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Can I remove a tree on my property?

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Tree removal
Trav's Tree Services
Trav's Tree Services
November 13, 2023
minute read

Standing tall and majestic, trees offer shade, tranquillity, and a connection to nature. They enhance the beauty of your surroundings and provide a haven for local wildlife. However, there may come a time when you find yourself wondering, ‘Can I remove a tree on my property?’

Whether it's due to safety concerns, property development, or aesthetics, the decision to remove a tree is a significant one that comes with legal, environmental, and ethical considerations. In this blog, the team at Trav’s Tree Services will explore the intricacies of tree removal on your property, helping you navigate the regulations, explore alternatives, and make informed choices when deciding the fate of the trees that grace your land.

Check local regulations

Before you make any decisions about removing a tree on your property, it's crucial to research and understand local laws and planning overlays related to tree removal. Different areas have different rules and restrictions, and you'll want to ensure you're in compliance with the law. Common regulations and tree protection laws include: 

Planning overlays

Some councils within Melbourne may may require permits for tree removal, especially for certain species, heritage trees, or trees of a certain size. Check with your local council to determine if you need a permit and to find out more about tree removal laws. 

Tree protection ordinances

Some local councils have ordinances that protect specific tree species or very large trees and prohibit their removal without a valid reason. This is especially the case for any native tree type. You should be aware of any such ordinances in your area and steer clear of protected trees.  

Property boundaries

Make sure you know the exact boundaries of your property. Accidentally cutting down a tree on a neighbour's land or their private property can lead to legal issues down the line.

When is removing a tree from my property allowed? 

There are several valid reasons when removing a tree from your property is not only allowed but sometimes even necessary. Here are some of the most common situations where tree removal is permissible:

Dead or diseased trees

Trees that are dead or severely diseased pose a significant risk not only to your property but also to the safety of people and nearby structures. In such cases, it is generally allowed and advisable to remove the tree promptly. However, it’s best to check with your local council before performing the removal, as a permit may still be required. 

Dead trees can lose their structural integrity, making them prone to falling during storms, high winds and heavy rain when the soil is wet. Diseased trees may also infect nearby healthy trees, necessitating their removal for the greater good of your landscape. 

Safety hazards

Trees with structural issues, such as large, decaying branches or unstable roots, can become safety hazards. If a tree poses an immediate danger to people, structures, or utility lines, it is usually permissible to remove it. However, it's vital to document the hazard and, if possible, obtain an arborist's assessment to support your case. 

Property development

If you're planning to build an extension to your house, install a swimming pool, or construct any new structure on your property, you may need to remove trees to make space. However, you might need to obtain a planning permit or meet specific guidelines, such as replanting trees or landscaping in other areas to compensate for the loss. 

Clearing for agricultural or commercial use 

If your property is being used for commercial or agricultural purposes, you may be allowed to remove trees to accommodate your business needs. This, however, often requires permits and compliance with local regulations. 

Landscaping changes 

If you wish to change the layout of your property or garden, removing a tree to make way for new landscaping features like patios, walkways, or gardens may be your best option. However, we recommend seeking advice about permits, checking local regulations and considering replanting in another area to maintain the ecological balance. 

Tree health

In some cases, a tree's health may deteriorate to a point where removal is the best option for the tree itself. Arborists may recommend tree removal if a tree is suffering from severe infestations, diseases, or structural problems that cannot be safely addressed through pruning or other treatments.

Weed species

Certain tree species can be invasive and detrimental to the local ecosystem. In such cases, local authorities may permit the removal of invasive trees to protect native vegetation.

Consider alternatives

If the situations mentioned above do not correspond with the reason you’d like to remove a tree from your property, it may be worthwhile seeking other alternatives. This way, you may be able to keep the tree while addressing your concerns. For example, you could try the following:

  • Pruning: trimming back branches or crown reduction can address safety concerns or improve a tree's appearance without complete removal.
  • Tree preservation: in some cases, you can work with professionals to address tree health issues and save the tree.
  • Replacement: if you're removing trees for aesthetic reasons, consider planting new ones in a different location on your property.

Hire the professional arborists at Trav’s Tree Services

Tree removal is often best left to professionals. A qualified arborist can assess the tree's health, advise you on the best course of action, and safely remove the tree if necessary. Attempting to remove a tree without the proper knowledge and equipment can be dangerous and lead to property damage or personal injury. 

This is where Trav’s Tree Services comes in. We are your trusted ally for all things tree-related. Our team offers expert guidance to help you make informed decisions about tree removal, assisting in navigating tree removal requirements and obtaining necessary permits. Furthermore, we provide comprehensive tree care services, including pruning, disease management, and emergency assistance, ensuring your trees remain healthy and your property safe and beautiful. 

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