It can be very costly if you remove, damage or lop a tree without a Council permit, especially if the case is prosecuted in the Land and Environment Court. Make sure you’re aware of the rules and regulations before you start work. If in any doubt, contact Council. If you suspect there is illegal tree works happening please report the tree work to Council.

Penalties for Illegally Damaging or Removing Trees

Damaging or removing trees illegally is a serious offence. The Land and Environment Court can impose fines of up to $1.1million, plus a daily fee if the offence continues. You may be directed to plant new trees and vegetation and maintain them till they mature.

Reward for Identifying Public Tree Vandals

If we identify tree vandalism like poisoning, pruning, cutting, ringbarking or removal, we’ll pursue the offender. We may offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the successful prosecution of the offender under our Tree Preservation Order. Council will erect signs and or banners stating that trees have been poisoned at the location of vandalism. 

How to Avoid Illegal Tree Works

Positively identify any tree before pruning or removing it, and establish whether you require a Council permit. Work on protected trees because of incorrect identification is considered a breach. You may simply need a Tree Removal and Tree Pruning Permit. If in any doubt, phone our Tree Management Team on 1300 434 434.