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Tree Management

Overview

Trees are a very important part of the environment. Trees improve the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and airborne pollutants and release oxygen into the air.

They also improve the appearance of the urban environment and provide shade in summer, which helps to lower the temperature, as well as provide habitat for native animals, birds and insects. It is for these reasons that we encourage tree planting and coordinate the retention of existing trees and a citywide tree planting program.

Looking after and managing trees requires input from the whole community.

Council trees and private trees

A Council tree is a tree located on council or public land, such as parks, reserves or nature strips. A private tree is a tree located on your property.  

If you have an issue with a Council tree such as:

  • pruning, removal, branch collection, infestation,
  • damage to private property caused by a Council tree or
  • a Bushfire management enquiry

you can report the issue online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

Before reporting issues, please read important information in the next section.

 

Reporting Council tree issues

 For any urgent requests relating to safety, please phone Council 's Customer Service team on 02 4645 4000.

Tree pruning

Common reasons we will not action pruning requests:

  • Leaf litter, shedding bark, fruit fall, falling sticks/twigs onto lawns or gardens.
  • Reduce sap and bird/bat droppings on cars or dwellings. 
  • Unsubstantiated fear of large trees.
  • The removal of sound healthy trees to improve access to solar energy. Where tree pruning may improve solar capture capacity, Council may consider these requests on an individual merit.
  • Bush fire hazard control which has not been approved by Rural or NSW Fire Brigades.
  • Prune for aesthetic purposes.

Request Council tree pruning online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

Tree touching a power line?

 If the Council tree is touching a power line on the street, please call Endeavour Energy on 131 081.

Tree removal requests

Common reasons Council will not action removal requests:

  • Leaf litter, shedding bark, fruit fall, falling sticks/twigs onto lawns or gardens.
  • Reduce sap and bird/bat droppings on cars or dwellings.
  • Unsubstantiated fear of large trees.
  • The removal of sound healthy tree to improve access to solar energy. Where tree pruning may improve solar capture capacity Council may consider these requests on an individual merit.
  • Minor termite damage which can be successfully treated by other means.
  • Bush fire hazard control which has not been approved by NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW.

 Request Council tree removal online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

Tree infestations

Common reasons Council will not action Infestation/Insect requests:

  • Bees are a natural part of the ecological system and as such Council cannot eradicate them unless they have established a colony/swarm in a tree, which would greatly impact on a person’s life.
  • Council does not treat or poison caterpillars and insects on tree foliage, as this would be destructive to the life and other fauna. Generally this problem is a seasonal cyclical part of nature and our local environment encompassing a relatively short time frame of minor inconvenience.
  • Termites in council trees are inspected by a Council appointed officer, who will determine if the tree is to be treated by a Councils contract Pest Control Agent

 Report Council tree infestation online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

Damage to private property

 Has a Council tree damaged your sewer and/or stormwater?

 Council requires a plumber's report and sewer diagram to be attached/submitted to support your request.  If lodging an online request, please ensure you have an electronic version of these documents before proceeding.

Report damage to private property by a Council tree online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

 

Bushfire hazard enquiry

Are you in an Emergency and/or Imminent Danger?
 If yes, please call 000.

 eService Customer Requests are monitored during Council business hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

For any urgent requests relating to safety, please phone Council Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

If calling outside of Council business hours, you will be redirected to the Council's after hours call service and required to follow the prompts.

 You can request the following:

  • Hazard reduction program
  • Long grass in adjacent reserve
  • Overgrown vegetation in adjacent reserve

  
Enquire about Council tree bushfire hazard online, or contact Customer Service on 02 4645 4000.

What should I plant at home?

Planting native species has a number of benefits for the local environment. Council has developed a Native Gardening Guide(13MB, PDF) and Tree Planting Guide(2MB, PDF) to guide you in your planting choices and promote healthy ecosystems.

 

Need to prune or remove a tree?

 
Council approval is required for pruning or removal from any tree on private property that:

  • Has a height of more than three metres, or
  • Has an outside circumference of at least 500mm at ground level, or
  • Has a branch and foliage crown spread of at least 4 metres.

This does not include trees that have been declared under the Noxious Weeds Act or where an exemption applies under Part 11.3.1 of the Campbelltown (Sustainable City) Development Control Plan 2014(2MB, PDF).

We make an effort to retain and protect trees and will not approve the removal of a tree unless suitable evidence is provided.

What type of application is required?

 
A Tree removal/tree pruning application(166KB, PDF) is required for the pruning or removal of four or less trees. For the pruning or removal of five trees or more, or any other tree or vegetation as defined under part 11.3.3 (b) of the Campbelltown (Sustainable City) Development Control Plan 2014(2MB, PDF) you will need a Development Application.

