Things to Consider When Cutting Down Trees on Your Property

Do you have a tree on your property that is dead, damaged or dropping too much debris? Before you touch the chainsaw you need to be aware that whether you want to cut the tree down entirely or perhaps just cut it back, there are rules in each state of Australia that you should be aware of. Bittern Garden Supplies is the leading centre for garden materials and landscaping services on the Mornington Peninsula. If you are wanting to remove trees from your property here’s a few things to consider to make sure you aren’t cutting down trees illegally.

Common Reasons to Remove Trees

Most homeowners don’t want to cut down a tree, but there are various reasons that mean it is the only option. Such reasons may include:

  • The tree is dead making it a hazard that could potentially fall and cause damage.
  • The tree is diseased and the only to control the spread of disease to neighbouring trees is to remove it.
  • Views may be blocked, devaluing your property or in other cases the tree may block too much light inhibiting the growth of lawn and garden.
  • The tree drops excessive debris that can damage below gardens and lawn. In summer excessive leaves can dry out becoming a fire hazard.
  • The tree roots may be causing continual sewer blockages or causing structural issues to your home.
  • Building or extension work which requires building on the area the tree is located.
  • Using the wood for another purpose in a heavily wooded area.
  • The owner wishes to use the area for grazing.
  • The tree is dangerous or is overhanging to adjacent property

Do I Need Permission to Cut Down a Tree?

Weather permission is needed will depend on the size of the tree, the location of the tree on your property and its proximity to your home and other utilities such as power lines. It will also depend on the tree species and whether that particular tree species is protected or considered a weed. Different states have different rules regarding tree removal from private property so if you have trees you wish to cut down it is best to consult your local council or arborist. Generally, you will need a permit to remove trees if:

  1. Your property has an existing planning permit, heritage overlay or significant landscape overlay – Trees or vegetation may be protected by a planning permit if you live in, or own, a flat, unit, apartment, dual occupancy, or if the property is under 500m2.
  2. The vegetation is native and in the VPO3 area – There is an area which is protected by the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO3). This is a region that has been identified as an area of environmental significance.
  3. For other trees on private property – You may need to apply for a Local Law permit if the tree doesn’t fall into the above situations and:

Has a single or combined trunk circumference greater than 155cm measured at 1m above ground level or is planted in accordance with the replacement planting condition of a Local Law permit or is listed on the significant tree register.

Can I Cut Down My Neighbour’s Tree?

If a neighbour’s tree is affecting your property, that is if it is likely to seriously injure anyone on your property, seriously damage your property, or unreasonably get in the way of your enjoyment of the land (such as blocking solar panels) you are entitled to prune the hazardous branches. If a branch overhangs by 50cm or more and/or is less than 2.5 metres above the ground, you need to formally notify your neighbour and state a time you require your neighbour to cut back the branch. If the tree branches are not cut down by that date, you can remove it yourself or have a contractor remove them, for which the neighbour is liable (up to $300).

Whatever the reasons for cutting your tree down, remember that rules vary from council to council so it pays to check if you require a permit – the fines for illegally removing a tree can range from $2000 to $50,000. At Bittern Garden Supplies our staff have the expertise and knowledge to provide the right advice regarding tree removal on your Mornington Peninsula property, or if you are after professional tree removal service we are here to help. Visit us today or call us on (03) 5983 9779.