Do I need permission to cut down a tree in Hobart City Council?

Permits & Protection

This is a fantastic question with a rather ambiguous answer: In short, whether you can cut down a tree in Hobart City Council depends on a number of moving parts and parties. But first, let’s discuss the reasons you may want to remove a tree on your private property.

When is it appropriate to remove a tree?

At Tasmanian Tree Care, we believe trees are an asset to your property. Trees provide many benefits, including improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and providing shade and habitat for wildlife. It’s important to consider the benefits your tree provides to both the environment and to value of your property before making the decision to remove it.

This being said, there are a number of reasons a landowner may choose to remove a tree. These include safety concerns, development reasons, damage to existing infrastructure, and unfortunately, clearing trees to achieve scenic view. It’s important to know that we do not ‘top’ trees to improve a view, as this is a detriment to the health of the tree and not an accepted practice.

Sometimes, however, removal is the preferred option of the homeowner. Before removing a tree, our qualified arborists will try to look at different management options and encourage homeowners to retain their trees where safety is not a concern or the trees are not in significant decline.

Are there any laws that restrict tree removal in Tasmania?

Tree removal in Tasmania is governed by federal and state acts and is enforced through the Tasmanian Planning Scheme or Interim Planning Scheme 2015. A council has the authority to regulate tree removal on both public and private land within their municipality, while additional tree protection can be enforced depending on the zone and code overlay the tree is in.

If a tree is not protected by federal or state acts or a local Planning Scheme, then it may not require approval prior to removal. Vegetation exemptions for the Planning Schemes can be found on the Tasmanian Government iplan website under “Administration”. It is recommended, however, that you clarify the requirements with your council prior to modifying or removing a tree.

Do I need approval or a permit to cut a tree in Hobart City Council?

Generally speaking, most private tree removals within the Hobart City Council municipality do not require a permit. However, we heavily encourage contacting your council prior to any works to ensure your property is not within a zone or area that requires one.

In the instance that there are protections surrounding your trees, an application will need to be submitted to Hobart City Council prior to any tree works commencing. The application may require information such as the reason for removal, the species and size of the tree, and plans for any replacement trees.

The Hobart City Council enforces the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act, 1993, and fines for violation of the law, including cutting down protected trees without a permit, can get as high as $10,000. As such, we would again recommend you contact your local council to understand the protections surrounding your property and trees.

How do I contact Hobart City Council?

Phone 03 6238 2715 and ask to speak to a Development Appraisal Planner or email coh@hobartcity.com.au if you have a question about tree or vegetation removal on private property.

To learn more visit the Hobart City Council website.

Neighbouring trees

If you have a concern relating to a tree on your neighbour’s property, we recommend you speak with your neighbour directly about it. Alternatively, the Neighbourhood Disputes about Plants Act 2017 details tree work that is considered appropriate.

My tree does not need a permit and I would like to get it removed. What’s next?

If removal is a must, we encourage you to hire a professional with experience and insurance. This will ensure the works are undertaken safely, with no damage done to your property or to neighbouring trees.

As Tasmanian Tree Care, we have decades of combined experience, are fully qualified, insured, and are passionate about trees. Get in touch with us to organise an obligation free quote.

Please note that all information provided in this article is for general use only. If you are unsure about the legislation surrounding the protection of trees on your property, we advise you to contact your local council.

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