Trees on Your Property

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The general leafy character of the suburbs of Lane Cove is a major priority for the local community and the conservation of significant areas of bushland is reflected in Council’s plans and policies.

The trees in Lane Cove are protected under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Biodiversity and Conservation) 2021. Council’s Development Control Plan includes a specific section on Tree Preservation with the objective of retaining the maximum possible number of existing trees, particularly native trees, in healthy condition and natural form and shape.

Council will provide guidance in relation to your pruning and removal needs. 

Pruning or Removing Trees

Step 1.Check if you require a Tree Permit

A permit is required for the pruning/removal of any tree, whether indigenous or exotic, which:

  • Has a height exceeding 4 metres OR
  • Canopy spread greater than 5m 


  • Trunk diameter greater than 150mm diameter (measure at 1 metre above the ground)

Step 2.Check if you require a Fee-Free Tree Permit

There are a number of tree works that are Fee-Free. This  includes works such as pruning of dead branches or removal of trees or vegetation that are listed on the Exempt Species List. 

Please check the Fee-Free Tree Permit page prior to lodging a Private Tree Works Inspection.

Upon receipt of your application, Council will issue you with a Fee-Free Tree Works Permit if it is satisfied that the exemption is applicable to your property prior to you commencing any works. 

Step 3.Check if your works falls under the Biodiversity Values Map

If your tree forms part of an Endangered Ecological Community that is mapped (in purple) on the NSW Government Biodiversity Values Map,  you MUST apply to the NSW Native Vegetation Panel secretariat (Not Council) to advance your application and in some cases may also need to obtain a Biodiversity Conservation License from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. 

Please follow the steps detailed in Trees that fall under Biodiversity & Conservation NSW Act prior to commencing your application.

Failure to identify or a false 'Biodiversity' declaration in the Private Tree Application form may result in your application being denied or delayed. 

Step 4.Check heritage and aboriginal significance of your Tree 

If the property where the tree is located tree is listed as a Heritage item or within a Heritage Conservation Area, is an Aboriginal object or is within an Aboriginal place of heritage significance you will need to apply for tree clearing (removal) via a development application (DA) which must be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal.

You can check if your property is listed as a heritage item or within a Heritage Conservation Area on the NSW ePlanning spatial viewer alternatively for site-specific information such as statement of significance please visit Heritage NSW to search via the state heritage inventory. 

If you are just wanting to undertake minor tree works* such as pruning only, you are still able to apply for a Tree Works Permit.  

*Minor tree works are generally considered as pruning for general crown maintenance or modification with consideration to the guidelines set out in Australian Standard 4373 Pruning of amenity trees. Where Council is satisfied that the minor tree works will not adversely affect a Heritage Item or the Heritage significance of the Heritage conservation area, an Aboriginal object or an Aboriginal place of heritage significance a permit may be issued.


Step 5.Gather information required

For each tree within your application, you will need to provide the type of tree, location on your property and the reason for your request.

Please also include the following images along with your application:

  1. The overall tree from the ground to the tip
  2. A close-up of the bark
  3. A close-up of the leaves and arrangement
  4. A close-up of the fruit (if available)

If your application relates to 4 or more trees, please upload a word document containing all of the relevant details. 

Step 6.Submit your application

You can submit your request for a Private Tree Works Inspection online.

The fee payable to prune or remove a tree will vary depending on the following:

  • The number of trees included in your application
  • If you wish to be present during the inspection
  • If you selected the Fee-Free criteria listed in the online form
  • No fee is payable for applicants with a valid pensioner concession card uploaded and criteria selected in the online form 

Tree Application Fees

Below are the current fees valid from 1 July 2023:

Task 1-3 Trees 4 or more Trees
Pruning: $130.00 $130.00 + $20.00 each additional tree  
Removal: $130.00 $130.00 + $20.00 each additional tree
Meeting with Arborist Fee   $70.00 (one-off fee - limited to 20 minutes maximum)