Tree, Shrub and Vegetation Removal

Page hero image The following information provides an overview for tree, shrub and native vegetation removal in the Newcastle local government area, and a link to the application form(s).

In all circumstances, the   Newcastle Urban Forest Technical Manual is to be consulted before engaging consultants or lodging application forms.
 

Tree and shrub removal on your property

The following information provides an overview for tree and shrub removal in the Newcastle local government area, and a link to the application forms.  The          Newcastle Urban Forest Technical Manual (Manual) is separated into three parts based on the land on which the tree, shrub or other vegetation is located, and the type of vegetation present.  The two parts relevant to tree or vegetation removal on private land are:
 
  • Part A provides guidance on the management of trees and shrubs located on private land.
  • Part C provides guidance on the management of native vegetation communities or assemblages on private land.
In all circumstance the Manual is to be consulted before engaging consultants or lodging application forms.
 

Part A - Private trees

In accordance with Part A there are some instances where approval is not required for the removal of trees or shrubs on your property.  To remove a tree or shrub without approval on your property you must meet one of the following criteria.  The tree or shrub must:
  1. Pose an immediate risk to life or property due to a demonstrated sudden change to its structure as a result of severe storm or wind events.  This documentation for removal must be in accordance with Part A Section 3.3 (1) of the Manual. If the storm damaged private tree is a heritage listed item, then Council is to be notified by supplying the completed         Report Storm Damage Tree Removal form in Appendix 6 along with the required evidence.  The completed form and relevant photos are to be forwarded to Council within 5 working days of the tree removal.
  2. The tree is dying or dead, and the requirements of Section 3.3 (2) of Part A of the Manual have been met.
  3. The tree is less than 3m in height or with a circumference at breast height (1.4m above  ground level) less than 450mm for a single trunk tree, or less than 300mm for each trunk of a multi-trunk tree. See Section 3.3 (3) of Part A of the Manual.
  4. The shrub is less than 5m in height and is not part of a native vegetation community.
  5. The tree or shrub is located within 3m of the wall of an existing principal building (excluding carports, garages, pergolas, fences, retaining walls and the like) on the land where it is situated or on adjacent privately owned.  See Part A Section 3.3 (5) of the Manual.
  6. The tree or shrub is native vegetation previously planted for agriculture, agroforestry, forestry, horticulture or woodlot purposes.
Owners of trees not meeting the above six requirements under Part A will need to:
  • for three or less trees/shrubs with replacement planting, complete and lodge a Permit tree removal application form, or
  • for more than three trees/shrubs, or for removal of three trees/shrubs or less where no replanting is proposed, complete and lodge a tree removal application form and   Arborist Report to Support Tree Removal Application form in Appendix 7.
Heritage listed tree or shrub, including trees or shrubs that form part of an Aboriginal object or is within a place of Aboriginal significance are not covered by circumstances 2 to 6 above.  A completed   Heritage Minor Works form and Appendix 7 (completed by a qualified arborist) are to be lodged with Council to apply for removal of these trees/shrubs.

Note:  The above clauses 1 to 6 do not apply to trees or shrubs on land managed by a public authority including Council, they apply only to trees on privately owned land.

Tree and shrub removal on environmentally sensitive land is not covered by a tree or vegetation removal application and may require a Development Application.

Tree or shrub removal on private land associated with development cannot be undertaken under the Part A Tree Permit process, and is to refer to Section 4 of the Manual for assessment criteria.
 

Part C - Native Vegetation

  Part C Newcastle Urban Forest Technical Manual is to be used where the removal of more than three tree/shrubs is within a native vegetation complex, wetlands, riparian zones or Endangered Ecological Communities on private land.  A   Permit Application for Native Vegetation Removal must be completed and returned to City Of Newcastle.

A permit will not be issued if the vegetation pruning or clearing exceeds the biodiversity offsets scheme threshold (refer to Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 for further information), or is on land identified by the Biodiversity Values Map as defined by the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017, confirm with Office of Environment and Heritage   Biodiversity Offsets Scheme entry requirements.

For further information on tree removal refer to frequently asked questions.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get approval to remove a tree on my property?
How much does it cost?
What is an arborist?
Hiring a suitably qualified person
Guidelines for preparing an arborist report for tree removal
What happens next?
Can I clear my block of land before I put my development plans to Council?
Can I place mulch or green waste on Council land?
Trees on neighbouring private land
What is a Native Vegetation Complex/Community