Street tree maintenance
Pruning is generally only undertaken to further the health and vitality of a tree. If there are concerns that the tree is a hazard, damaged, diseased, dangerous or dead, the City will investigate and arrange the most appropriate action.
In the interest of public safety and for the health of the trees, only the City or its licensed contractors are to carry out any pruning of street trees.
Any unauthorised pruning or removal of trees within the City, undertaken by persons other than the City or its licensed contractor, is an offence and prosecution can occur. Regulation 5 of the Local Government Uniform Local Provisions provides that it is an offence for a person, without lawful authority, to interfere with the soil or anything on local government property (which includes a verge), or take anything from land that is local government property.
Additionally, Part 8.1 of the Local Government and Public Property Local Law 2014 – Activities in public places – states:
A person must not:
(a) damage, injure, prune, remove or kill by felling, poisoning or any other means, a tree on a thoroughfare or verge unless the person is –
- Acting under authority of the local government
- A local government employee or contractor engaged by the local government to undertake work in relation to a particular tree or trees on thoroughfares in the district or on local government property generally
- Acting under authority of a written law.
Parties who breach the regulation and/or this Local Law may also be responsible for the amenity value, replacement and establishment costs of a suitable replacement tree.
Pruning around or near powerlines
In those suburbs where there are overhead powerlines, street trees are pruned to maintain mandatory clearances around Western Power infrastructure.
The City recognises the importance of preserving trees for the current community and for future generations, however the City may remove trees under the following criteria:
- The tree is dead, in decline or past its safe useful life
- The tree has been deemed, by a suitably qualified person, as a hazard to persons or property and no pruning techniques can alleviate the hazard
- The tree is diseased or damaged past the point of recovery and no remedial treatment will be effective
- A development approved by the City deems the removal necessary, in which case the developer shall be responsible for the amenity value, removal, replacement and establishment costs of a replacement tree
- The tree has been planted by a resident without the City’s approval and may be removed at the resident’s expense
- The tree is deemed by the City to be an inappropriate species for that location.
Trees will not be pruned or removed for any of the following reasons:
- Falling leaves, bark or fruit causing a nuisance
- The variety is disliked or a resident’s preference is for a different species
- A perceived danger that the tree or a limb may fail
- Perceived damage to infrastructure
- The tree shades lawns, gardens, houses, pools, solar panels, etc
- To enhance or clear views, inclusive of advertising signage
- Allergy and/or health problems
- For the installation of non-essential crossovers or verge paving.
The City is the only authority allowed to remove a street tree. Any unauthorised pruning or removal of trees within the City, undertaken by persons other than the City or its licensed contractor, is an offence and prosecution can occur.