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Do I Need Permission to Remove a Tree in Melbourne VIC

Tree cutting is often seen as an important exercise. However, there are so many issues that face trees and the overall environment that cannot go unnoticed. Even if a tree is on your property, it is hard to ignore the fact that it’s part of the overall environment and affects the entire community.

Before cutting any tree, you need to understand if it falls under TPOs and what the government says about it. In most cases, you will need to have a permit before you get to call the arborist. If a tree is protected, you cannot cut it down unless you are authorized to do so.

But, there are circumstances that will permit you to cut down a tree even if it’s protected. If a tree hangs dangerously or is falling or dead, you can remove it without a fuss.

Which trees can not be cut down?

Trees protected under TPOs cannot be cut unless the local council approves. In Victoria, it is illegal to cut native trees or large trees. Again, keep mature trees that will require an explanation to the local council’s office why you are removing the tree. It’s prudent to consult the local council, either physically or online to know if the trees in your property are protected under TPO in your area.

How do I know if my tree has TPOs?

The Tree Preservation Ordinance (TPO) is simply the law governing the uses and removal of trees. According to The TPO may vary from place to place, but generally, the law protects community trees. Trees that have been there for a while. Cutting down such a tree will need proper approval from the local council’s office. There has been a case of people cutting down protected trees simply because your neighbors down the street cut the same type of tree and later get heavy fines. Before you call in the arborists, ensure you talk with the council first. However, in case of an emergency, you can cut the tree to avoid any ensuing fines.

Which trees can not be cut down?

Each city has its own rules when it comes to tree cutting. But, to bring some level of common ground for all members of Melbourne VIC, there is a general format called Tree Preservation Ordinance (TPO). Under the TPO, a city will document which tree they consider protected and which one is not.  It is illegal to cut down any tree that is protected under the TPOs and if you get caught, fines will be quite substantive. Or doesn’t $5000 sound substantive enough?

You can pay your local council offices a visit to know if a tree can be cut down. If that feels like a lot of work for you, you can check the requirements online.

However, for younger trees with lower diameters, you can cut them without a permit. Most cities usually protect trees that have been there for ages, much like 40, 50 years. But, you cannot go wrong with checking first before cutting the trees. Or ask your arborist for advice if you are not sure.

Is cutting down a dead tree considered illegal

The answer is no, well for most times. If a dead tree is lying on your property, there is the risk of it being hazardous. This does no good to anybody and will only add to risks of infections to other plants and vegetation nearby.

To this end, you don’t need a permit to remove a dead tree. It’s argued that a dead tree will get lost and there is a high chance of it being blown over in a storm. Bad news for everybody.

It’s your obligation to remove any dead tree on your property. Experts suggest calling in dead tree specialists and qualified professionals to deal with a dead tree. It’s risky and dangerous to do it on your own.

What makes a tree considered hazardous or dangerous

Now then, it’s okay to remove hazardous or dangerous trees from your property, right? But what qualifies a tree to be considered high risk? Getting these answers will save you a lot of trouble if you remove a tree and the council comes calling.

During and after a storm is when things take a turn for the worse for trees. The once strong and towering giants become weak and feeble. It’s during the storm that trees are tossed around a lot and the soil becomes loose. The tree roots cease being strong and firm. For trees with a weak root network, or ones which you had done root pruning, they lean.

Leaning, even the slightest of angles is a sign of weakness. A tree that leans should be considered dangerous and efforts to call in the professionals should be instant. Ask yourself, will the tree survive another onslaught? If you have any doubts whatsoever, you better get a call.

Trees, like humans, also get infections. It may be unexpected and super fast or slow but consistent infections. Maybe you made a mistake while root pruning and the tree got an infection? Does it show any signs of weakness? It withers away from the roots, stump to the branches and leaves. If you notice this, start planning a sit-down with your arborists.

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