Do You Need Permission to Cut Down a Tree on Your Property?

Do You Need Permission to Cut Down a Tree on Your Property?

Do you need permission to cut down a tree in Brisbane? In this article, we’ll give you the answers to one of the questions we’re most frequently asked.

As tree removal specialists, one of the questions we hear most frequently from clients is whether they need permission to cut down a tree on their property, whether there are exemptions and when to consult the experts.

(Note that what is included in this article is for informational purposes only, and you should always check with Council authorities if you’re not sure or need further guidance in relation to the law).

Do You Need Permission to Cut Down a Tree in Brisbane?

Unfortunately, answering whether or not you need permission to cut down a tree in Brisbane – even on a residential property – is not a simple yes or no answer.

There are a number of factors you need to consider in order to make this decision, including where you live, the type of tree, how close it is to the property line and if it’s a danger to residents and neighbours if left in place.

It also depends on the council regulations in the area you call home and the process they have for tree removal applications.

Cutting Down Trees in Moreton Bay Regional Council Areas

Whether or not you need permission to cut down a tree in Moreton Bay Regional Council residential properties depends on whether your address is considered an environmentally protected area, part of the Caboolture Green Network or near wetlands and water supply infrastructure.

You will also need to find out if the area is heritage listed or considered to be a habitat for native animals like koalas and kangaroos. If this is the case, you may need to apply to the council authorities for permission before cutting down a problem tree.

How Do You Know if You’re Part of those Restricted Areas?

Moreton Bay Regional Council has a handy online tool where you can type in your address and it will provide you with all the regulations and building restrictions you have to adhere to in your area, including whether you’re allowed to remove trees.

Are There Exemptions to This?

As with almost anything, there are some cases where you may be able to avoid applying to remove a tree on your property. Examples of this include:

  • Emergency tree removal (for instance after a storm or other natural disaster)
  • When trying to get medical attention for someone in a dangerous situation
  • If the tree is dead and could be dangerous to others
  • In response to an accident
  • When preparing an emergency response path like bushfire management plans or evacuation procedures
  • When removing hazards which may damage infrastructure (especially if potential damage is imminent)
  • Clearing weeds or maintaining existing pastures for grazing

Cutting Down Trees in Brisbane City Council Areas

In Brisbane City Council areas, you may be required to seek permission from authorities to cut down a tree for pretty much the same reason you would in Moreton Bay regions in addition to if the area is considered protected vegetation.

An area is considered to be protected vegetation if it is named under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL) or is deemed such by recent amendments and regulations.

When Might an Area Be Considered Protected Vegetation?

Some things to consider when deciding whether or not an area is protected vegetation are:

  • If it’s located near a waterway, corridor or the Brisbane river
  • If it is near bushland
  • If the area has protected or significant trees
  • If it’s heritage listed

When to Consult the Experts at Affordable Tree Service

You should never attempt to cut down a tree on your own if you don’t have experience or the relevant qualifications. Even if you have been granted permission to cut down a tree on your property, doing so without professional assistance can be dangerous and very costly.

We’re experts in everything related to maintaining and removing trees from your property safely and legally.

To find out more about our tree removal services, contact our experienced team today.