There are over 70,000 trees on public streets and hundreds of thousands more within Newcastle’s local government area. The City of Newcastle (CN) consider trees to be significant capital assets. They are as much part of the community infrastructure as roads and footpaths. All existing trees, new plantings and potential planting sites are recorded in CN's Tree Asset Management System.
We are responsible for the city’s public trees. This includes:
- Visual tree assessments and reports
- Pruning young trees to create good form and structure
- Weed control at the base of trees
- Pruning mature trees where required
- Tree removal where required.
You should not prune or remove public trees yourself. The NSW Local Government Act 1993
makes it an offence to interfere with a plant in a public place.
If you think a tree needs maintenance you can make a request by contacting us on 4974 2000 or complete an online customer request form
. We will assess the tree to determine the need for maintenance and will set a priority of any work required.
If a tree appears to be causing damage to a footpath you should contact us on 4974 2000 and report the matter. We will assess the situation and determine the priority of any work required.
If you are considering submitting a claim relating to an alleged accident/incident caused by trees located on public land, we require evidence from claimants. The onus lies on the claimant to provide sufficient evidence or proof to substantiate their claim. This requires providing photographs, professional experts' reports (eg consulting arborist's report or a plumber's report or other extrinsic evidence) to demonstrate our trees have directly caused the alleged damage.
In order for a claim to be considered, evidence must be provided to us for consideration prior to undertaking any repair work.
- Damaging public trees (includes poisoning), disturbing or removing a tree can be a breach of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 , Protection of Environmental Operations Act 1997 and/or the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
- Anyone found to have damaged, disturbed or removed a public tree without consent may be fined or prosecuted, which may result in penalties and a civil conviction.
- Maximum Penalty imposed by Local Court - $100,000
- Maximum on-the-spot Penalty Infringement Notice (PIN- imposed by CN) - $3,000
- Maximum Penalty imposed by Land and Environment Court - $1.1 million
To report any damage to public trees contact City Greening Services on 02 4974 6043.
If a tree causes damage to your property during a storm event, you should contact your insurance company. Most storm events come under an act of God insurance clause.
Below is a guide to the minimum documentary evidence required by us for claims relating to alleged damage to driveway crossovers on public land, fences or walls along property boundaries, sewer and stormwater and structures alleged to have been caused by our trees.