Can I remove a tree within 1 metre of my house?

A: Council consent is not required for trees located within 1 metre of a residential dwelling located on the same lot. It is recommended that a replacement tree is planted within the same lot within a different location. Please note that this exempt work does not apply to trees listed within the heritage trees list, located on a property that is a heritage item, or located in a heritage conservation area.

Q: Where is the 1 metre distance measured from?

A: The distance is measured from the centre of the tree at 1.4 metres from the wall of the residential dwelling.

Q: I have a tree that is on the Exempt Tree species list - Can I remove it without Council approval?

A: Yes, trees within the exempt tree species list (straight tree species) can be removed without Council approval unless the tree is located within a heritage conservation area or are listed as part of a Heritage Item within the Council’s Local Environment Plan.

See the exempt tree species list in the table below or download Council's Tree Management Development Control Plan (DCP) (PDF 662.4KB).

 Species Name  Common Name
 Acer negundo Box Elder
 Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven
 Alnus jorrullensis Evergreen Alder
 Bambusa spp. Phyllostachys spp. Bamboo species
 Cotoneaster spp. Cotoneaster
 Erythrina x sykesii Coral Tree
 Gleditsia triacanthos Honey Locust
 Lagunaria patersonia Norfolk Island Hibiscus
 Ligustrum lucidum Broad Leaved Privet
 Ligustrum sinense Small Leaved Privet
 Nerium oleander Oleander
 Robinia pseudoacacia False Acacia/Black Locust
 Salix spp. Willow
 Schefflera actinophylla Umbrella Tree
 Syagrus romanzoffianum Cocos Palm
 Tamarix aphylla Athel Tree
 Toxicodendron succedaneum Rhus Tree

Department of Primary Industry Priority

Weeds List of the Greater Sydney (Inner West)

See the NSW Weedwise website for list

Q: My tree is dead, what kind of application is required?

A: Yes, removal of dead trees requires Council consent. A Tree Works Permit or Development Application needs to be lodged to Council.

Q: Do I need to lodge an arborist report with my application?

A: Arborist report (or other specialist reports) are not mandatory however they may assist with an approval of your application. Council is a consent authority that provides a determination based on information provided. Please refer to our development fact sheets to assist with what information is required in a specialist report.

Q: What can I do without Council permission?

A: Canopy lifting to 2.5 metres above ground level; Pruning of branches with a diameter of less than 100mm to a maximum of 10% of the canopy annually and the pruning of deadwood that does not have hollows or provide habitat for native fauna.

Removal of trees without permission

Removal of a tree including a prescribed tree located within 1 metre distance of a residential dwelling located on the same lot is as per details above; Removal of trees listed within the exempt tree species list. Note: The above exempt works do not apply to trees listed within the heritage trees list, or located on a property that is a heritage item, or located in a heritage conservation area.

Q: How do I see if the tree is located in a Heritage Conservation Area?

You can check Heritage Conservation Areas by using the NSW Planning Portal maps.

Q: How to lodge a Tree Permit Application?

A: Before completing this process, please confirm that you are not in a Heritage Conservation Area. If you are, you must submit a Development Application to remove or prune the tree.

  1. Download and complete the tree works application form (PDF 224.9KB)
  2. Log in to the Inner West portal. You will need to be a registered user in order to submit and track this application.
  3. Click on "Enquiries".
  4. Click the "Start button" next to "Public Approvals".
  5. Select "Tree Approval" from the dropdown and select "Tree Permit Application".
  6. Fill in the rest of the form and click "Lodge".
  7. Attach the application form in attachments. The application type is "Application Form".
  8. Click "Finalise and Lodge".

Here's a PDF version of the application process (PDF 363.6KB) for your reference. 

Q: If Council refuses my application, what can I do?

A: A request for a procedural review of the process undertaken must be lodged within 28 days of the determination date (as per the Local Government Act 1993).

You may apply to the NSW Land and Environment Court against a refusal by Council to grant the permit. The appeal must be made within three months of the date of the determination. Refer here for more information.

An application for a development application may seek an appeal in the following ways:

  • Section 8.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act) gives you the right to appeal to the Land and Environment Court in accordance with the timeframes set out in Section 8.10 of the Act.
  • Section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides that the applicant may request Council to review the determination. Section 8.2 does not apply to, designated development, a determination made by Council under Section 4.2 in respect of Crown applications, or a decision that has already been the subject of a Section 8.2 review.

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Page last updated: 20 May 2024