If you own a property in Canberra, there’s a good chance you’ll need to remove a large tree at some stage – particularly if it becomes unsafe. In many cases, removing a large tree requires approval from City Services – a division of the ACT Government. In this blog post, we answer frequently asked questions about tree removal in Canberra.
Are trees regulated in the ACT?
Yes, they are. Trees in Canberra are regulated by the ACT Tree Protection Act 2005, which defines and protects both “Regulated” and “Registered” trees. Local residents and business owners need to be aware of this legislation when considering tree removal in Canberra.
Does ACT tree regulation apply to trees on my own property?
Yes, it does. The ACT Tree Protection Act 2005 applies to large and significant trees on leased land in Canberra. In other words, a property owner needs to determine if a tree removal requires “approval” from the ACT Government.
What is the difference between “Regulated” and “Registered” trees in Canberra?
A “Regulated” tree is one that is large and significant (it could be a large eucalypt, elm or oak in your garden). On the other hand, a “Registered” tree is one that has special cultural, natural, heritage or scientific value (it will be registered on the ACT Tree Register).
What are the rules surrounding tree removal in Canberra?
When it comes to tree removal in Canberra, there are two simple rules to remember:-
- Don’t remove a “Registered” tree.
- Check the dimensions of a large and significant tree to make sure it isn’t a “Regulated” tree that requires approval prior to removal.
According to the City Services website, a “Regulated” tree on leased land (your property) is defined as follows:-
- 12 metres or more in height; or
- 1.5 metres or more in circumference at 1 metre above ground level; or
- with two or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks, 1 metre above ground level, is 1.5 m or more, or
- 12 metres or more in crown width.
If the tree you want to remove is “Regulated,” you need to complete and submit an application form with City Services, as well as organise an onsite inspection / assessment. Alternatively, you can engage a professional arborist in Canberra to help speed up the approval process, which makes sense if you’re using them to remove the tree.
What’s the difference between an arborist and a tree surgeon in Canberra?
The terms “arborist” and “tree surgeon” are used interchangeably in Canberra – though “arborist” is arguably more common. If someone calls themselves an arborist or tree surgeon in Canberra, they must have a recognised horticulture / arboriculture qualification and be registered / insured as an arborist business.
When is tree removal required?
Tree removal may be required in a number of situations (see below), but you’ll need to consult an arborist in Canberra first.
- A tree starts to lean or slant – posing a risk to both people and property.
- A tree begins to show signs of splitting (trunk and/or branches).
- Tree roots start to damage plumbing infrastructure and undermine building foundations.
- A tree becomes home to a large termite nest – undermining the tree’s structural integrity (eucalypts are particularly susceptible to termite damage).
- Presence of honey fungus mushrooms at the base of a tree (honey fungus is parasitic and obtains its nutrients at the expense of the tree).
- A tree becomes extremely dry (common in drought periods) or dies.
When is the best time to organise tree removal in Canberra?
Weather permitting, tree removal can be performed at any time of the year in Canberra.
Is tree removal in Canberra expensive?
Tree removal in Canberra can become expensive if the tree is very large, access is difficult and an elevated work platform (EWP) is required. Most local arborists will provide a fixed price quotation prior to a tree removal in Canberra.
Why is it important for an arborist in Canberra to be insured?
Tree removal is a dangerous activity that can potentially damage property and injure people – that’s why an arborist needs to be comprehensively insured in Canberra.
For further information on tree removal in Canberra, or to organise a tree inspection, please call Leon at Stump’d Tree Services on 0434 510 767.