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Protecting our natural environment

Managing trees

Trees, plants and shrubs are an important part of Mitchell Shires landscape.

They provide shade and shelter for people and wildlife, reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and also provide benefits to health and wellbeing and the economy, as well as social and community benefits.

Reporting a Hazardous Tree

To report an immediate hazard phone Council on 03 5734 6200 (all hours).

Find out what defines a tree as hazardous.

Removing Trees, Shrubs or Grasses on Your Property

If you want to remove vegetation, including trees, shrubs and grasses, you may need a permit from Council.

If you are unsure of the restrictions on your property or whether you need a permit, contact our Statutory Planning Department on 03 5734 6200.

Removing Native Vegetation

In Victoria, native vegetation removal is regulated through the state and local planning system.

Penalties apply for removing native vegetation without a permit.

Make sure you know if a permit is needed before you start removing any native vegetation.

Non-native Vegetation

Some non-native trees may also be protected by planning scheme controls such as a heritage overlay.

In order to determine whether or not planning controls apply to your property, see Mitchell Shire Planning Scheme.

Applying for a Permit

If a tree is required to be removed via a planning permit application, the following documents are required:

  • completed Application for a Planning Permit (download below)
  • recent copy of the land title — must be dated within 3 months from the date of submission of the application
  • a site plan showing all site details, including the location of the tree(s) to be removed
  • detailed photos of the tree
  • an arborist report
  • any other documentation may be required depending on the complexity of the application

To apply:

Trees on Neighbours Properties

Talk to your neighbours first if you are concerned about a tree on their property.

You have the right to prune an overhanging tree to the boundary fence line. You do not have the right to enter their property without permission.

More information on your rights and responsibilities is available from the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria website or the Victoria Law Foundation - Tree Laws.

Your Nature Strip

Maintenance by Council

Council has a maintenance program for street trees, which includes mulching, weed control, watering and a pruning schedule.

Maintenance by Residents

Residents are not permitted to plant trees and shrubs within the nature strip or other sites within the road reserve without Council approval. Plantings in these areas, without approval, may be removed by Council without compensation to the resident.

Residents can help maintain nature strips by:

  • providing additional water in warmer periods
  • maintaining grass at base of tree
  • keeping grass clippings from base of tree
  • avoid damaging base of tree when trimming grass
  • all pruning must be completed by our qualified Council staff and contractors

Street Tree Categories

Street trees located within the Mitchell Shire fall into 2 categories:

Urban

These trees are located within the township boundaries on roadsides and verges managed by Mitchell Shire.

In the Urban situation, aesthetic values as well as safety issues are to be addressed with removal meaning the total removal of tree, including the removal of all debris, grinding of stump and reinstatement of ground level.

Native tree removal needs to be undertaken in accordance with state and federal legislations and the Mitchell Shire Planning Scheme.

Rural

These trees are located outside the township boundaries, found along the roadsides that are not managed by Vic Roads within the Mitchell Shire.

In the Rural situation, the removal of trees is to be treated as a safety priority only, meaning that total removal may not be necessary.

Any works in these areas is to be in accordance with the Mitchell Shire Rural Roadside Environmental Management Plan.

Street and Park Tree Policy

Council's Parks and Gardens Department and contractors actively undertake the management and maintenance of all municipality trees, according to our Street and Park Tree Policy and relevant Australian standards. The Mitchell Shire Council Street and Park Tree Policy provides a framework for the efficient and effective management of Councils amenity trees.

Further information - Street and Park Trees

Council will:

  • maintain and enhance the existing tree population for inheritance by future generations by preserving tree health, aesthetic appearance and amenity value
  • remove poor performing trees where necessary in order that the Shire's landscapes are reinvigorated and maintained with regard to safety
  • select tree species for planting for their suitability to the site, performance, and potential to contribute to the landscape
  • protect Council trees from development and other activities that threaten their health and viability
  • minimise where possible, the conflict between trees and infrastructure
  • assess risks associated with trees as per Council's Risk Management Strategy and Procedure
  • consult and inform the community about all major projects involving tree removal and tree planting

Tree works include:

  • tree and stump removal
  • removal of branches with structural defects
  • removal of fallen limbs and branches
  • power line clearance
  • property clearance
  • dead wood removal
  • removal of low hanging branches
  • tree replacement
  • pest and disease management

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This page was last updated on 4 June 2019.