tree canopy

Tree Protection On Private Land - New Local Law Consultation

tree canopy

Greater Dandenong Council is committed to protecting our local tree canopy. 

Council proposes to introduce a new Local Law which will require a permit when removing certain trees on private property.  

The new Local Law proposes:

A permit will be required for:

  • a protected tree with a stem diameter equal to or greater than 40cm measured at 1.4m above ground level. 

A permit will not be required for:

  • if the removal of a tree requires a permit under the City of Greater Dandenong Planning Scheme and a permit has been obtained
  • for pruning
  • in an emergency
  • or if the tree is declared a noxious weed. 

Read the Proposed Tree Protection on Private Land Local Law - 234KB

Read the Proposed Tree Protection on Private Land Policy - 519KB

This consultation has now closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Council proposing?

Council proposes to introduce a new Local Law that will require residents to obtain a permit before removing certain trees from public land.

Why is this Local Law required?

Greater Dandenong City Council is committed to protecting and enhancing the municipality’s tree canopy to maintain our local identity, respect our land value and enhance our community’s health and wellbeing.

Recent research has confirmed that our local tree canopy coverage is decreasing at a high rate. Large trees are being lost due to land development, infrastructure and property maintenance, climate change, natural attrition, pests and disease.

With the increase of urban development occurring throughout Greater Dandenong we are seeing a reduction in the number of large trees on private land. It is therefore important that Council works to protect the health and sustainability of our remaining local trees on private land. 

Does the Local Law apply to all trees?

No. The proposed Local Law only applies to trees that meet the criteria and are protected under the Tree Protection Local Law.

How do I know which trees are protected?

A tree that is ‘protected’ is a tree with a stem diameter equal to or greater than 40 centimetres, measured at 1.4 metres above ground level. 

The diameter of trees with multiple stems is calculated in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4970–2009 Protection of trees on development sites. 

This excludes species which are declared noxious weeds or where a tree is an immediate hazard to life and or property, as determined by a minimum AQF level 5 Arborist, with removal being the only option to mitigate the risk.

What will the Local Law require me to do?

You will be required to apply for a permit from Council if you want to do any of the following on your private land:

  • remove a protected tree
  • prune a protected tree
  • do anything that could result in you damaging or destroying a protected tree if that tree has a stem diameter equal to or greater than 40cm, measured at 1.4m above ground level.

Will there be more than one permit required? For example, will there be separate permits for tree removal and pruning?

No, only one permit is required. In some cases, a permit may not be required to prune a protected tree if the works are carried out by a AQF Level 3 Arborist and does not result in the damage or destruction of a protected tree on private property.

How do I apply for a permit?

A permit application form will be located on Council’s website. 

There are also many specialist officers within Council who can assist you further with any queries. 

How much will the permit cost?

The fee for a permit to remove a protected tree on private land will cost $220.

What are the penalties for not obtaining a permit?

If found in breach of the Local Law by removing a protected tree on private property without a permit, a person may receive a fine valued at $3698.40. 

In some circumstances, a person who does not comply may also receive a summons to appear in Court.

Who would enforce the Local Law?

Council’s Local Law Officers will enforce any proven breaches of the Local Law.

Any suspected breaches of the Local Law may also at times be reported to Council by residents or businesses to our Customer Service Team for Council to further investigate.

Is Greater Dandenong City Council the only Council that requires private landowners to obtain a permit to remove or prune protected trees?

No. Most Councils in the metropolitan area have Local Laws that require private landowners to obtain a permit prior to removing or pruning trees of a certain size or type. These Councils include Bayside, Boroondara, Frankston, Hobsons Bay, Kingston, Port Phillip, Stonnington and Yarra.