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E records@woollahra.nsw.gov.au
536 New South Head Road, Double Bay NSW 2028

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Public/Council owned trees

In This Section

Street Tree Master Plan

Woollahra Council manages all trees located in parks, reserves, roads, laneways and in the grounds of Council facilities.

The Street Tree Master Plan was formally adopted by Council in April 2014. The Plan guides the future of all street tree planting throughout Woollahra by outlining where trees are to be planted and what species are to be used to replace trees when they eventually reach the end of their useful life.

Download the Woollahra Street Tree Master Plan 2014:

Annual inspections and pruning

All trees located on public footpaths and laneways, road reserves and traffic islands are inspected annually by Council's qualified and experienced arboriculture staff. During the annual inspection process any necessary pruning works are undertaken to maintain clearances for properties, pedestrians and traffic and to develop and maintain trees with a safe structure and natural shape and size. You can view a map (PDF) to see when our tree pruners will be next working in your area.

Trees causing damage or obstruction

If you consider that a Council owned or managed tree is damaging footpaths, encroaching on private property or posing a hazard or potential hazard to persons or property, you may lodge a request for Council to prune, remove or make safe the tree by contacting our Customer Service Department on 9391 7000, or emailing records@woollahra.nsw.gov.au, where you can lodge a customer request for a public tree to be inspected, and if necessary pruned or removed.

Under no circumstances will residents be authorised by Council to prune or remove a tree owned or managed by the Council.

Information required

Before lodging a customer request for a public tree to be pruned or removed, please ensure you have the following information:

  • where the tree is located (including the nearest property number to make identification easier)
  • why the work is required
  • your name, address and daytime contact number.

Assessing request

Requests for public tree removals or pruning will be inspected by a Tree Officer who will consider:

  • risk of personal injury posed by the tree
  • risk of damage to buildings, structures or services
  • the trees health, growth habit, stability and structural soundness
  • the significance of the tree
  • the contribution of the tree to the surrounding landscape.

Council will not approve requests for tree pruning or removal based on leaf or fruit fall, sap drop, or bird or bat droppings, as these are natural processes of trees and wildlife.

Possible Actions

The Tree Officer may determine one or more of the following options:

  • removal of unsuitable or hazardous trees subject to replacement planting being undertaken where necessary
  • general pruning to remove dead, diseased, dying, defective and conflicting branches deemed to be detrimental to the tree or to public safety
  • branch or root pruning to reduce encroachment on utilities or buildings
  • removal of lower branches for vehicle or pedestrian access
  • remedial pruning to prolong the useful life expectancy of damaged trees
  • no pruning or removal action.

All tree pruning is conducted in accordance with Australian Standard AS4373 – 2007, Pruning of Amenity Trees and Council's Tree Pruning Guidelines.

Pruning Council trees for property clearance

If you wish to have a Council tree pruned to provide clearance from your property you may lodge a request for Council to prune, remove or make safe the tree by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 9391 7000, or email: records@woollahra.nsw.gov.au. Council has Tree Pruning Guidelines which are used to determine if clearance pruning is required.

Pruning Council trees for electrical wire clearance

Energy Australia is responsible for pruning Council trees to provide clearance from overhead power lines. The Ausgrid website provides information residents may find helpful or contact the Ausgrid and Energy Australia Customer Service Centre on 13 15 35.

Pruning Council trees to maintain an existing view

Council will not prune a tree to create a new view. View pruning will only be considered where it is requested to retain a previously established view and there is a history of the identified tree/s being pruned to restore the pre-existing view.

If you wish to lodge a request to have a tree pruned to retain a view, you will need to complete and lodge a View Prune Application (PDF) and pay the appropriate fees as stated on the form.

On receipt of a completed application form, a Tree Officer will make an appointment to inspect the tree. The extent of pruning will be a matter for judgement by the Officer, who will consider the health and growth habit of the tree. In some cases, the Officer may determine that the tree should not be pruned.

If it is agreed that the tree may be pruned a quotation, based on Council's adopted fees and charges as stated on the View Prune Application (PDF) will be provided in writing to you. Once you have accepted the quotation and paid the charges, works will be scheduled for completion within 21 days.

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