Street Trees

Street Trees
Street trees add economic health and environmental value to our City. They are living, breathing parts of our community.

The Botany Bay Street Tree Master Plan is a long-term plan for our City to make our streets beautiful and practical for cars and pedestrians. The green, leafy appearance of many of our streets has been achieved over the last 25 years through Council and residents working together. This document marks our commitment to continue that spirit of cooperation that has built our wonderful City. We have learnt a lot about street tree choices and management over the last few decades. We know it is important to pick the right tree for the right place and take care of them in the right way. Great streets take decades to achieve.

How do I contact Council if I have a concern about a street or park tree?

Report it online, contact Customer Service on 02 9366 3666, email Council or write to us at PO Box 331 MASCOT 1460.

When you contact us, please have this information ready:
1. The exact location of the tree/s.
2. Full explanation of the reason/s for the street tree assessment request.

NOTE: The canopy pruning of street trees associated with the HV electrical service is undertaken by your Energy Provider.

Council will only prune or remove street trees or trees on public land for essential tree maintenance. Council will only support removal of a tree if

  • there is a safety issue
  • the tree is in poor or declining condition
  • is dysfunctional or has a minimal life expectancy
  • the tree has been causing ongoing infrastructure issues for an extensive period of time
  • other management techniques have been exhausted

If the inspection and assessment concludes that pruning or removal of a tree on public land is deemed appropriate or necessary, the work will be scheduled into the works program of Council’s Tree Management Team.

Street trees and Development Applications

Applications for a street tree removal must be sought at the initial planning stage of the proposal, in consultation with Council’s Planning and Parks Departments, before you lodge your Development Application.

Council is highly unlikely to approve the removal of street trees. All new/widened driveway crossovers are also required to be located a minimum distance of 3 metres (in general) from the trunk of an existing street tree.

Sewer chokes/damage

Maintaining and replacing sewer and stormwater lines are the responsibility of the landowner, this includes repairing damaged or aged pipes and clearing chokes.

Replacing an aged/faulty sewer system with PVC up to the mains supply connection is the responsibility of the landowner. Tree roots cannot enter well-constructed, properly sealed, sound PVC pipes with adequate flexibility.

Requests to remove trees for sewer chokes in the presence of an aged/faulty line will not be supported by Council.

Alleged damage to pipes caused by a tree requires a Plumber’s Report and evidence that the damage is caused by the tree. Pipes are to be repaired or replaced before a tree is removed or tree roots pruned.

Damage to private walls or fences

A Structural Engineers and Arborist Report will be required. Structural impact of a minor nature is to be rectified by an alternate means such as bracing walls or repairing the wall to accommodate the tree. Other issues taken into consideration by Council in these circumstances are the age of the structure and the presence, condition and adequacy of footings and/or the wall structure.

Penalties

It is an offense to trim, prune, remove, wilfully damage or injure a tree located on public land.

A Penalty Infringement Notice may be issued for the injury, pruning or removal of trees on public land under Section 629 of the Local Government Act 1993.

A person found guilty of an offence for injury or wilful destruction, pruning or removal of a street or park tree may be issued a Penalty Infringement Notice and may be fined in the Local Court or in the Land and Environment Court. In addition to a penalty awarded, the Court may also order the repair, remedial pruning or replacement of a damaged or removed tree and impose an order to maintain such replacement to maturity.