 

What information is required with your application?

 
An application to remove or prune a tree higher than 10 metres must include written evidence from a qualified arborist that states why the tree needs to be removed or pruned.

  • If the tree is causing damage to water/sewer pipes, a report from a licensed plumber is required.
  • If the tree is causing structural damage to a building, a report from a structural engineer is required.
  • If the tree has been damaged by insects and the extent of the damage cannot be easily observed a report from a pest control specialist is required.

Please refer to Part 11.3.4.1 of the Campbelltown (Sustainable City) Development Control Plan 2014 (2MB, PDF) for additional information.

 
Please ensure you attach copies of supporting reports/documents /photographs/surveyor report if required, completed site plan and completed application form with your payment in accordance with Council’s Fees and Charges(2MB, PDF).

 

What does Council consider when assessing applications?

 
A valid reason for removing a tree could be:

  • The tree is dead
  • The tree is less than three metres from a dwelling
  • The tree is presenting a danger to life or property
  • The tree is causing structural damage to a structure or sewer
  • The tree is stressed or diseased or suffering insect damage which cannot be rectified
  • The tree is too large for its location.
     

A valid reason for the pruning of a tree could be:

  •  The tree is overhanging a dwelling or adjoining property and presents a danger to life or property
  • To remove dead or diseased branches
  • Causing loss of amenity of the occupants of the property or adjoining properties, including but not limited to matters such as excessive overshadowing to a dwelling.

An invalid reason for removal or pruning could be:

  •  The shedding of leaves, bark, sticks and fruit into gutters, downpipes, pools, onto roofs, vehicles, lawns, or gardens
  • Bird, bats or animal droppings on cars
  • Minor termite damage which can be successfully treated by other means
  • To improve street lighting of private property
  • To enhance private views
  • To reduce minor shading
  • Minor lifting of driveways and paths by tree roots
  • To erect a fence; and
  • Unsubstantiated fears of large trees.
      

What about Solar Energy Collectors?

 
While Campbelltown City Council promotes the use of passive solar energy, Council does not support the removal of sound healthy trees solely to improve access to solar energy collectors. Where tree pruning may improve solar capture capacity, Council will consider these applications on individual merit.

 

10/50 Code laws

 
Laws are now in place which help people prepare their homes for bush fires in NSW.

The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice for New South Wales (508KB, PDF) came into effect in August 2014, and allows people in a designated 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area to:

  • clear trees on their property within 10 metres of a home, without seeking approval, and
  • clear underlying vegetation such as shrubs (but not trees) on their property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval.

You can find out if your property is in a 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Entitlement Area using the NSW Rural Fire Service's online tool.

 For more information on the new laws, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Rural Fire Service website.

Important information about the 10/50 Code

 
The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice for New South Wales (the 10/50 Code) is an initiative of the State Government, and all enquiries should be directed to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

 Please note that:

  • The Code and the online tools are for use by individual landowners. Council cannot provide advice on the Code or the mapping of the 10/50 Entitlement Area.
  • Clearing can only be carried out by the landowner, or with approval of the landowner. Council will not provide approval to undertake clearing on Council land.
  • Council implements a bush fire works program based on the Bush Fire Risk Management Plan and available funding, and will not be undertaking further works outside the program. This program is regularly reviewed.
  • Any bushfire hazard complaints or enquiries about how the 10/50 Code may apply to your property should be directed to the RFS Macarthur office on 02 9603 7077.

Overhanging branches

 
Branches overhanging a footpath can potentially cause an obstruction, preventing pedestrians a clear passageway.

 If you see overhanging branches from a Council owned tree, please report it online or contact our Customer Service officers on 02 4645 4000.

 Property owners are responsible for trees within their property boundary and should ensure overhanging branches are pruned back from the footpath to avoid injury.

Neighbourhood tree disputes

 
If a neighbour's tree is causing concern or damage to property or underground pipes, it's recommended that you discuss the problem with your neighbour first, as they may be unaware of the concern or damage the tree is causing.

 Where agreement on a course of action cannot be agreed on, help is available from the Community Justice Centre (phone 1800 990 777).

 If a dispute is unable to be resolved, action can be taken at the Land and Environment Court under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006. This fact sheet (136KB, PDF) has further information on the Act and your rights in tree disputes.

Fallen trees after storms

 
Powerful storms can fell trees and branches. Our Removal of fallen trees and branches following storm events brochure (548KB, PDF) provides information on how to dispose of trees and branches following a storm event.

 

Significant Tree Register

 
Council has a Significant Tree Register that lists certain trees within the Campbelltown Local Government Area that have been classified as having significant values related to their visual, historic, botanical, cultural or commemorative significance.

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