Is there a tree on your property you wish to prune or remove that may be protected under local law in Brisbane?

Large Australian native trees provide shelter to local fauna and undeniable beauty in our urban areas. Unfortunately, they can also cause significant problems if infringing on residential boundaries, our driveways, or overhanging our homes and kids play areas.

If you’re looking to purchase or own a property with large native trees that you wish to prune or remove, we recommend you familiarise yourself with the Brisbane Councils definition of protected vegetation, including what you can and can’t do when it comes to maintaining or removing a protected species.

The Brisbane council’s definition of protected trees

According to the council website, the Natural Assets Local Law (2003 NALL) breaks protected vegetation down to 4 categories:

– Council vegetation
– Waterway and wetland vegetation
– Significant native vegetation
– Significant urban vegetation

Council Vegetation

This is the simple definition of any tree on council land. Any tree on that is located on land owned or occupied by council is protected, no matter the species. In short, you are not allowed to touch these trees without a permit from council. This includes street trees and gardens. To learn more about minor trimming of street trees read here.

Waterway and wetland vegetation

All vegetation in mapped wetlands or waterways is protected by council, unless it is pest vegetation. If your property contains waterway or wetland vegetation you have to apply for a permit with council to interfere with these trees.

Significant native vegetation

Significant native vegetation can be anything from ground covers to native grasses or of course, your large native trees like Gum, Fig or Poinciana trees. If your property is mapped by council with significant native vegetation, you will need to apply for a permit to prune or remove. The best way to find out if you are unsure is to phone council and provide them with your address so they can tell you if there is significant vegetation on your property.

Significant urban vegetation

This category protects native and exotic trees on private property that are generally mature, prominent in the landscape or have specific historic or cultural value in Brisbane. It could apply to a group of trees, or an individual tree under a protection order with council. Again, if you are concerned about a large tree on your property you wish to have pruned or removed, the safest way forward is to phone council. They will check your address against their records and be able to provide you with the information you need.

If you have determined that a tree on your property is protected, never attempt to remove or prune this tree without a permit. Proceeding to remove protected trees without approval may result in hefty penalties. The process of pruning and trimming protected trees will also require approval, and is generally required by a cert 3 – 5 Arborist.

Types of protected trees in Brisbane

Trees considered indigenous to the landscape of Brisbane, Australia will remain protected under the council law. These may include:

– Mango (mangiferaindica)
– Poinciana (delonix regia)
– Jacaranda (jacaranda mimosifolia)
– Hoop pine (araucaria cunninghamii)
– Bunya pine (araucaria bidwillii)
– Queensland Kauri pine (agathisrobusta)
– Queensland blue gum
– Queensland Forest red gum (eucalyptus tereticonis)
– Tallow wood (eucalyptus microcorys)
– Scribbly gum (eucalyptus racemosa)

The Process of Removal

You can apply online for a short-term permit in which temporary trims or removal of a single tree is performed. A long-term permit provides permission for continuous maintenance of protected trees.

When Oasis Tree Management provides a quote for a native tree, we will generally inform you that it needs to be checked with council, we are able to phone council on your behalf to assist with the query and process moving forward.

If you’d like to obtain a quote for a tree on your property, please contact us today!

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