What type of tree can I request? How many trees can I have planted on my verge?
You will generally be offered a tree that is the same or similar to those already on your street. If there isn’t an existing dominant species, a suitable species will be recommended.
Tree types are selected according to:
- Environmental conditions
- Their ability to create dense shade
- Conflicts or risks they may pose for residents and their property
- Available space within the verge
- Proximity to intersections
- Any potential future interference with electricity, gas, water, telephone and sewage.
When and where will the tree be planted?
Under the City’s street tree planting program, you can have one tree planted in the verge at the front of your lot.
Up to three trees may be planted on street verges bordering the side property line of a residential lot, if the location is suitable.
Exceptionally long wide verges may qualify for additional trees.
Who will maintain the tree on my verge?
Trees are typically planted during the winter planting program, which starts in May and ends in September. This gives the tree the greatest chance of survival.
Street trees can only be planted in verges in positions where they won’t impact on services such as gas, water, sewage and electricity. Pedestrian safety and vehicle line of site are also factors to be considered.
Trees are usually planted on the front verge between 2.4 and 3m from the property boundary. Trees are not planted within six metres of a road junction or intersection if deemed to be a safety issue.
How can a tree be removed from my verge?
You are encouraged to water trees for at least two summers. The City will undertake all other maintenance for trees planted and growing in street verges.
Please contact the City if you think a tree on the street verge requires maintenance.
Can I request a tree is removed due to loss of amenity?
Council will not permit the removal of trees on verges unless they are:
- Dead or in a state of decline to the point that survival is unlikely
- Structurally unsound, to the point of constituting imminent danger to people or property
- Damaging or likely to damage property, where alternatives to prevent damage are not possible
- Part of a tree replacement program
- Obstructing a Council approved works program, such as road and drainage works.
Why is there a problem with cutting down a tree and planting another in its place, particularly if I am prepared to pay for it?
Permission for the removal of a tree due to loss of amenity may be given at the discretion of Council, but only after:
- A request in writing for removal of the tree has been received from the adjacent property owner by the City's officers, clearly stating the reasons for requesting the removal
- An officer's report detailing the request and associated issues has been presented to Council for consideration, including any consultation undertaken
- Council has formally resolved to authorise removal of the tree.
Loss of amenity in the use of your land means a decrease in the amount of comfort, convenience or enjoyment that you have in undertaking and experiencing the usual activities associated with the use of your land.
Will the City prune the tree on my verge?
It's not the cost, it's the time. Environmental, social and economic benefits of trees generally increase over time as the trees mature. Unlike man-made structures such as walls and paths, which can be removed and replaced almost immediately, a twenty-year old tree takes twenty years of growth time to replace.
What constitutes "damaging or likely to damage property"?
Trees should be allowed to develop their natural canopy and will generally not be pruned. Where pruning is essential, it will be approved and undertaken by the City or a nominated contractor and will be carried out in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4373 - 1996, Pruning of Amenity Trees, and for the express purposes of:
- Providing clearance for pedestrian movement
- Improving the safety, structure and health of the tree
- Maintaining clearances for utility services, eg power lines
- Improving vehicle driver's line of sight along vehicle carriageways
- Preventing branches encroaching into neighbouring property from public property.
Who is responsible for damage to persons or property caused by trees growing in the street or on parks?
This is defined as any damage to property caused by or likely to be caused by any part of the tree.
There are instances where tree parts become detached but do not cause immediate damage, or are not the direct cause of damage to property.
This includes gutters blocked by leaves, twigs and bark, which can be reasonably avoided by:
- Fitting gutters with effective gutter leaf guards
- Undertaking regular cleaning of gutters particularly before the start of winter.
What sorts of alternatives other than pruning or removal are available to prevent trees damaging property?
Council may be liable for the damage if that damage has been caused to persons or property by a tree growing on land under the direct care, control and management of the City. Should you believe the tree is damaging property then please contact the City for further advice.
Why should I have to pay full cost for the removal of a tree on Council land?
Tree roots can often be removed without affecting the health of the tree. With overhead powerlines, sometimes it is possible to arrange for the line to be shifted to another pole, or for a consumer pole to be installed just inside the property line and the power be run underground from this pole to the house.
Why can't I arrange to remove the tree myself?
Council regards street trees as being highly desirable and integral to the urban landscape, providing a range of social, environmental and economic advantages.
They are considered to be a primary part of the public landscape amenity affecting and benefiting all residents within a locality.
If, at the request of an adjacent resident, the Council resolves to remove a tree that does not meet the requirements for removal listed in position statement PSEW15 Removal and Pruning of Trees, it has determined that the requestor shall cover the cost of removal and not the broader community.
Because of the limited space in street verges, trees usually occupy the same area as underground services such as gas, water, sewage, drainage, electricity and telephones. In addition, trees are usually growing quite close to footpaths, driveways and road kerbs.
In the event that persons inexperienced in the removal of trees use unconventional techniques to remove them, extensive damage can inadvertently occur to these services causing widespread inconvenience to others in the neighbourhood.
You could also be held liable for any damages caused by your actions.
Please contact Parks services for more information on street trees on 08 9411 3444 or at