Boroondara City Council Tree Regulations

Prior to any major pruning or removal works on a tree at your business or residential property, make sure you check the Boroondara City Council Tree laws.

You will be governed by these laws for tree works if you are living in Ashburton, Balwyn, Camberwell, Canturbury, Deepdene, Hawthorn, Hawthorn East, Kew or Kew East.

You may also be residing under Boroondara Tree Law Zone if you reside in Balwyn North, Glen Iris, Mont Albert or Surrey Hills as parts of these areas fall under the Boroondara City Council Regulations.

Common trees in Boroondara City Council

English Oak (Quercus Robur), Pin Oak (Quercus Palustris) and Lemon-Scented Gum (Corymbia Citriodora) are some of the most commonly planted trees in Boroondara, with many home owners having varations of these species residing in their yards. As more and more developments and apartments pop-up in this area the need for stump removals and professional tree pruning have increased in order to respect tighter land boundaries and a growing property base.

Heritage/Protected Trees

Boroondara Council have a list of trees that receive a higher level of protection than the laws that apply to canopy trees (seen above). They are given this protection due to impressive size or age, rarity, ecological value, or cultural and historical significance. A significant tree can be a single tree an avenue of trees or even a hedge and it may reside on public or private property. To find out if your tree if on the Significant tree register click here

Boroondara Permit Downloads

CLICK HERE to download the Boroondara tree removal permit application form.


City Of Boroondara Tree Pruning And Removal Laws

You will require a permit to remove or prune a tree on your residential property or business address in Boroondara if your property meets either of the criteria listed below.

1. Your property is located within the Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO), Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) or the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO). These Overlays govern properties mostly near the Yarra River such as Kew, Balwyn North and Hawthorn.

To check if your property is located within these overlays:
– Visit The Boroondara Planning Scheme on the Planning Schemes Online website
– Check the Planning Maps Online website and search for your property address to obtain a Planning Property Report
– Call us on 1300 659 945

If your property IS located within an SLO or VPO, an Application for a Planning Permit will need to be submitted. (Note: a full, current copy of your property’s title is required, and can be found on the Landata website)

If your property ISN’T located with an SLO or VPO area, continue below to ‘2

2. Your tree(s) meet the requirements in Boroondara’s Tree Protection Local Law if:

The trunk circumference of your tree(s) measures greater than 110cm at 1.5m above ground level OR greater than 150cm at ground level.

If your tree has multiple stems, the trunk circumference is the sum of the multiple stems measured 1.5m above ground level (A + B + C as shown in the diagram below)

Residents may be exempt from requiring a permit for tree works under the following conditions:

  • The removal or pruning of that part of the tree that poses an immediate risk to persons or property. Only that part of the tree that poses the immediate risk may be removed under this exemption, in this scenario it is still best to contact the council if circumstances allow, and inform them of the tree you are working on and the work to be carried out.

  • Work is completed by a qualified Arborist (Cert. 3 or higher: our Arborists all meet this minimum qualification) that is competent to undertake the task to the Australian Standards (AS 4373-2007) Pruning of Amenity Trees. The Arborist must take before and after photos to certify their work – applies to pruning only.

Violation of council regulations on tree pruning and removing can result in possible penalties such as fines, enforcement at VCAT, or prosecution through the Magistrates’ Court.

Neighbouring trees

Occasionally tree pruning or removal is required for trees that aren’t on your property. When a tree overhangs your property line, but is not your tree, you are still required to conform to Boroondara City Council Tree law. Once you have a permit from the council or if the tree is below council regulation size, the tree is covered under Victoria property law.

This law means that you are within your rights to prune or cut anything that overhangs your boundary line, as long as you do not cause irreversible damage to the tree. You do not need your neighbour’s permission to do this, however, we recommend that you engage them along the way, in true neighbourly spirit. For more detailed information regarding tree pruning and removal on neighbouring trees click here.

Need Help?

Permit applications and dealing with council can be a confusing and time consuming task. If you have any queries related to the paperwork itself or need a hand with the application or if you would prefer that we handle the whole permit process on your behalf, we would be happy to do so. We have years of experience dealing with Boroondara City Council and their arborist department, simply fill in your details on our contact page and we’ll do the rest.