Tree Removal FAQs

To remove a tree a permit is required from your local council unless the 10/50 rule applies to the tree or the tree appears on your council’s preservation order exemption list, is dead, or an immediate safety hazard.
An arborist can assess a tree and determine if it is an immediate danger. Trees damaged in a storm are often pruned or removed under this section of the local council Tree Preservation Order. If possible you still need to contact your local council prior to removal. You should always take a photo of the tree illustrating the imminent danger. The council can then be contacted in writing after the event.
Councils are displeased with the following arguments

  • The tree is shedding leaves, fruit, bark, cones, or twigs.
  • To improve the applicants views.
  • There a fears about healthy trees falling.
  • A tree is causing overshadowing.
  • Minor lifting of driveways and paths by tree roots.

It is an offence (under Part 8A of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974) to harm a threatened species or damage its habitat without approval. The need for such a licence may apply even where such work is exempt from council requirements under a tree preservation order. It is wise to get professional advice before pruning a tree. Local council websites have a page devoted to tree management and regulations, but there are many factors which need to be considered, so it is best to organise a council inspection before beginning any work.

Dead branches can often be removed without approval as well as power line clearance, you should always check your local tree preservation order to avoid any hefty fines. Underlying vegetation can be removed in addition to pruning without council approval if the 10/50 rule applies to your situation.

Yes. We can help you identify species, find and interpret your council’s preservation order.
It really depends on the type and size of tree, the service, and any special working conditions. If special machinery such as cherry pickers are required you can expect it to cost more.

  • Tree pruning, removal, maintenance – quotes start from $250
  • Stump removal – quotes start from $100
  • Power line clearance, hazard reduction – quotes start from $250
You should check your local tree preservation order for guidelines on pruning neighbouring trees. Often you will require the neighbour’s signature on the tree pruning or removal application.

Yes. For emergency response contact Sydney Tree Removals by phone and leave a detailed message explaining the emergency. Every effort will be made to attend to your emergency as requested. If, for some reason, we are unable to help you, we will advise you as soon as possible and assist you to find an alternative arborist.

Yes, under certain conditions. Some excavation will be necessary and the installation of root barriers to prevent the roots from growing back, so clear access to the area for excavation purposes is essential. It is also possible to prune roots in preparation for the laying of pipes underground, as long as there is good access available.

We can remove any unwanted mulch. We offer discounted mulch to avid gardeners to avoid having to taking the mulch to a tip. However, if we have to take the mulch to the garbage tip then the customer will be responsible for the disposal fees involved.

Yes, you can leave mulch in a pile for a reasonable length of time. If it starts to sour, or smell bad, it will need to be spread out onto a safe area (concrete driveway, perhaps), rinsed well with water and dried out before placing around existing plants. This is because bacteria may grow as the pile of moist mulch starts to decay.

 Industry FAQs

An arborist or arboriculturist is a professional trained in the field of arboriculture – the cultivation, management and study of trees and shrubs. Arborists assist with tree management, assessing the health of a tree, risk to the surrounds and implementing specific skills for the removal or pruning of trees. Arborists may be engaged to consult, write reports, perform tree audits and generate plans, however not all arborists do all these things. You will need to find the most qualified and suitable arborist for your particular requirement.

A registered Practicing Arborist is certified to undertake practical operations in tree care. They should have a minimum of Australian Qualification Framework Level III (Cert 3) in Arboriculture and public liability insurance of $20 million.

A registered Consulting Arborist is certified to provide risk assessment, diagnostic tree care, write reports and develop tree management plans. Their role is focused on giving professional advice and requires a minimum of Australian Qualification Framework Level V (Diploma) in Arboriculture, with public liability insurance of $20 million and professional indemnity insurance of $5 million.

Qualified Arborists of both types can be found on the Arboriculture Australia website.

The NSW Government has established the 10/50 Rule which is described in detail on the NSW Rural Fire Service website. If you live in an area close to the bush, you need to prepare your home for bush fire season each year. The 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Scheme gives people living near the bush an additional way of being better prepared for bush fires. The scheme allows people in a designated 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.

Sydney Tree Removals will complete a safety check prior to beginning a job. You should be wary of any contractor who does not make safety a priority. Sydney Tree Removals will formulate a plan for the job, which includes an emergency escape plan. In order for the arborist to do this planning effectively, you need to advise them of any underground services, underground water tank or any other possible dangers or points of concern. Make sure all people on site stay away from the work area and follow the arborists’ instructions. Failure to do so could result in an accident or injury to the arborist or spectators. If the work is being carried out in close proximity to power lines (within 3 metres), the arborist needs to be accredited to do so, and he or she should be able to provide evidence of this accreditation. You can read more about safety here.

Sydney Tree Removals recommends and maintains a current Workers’ Compensation Insurance policy for all employees, as well as public liability insurance of at least $20 million. The Certificate of Currency for Workers Compensation Insurance should be sighted and included with any written quote.

No, we do a wide variety of work. We provide assistance to local councils, power utilities, road and rail authorities, civil contractors, schools, sports clubs and asset managers.