Tree works on Council managed land and streets

Council undertakes works on street trees, parks and reserves primarily based on a program of risk assessment in accordance with industry standards.

Members of the public may submit a request for pruning or removal of trees on Council managed land or streets by calling 02 6643 0200 and lodging a customer service request.  The request will then be recorded and referred to Council's Open Spaces and Facilities section for assessment.  A determination will then be made and any necessary work completed as soon as practicable.  Work will be undertaken by Council staff and/or contractors in accordance with Australian Standards 4373.  The person responsible for initiating the request is also notified of the outcome as part of this process. Tree works Council may undertake include:

  • Removal of tree weeds, unsuitable or hazardous trees.
  • Selective pruning, and weight reduction of limbs.
  • Maintenance pruning to remove dead, diseased, dying or defective branches.
  • Selective pruning to remove branches causing conflict, i.e. building encroachment.
  • Root pruning of trees to manage damage to built and natural structures.
  • Pruning for service lines excluding electrical service lines.
  • Crown lifting for pedestrian or vehicular access.
  • Pruning for vehicle sight lines, signage, and Road and Maritime Services (RMS) requirements.
  • Removal of trees in conflict with utilities and built structures where all engineering alternatives have been considered.
  • Minimum work to make trees safe. In habitat trees, Council will remove the minimum amount that Council needs to make it safe, whilst still retaining habitat value (e.g. leaving a hollow stump for nesting birds).

Tree works Council will not undertake include:

  • Trees not considered to be Council responsibility.
  • Removal of trees for views unless identified within a Plan adopted by Council (refer to Tree Management Policy).
  • Removal of trees for solar access, leaf, fruit or sap drop, bird or bat droppings, damage to sewer pipes/built structures unless all engineering alternatives have been considered.
  • Removal of healthy and stable trees.
  • Pruning of trees contrary to Australian Standards 4373.
  • Any pruning work outside what a particular species will tolerate, i.e. figs if pruned by more than 10% can be predisposed to sunburn.
  • Tree work for emotive reasons.
  • Removal of trees inhibiting grass growth.
  • Chemical controls unless deemed absolutely necessary, i.e. termite control on nature strips.
  • Removal of trees for allergies unless tree can be medically linked to allergy by a specialist.
  • Removal of trees found to be causing damage to minor ancillary structures such as footpaths and driveways.
  • Requests for topping/height reduction of trees.

What are my rights of review if my request is refused?

Where an applicant is dissatisfied with a determination by a Council Assessing Officer, a request for a review of the initial decision can be initiated.

The review may require an assessment to be undertaken by an officer of Council with skills and knowledge in arboriculture.  If in assessing the request the reviewing officer disagrees with the initial decision any works deemed necessary will be actioned and the person requesting the work notified. If the assessing officer agrees with the initial determination the person requesting the work will be notified outlining the reasons behind the refusal.

Street Tree Planting Requests

It is recommended that residents do not plant trees on the nature strip without first consulting Council. This practice could result in the refusal of future insurance claims associated with the tree if it can be proven that Council was not involved in the species selection process.

Council has developed a recommended list of street trees when developing the Yamba Street Tree Masterplan suitable for that area.  The list may be used to select a species for other areas provided it is consistent with Council’s Urban Tree Management Strategy or specifically adopted Street Tree Masterplan.

Tree Related Insurance Issues

Any insurance issues associated with Council managed trees can be followed up with Council's Insurance Claims Officer in Governance.  Council's Insurance Claims Officer is available to discuss any tree related insurance issues on 02 6643 0200.

If you have any further queries, please contact Council's Open Spaces and Facilities on 02 6643 0200 or email

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