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Tree Removal

Do I need a permit?

Under the Maroondah Planning Scheme, a planning permit is required for:

SLO and VPO areas cover most of Maroondah and can be identified by:

  • using our online mapping - enter your address in the bottom left, then in the upper right hand corner you will see the planning overlays (VPO, SLO etc)  that apply to your property
  • visiting the City Offices Service Centre, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood
  • telephoning Statutory Planning Services on 9298 4287, giving your street address.

If multiple controls apply to your land it is recommended that you contact us to discuss how the multiple controls may impact vegetation removal.

If you wish to remove any vegetation that is shown to exist on a previous planning permit landscape plan, regardless of its size or type, you may need to seek a permit amendment or written consent from Council.

General exemptions

You do not need to apply for a permit if:

  • you are complying with a notice to clear fire hazards, specifically referring to trees or antive vegetation
  • clearance of electricity lines is required (only the minimum to keep the line clear )
  • you wish to prune a tree for regeneration or ornamental shaping
  • a planning permit that authorised the tree removal has been previously approved for the site and is still valid. You may still need to submit an application to amend an approved landscape plan - please check specific permit requirements by contacting Council.

Applying for a permit

To apply for a permit to remove vegetation:

Current application fees

 Application  Application fee
Application for a permit to remove or lop trees  $95 for one tree plus $25 per additional tree (up to a maximum of $220)
Application to remove native vegetation in a Vegetation Protection Overlay) area  $220
Application to remove native vegetation from a property greater than 4,000m3 (1 acre)  $220

Significant Landscape Overlay (SLO) areas:

A planning permit is required for the removal of a tree that has a single trunk circumference of more than 0.5m (at 1 metre above ground level) OR a height of more than 5 metres.

There are exceptions to the above and it is advisable to check with Council before commencing any tree removal.

Are any species exempt from the controls?

A number of species are currently exempt from tree controls in SLO3 and SLO4 areas on blocks less than 2000 sq.m. The following species are exempt in these areas:

Botanical Name Common Name Botanical Name Common Name
Crataegus species Hawthorn Chamaecytisus profilerus Tree Lucerne
Coprosma repens Mirror Bush Cotoneaster species Cotoneaster
Hakea salicifolia Willow Hakea Hakea suaveolens Sweet Hakea
Ilex aquifolium English Holly Ligustrum species Privet
Paraserianthes lopantha Cape Wattle Pyracantha species Firethorn
Pittosporum undulatum Sweet Pittosporum

In SLO1 and SLO2 areas, the species listed above are exempt plus the following:

Botanical Name Common Name Botanical Name Common Name
Acacia baileyana Cootamundra Wattle Acacia decurrens Early Black Wattle
Acacia elata Cedar Wattle Acacia floribunda White Sallow Wattle
Acacia longifolia Sallow Wattle Acacia saligna Golden Wreath Wattle
Arbutus unedo Irish Strawberry tree Fraxinus oxycarpa Desert Ash (species only, not cultivar forms)
Pinus radiata Monterey Pine

How can I identify these species?

A local nursery may be able to identify a sample of the plant for you. Library references may also be useful. If you are in doubt as to the species of the tree, or whether you need a permit, contact Statutory Planning on 9298 4287.

What other exemptions are there?

You do not need a permit in an SLO if:

  • the trunk of the tree is within 3 metres of an existing dwelling (excluding outbuildings) unless the dwelling is part of a multi-unit or dual occupancy development, then Council approval is required
  • the tree is less than 5 metres in height and has a trunk circumference of less than 0.5m measured at 1 metre above ground level.
  • a suitably qualified person declares that the tree is dead or dying and has become dangerous. Council expects the person to have a Certificate 4 in Arboriculture or a Diploma or Degree in Horticulture. We recommend that you obtain the declaration in writing and:
    • keep a copy for your own records
    • forward a copy to Council if you would like us to confirm the declaration is valid.

Native vegetation removal

Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) Areas:

In a VPO area, a planning permit is required to remove, destroy or lop any native vegetation, including dead or fallen trees (including shrubs and ground flora) that provide, or are likely to provide, nesting, roosting or other habitat for native fauna.

This overlay applies only to native vegetation. In most VPO areas, the SLO controls also apply.

State controls for larger properties

A planning permit is required for the following removal of native vegetation from a property greater than 4,000 m3 (1 acre).

How can I find a qualified person to assess, lop or remove trees?

The best way to find a suitable person is to consult the Yellow Pages, under Tree Felling and/or Stump Removal or Tree Surgery. If you are having a tree removed, always ensure that the tree surgeon is fully insured and has the correct equipment for the job.

Why are canopy trees important?

Canopy trees are valuable because they:

  • provide shade and shelter
  • moderate wind
  • absorb pollutants
  • reduce noise and dust levels
  • help block unwanted views and
  • provide habitat for wildlife.

Tree removal and bushfires

We acknowledge the need to be well prepared in the event of bushfire and encourage all property owners to prepare a fire management plan for their land.

Please seek a permit from Council to remove any vegetation to ensure your fire management is effective.

Note: The State Government's 10/30 vegetation clearance exemptions do not apply in Maroondah.

Further information

Telephone Statutory Planning Services on 9298 4287

Postal Address: Maroondah City Council, PO Box 156, Ringwood, 3134.

Please note

The advice provided here is intended to help you identify if a permit is required to remove, destroy or lop trees on land in Maroondah. The advice is based on the interpretation of controls and exemptions published in the Maroondah Planning Scheme. A  full copy of the scheme is available online.

Any advice given is generic and, under the Planning and Environment Act (1987), it remains the responsibility of the land owner at all times to ensure that any activity on their land is compliant with any relevant planning controls. Any landowner, or person or party, that contravenes the requirements of the Maroondah Planning Scheme or the Planning and Environment Act (1987) may be subject to enforcement action.

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