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Pruning or removing a tree on private property

Before you prune or remove any remnant tree, you should find out whether it is protected by legislation. You may face prosecution and enforcement action if you breach the Whittlesea Planning Scheme by removing native vegetation.

Removing trees on your private property

In many cases, you will need a planning permit to remove native trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses, so you should first check with our Planning Department by calling 9217 2259.

The Whittlesea Planning Scheme, particularly Clauses 52.16 and 52.17, contain a number of exemptions where you don’t need a permit, for example, to remove

  • vegetation around your rural property for protection from bushfire
  • previously planted (rather than native) vegetation

Our staff can advise you to what extent these and other exemptions relate to your land.

Culturally significant trees

In many areas of cultural heritage significance, such as areas or sites affected by a Heritage Overlay, you may need a planning permit to remove any non-native vegetation such as exotic garden trees.

Tree removal due to development

All Victorian planning schemes require that native vegetation removal is avoided wherever possible.

If removal cannot be avoided, the removal should be minimised through suitable planning and design.

Vegetation losses that are unavoidable may need to be offset with net gains or placement elsewhere.

Protecting River Red Gum trees

River Red Gums are given extra protection under the Whittlesea Planning Scheme as they are an important part of our local landscape and have high heritage value.

For more information, see our River Red Gum Protection Policy.