Trees on private property

We encourage residents to plant trees in their gardens to protect and support biodiversity and to enhance the attractiveness and amenity of our city.

To make sure healthy, attractive trees remain a feature of our city, we have introduced some regulatory controls over the pruning or removal of trees on private land through the Stonnington Planning Scheme and General Local Laws.

Protecting significant trees

Local Law protection

We have a General Local Law that protects significant trees on private land.

Under the Local Law, you must get a Tree Works Permit before any works (pruning or removal) are done on a 'significant' tree.

You must first determine if your tree is deemed 'significant' and, if it meets the criteria, you must obtain a Tree Works Permit.

To determine if your tree is deemed 'significant', refer to General Local Law(PDF, 2MB) - Part 14 Tree Protection (page 56)

Need a Tree Works Permit?

To download a permit application visit the Tree Works page.

Planning Scheme protection

The Stonnington Planning Scheme applies tree controls over two specific areas within the city:

  1. Yarra (Birrarung) River Corridor Environs, and
  2. Hedgeley Dene Precinct

The areas subject to tree controls are highlighted on the maps below:

Important: If you live in one of these areas, you must obtain planning approval before pruning or removing any tree.

Landscape plans

Some Planning Permits have approved landscape plans. Generally, landscape plans are endorsed as part of a:

  • multi-unit development
  • mixed-use development.

Removal of trees or alterations to landscaping other than those approved in the plans may require approval from the Statutory Planning Department. Should you wish to remove a tree or alter landscaping as part of a development, you may require formal approval from Council.

Council's Planning Investigations Department will investigate illegal tree removal and alterations to landscape plans inconsistent with the Planning Permit and approved/endorsed landscape plans.

Inconsistencies with endorsed landscape plans can be enforced by Council, and penalties can apply. For more information on breaches relating to trees and vegetation, see Enforcing permits.

To discuss planning permit requirements please email the Planning Services team or call 03 8290 1333.

Disputes between neighbours

Overhanging branches, damage from roots and dropped foliage can all contribute to issues between neighbours over trees on private land. Learn what your rights are and how to resolve a tree dispute at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria.