Protection of significant trees
In Yarra, a permit is required to prune, lop or remove trees which are considered to be significant.
Currently a tree is considered significant if it has a trunk that is 400mm or wider from a point of 1.5 metres above ground level. Trees are also considered significant if they have multiple trunks equalling 400mm.
If a tree overhangs into neighbouring property, the owner or resident of the neighbouring property is allowed to prune the tree, as long as they do not kill or destabilise the tree.
Council is calling for community members to nominate local trees for potential inclusion in a Significant Tree Register. To find out more, visit the Significant Tree Register web page.
The register will help prevent unique, historical, rare and environmentally important trees from being removed or lopped without Council’s consent.
How will an application be assessed?
Applications for permits to prune, lop or remove trees which are considered to be significant will be reviewed by Council’s Coordinator - Streetscapes and Trees. If an independent arborist’s report is required, the applicant will be advised to obtain this.
If a decision is made to approve the work, an invoice will be issued to the applicant. When the invoice is paid, the permit will be issued and will be accompanied by the Coordinator’s report.
How long does the process take?
If the application can be approved without an independent arborist’s report, the invoice should be issued after about 10 days. The timing of when the permit is issued depends on when the invoice is paid.
How to calculate the diameter
To calculate the diameter of the tree trunk, use the following formula: Diameter = Tree Circumference divided by 3.14159.
For example, if your tree, at a height of 1500mm, is 1256mm around (the circumference) then it is approximately 400mm in diameter (1256mm divided by 3.14159 = approx 400mm).
To prune, lop or remove a significant tree, please complete the following form:
Application to lop or remove a significant tree form (53.89 KB)
The form can then be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Compliance Branch, c/o Yarra Council, P.O. Box 168, Richmond 3121.
More information and diagrams are available in this Significant Trees information sheet (139.71kB)
The local law to protect signficant trees was introduced in 2009 as an amendment to the Environment Local Law (341.91kB). The relevant section is on Page 15 of the local law.
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