Port Phillip City Council Tree Regulations

Before getting started removing or pruning a tree at your home or business property make sure you check the Port Phillip council tree regulations.

You will need to comply with these laws if you live in the following suburbs; Albert Park, Balaclava, Elwood, Melbourne (part), Middle Park, Port Melbourne (part), Ripponlea, South Melbourne, Southbank (part), St Kilda, St Kilda East (part), St Kilda West and Windsor (part).

Common trees in Port Phillip City Council

The London Plane Tree (Platanus × Acerifolia) is one of the most common trees planted by council in this area, while many home owners around Port Phillip still have gum trees and palms in their backyards; 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

Port Phillip Council consider any tree that is above the permit regulation sizes to be a significant, and therefore protected, tree.

CLICK HERE to download the Port Phillip tree pruning or removal permit application form.


Port Phillip City Council Tree Pruning And Removal Laws

You will need a permit to remove or prune a tree at your property or business address in Port Phillip if the tree at your property meets the criteria listed below.

A Significant Tree means a tree or palm on private land:

  • With a trunk circumference of 150 centimetres or greater measured 1 metre from the base;

  • A multi-stemmed tree where the circumference of its exterior stems equals or is greater than 1.5 metres when measured 1 metre from its base; or

  • If the tree has been removed, a trunk circumference of 150 centimetres or greater measured at its base.

you may be exempt from needing a permit if:

A permit is not required to prune a significant tree to comply with the following requirements:

The tree overhangs a footpath or other part of the road used by pedestrians to any extent up to a height of 2.1 metres, or

Where the tree extends over any part of a road in such a way that it:

a) obstructs the view between vehicles at an intersection; or

b) obstructs the view between vehicles and pedestrians; or

c) obstructs any Council assets including drains; or

d) obscures a traffic control item from an approaching vehicle or pedestrian; or

e) obscures street lighting; or

f) constitutes a danger to vehicles or pedestrians or compromising the safe and convenient use of the road.

If a tree is to be pruned under any of these exemptions detailed above, for the avoidance of doubt, you are strongly encouraged to keep photographic evidence of the tree prior to conducting any works that clearly demonstrates one or more of the obstructions detailed above.

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 Port Phillip 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 process. If you have any queries related to paperwork need a hand with the paperwork or would prefer that somebody handled the permit process on your behalf, we would be happy to do so. We have years of experience dealing with Port Phillip City Council and their arborist team, simply fill in your details on our contact page and we’ll do the rest.