Trees on Private Land

Trees on your property

Trees play an important role in our environment. They provide habitat for wildlife and protect soil and water supplies.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017 includes provisions requiring the preservation of trees and bushland within The Hills Shire.


Consent is required to:

  • Prune a tree by more than 10%
  • Remove any tree not exempted from the Tree Preservation Order
  • Substantially alter the soil level within the 3 metres surrounding the tree's trunk


If you are responsible for the removal, damage or lopping of a tree without Council’s consent you may be liable for a possible maximum fine of up to $1,100,000.


Consent is NOT required to:  

  • Remove a priority weed
  • Remove a tree grown for its fruit


Tree Management Fact Sheet(PDF, 4MB)


What you need to know

The following document, 'Tree Management Guidelines for Private Trees' includes detailed information on:

  • The definition of a tree
  • Tree disputes between neighbours
  • When Council approval is not required for tree removal on private land
  • What evidence you are required to supply to Council to substantiate an exemption and how to apply
  • Exempt trees that may be removed without Council approval 
  • How Council assesses your application and,
  • Information on Bushfire Hazard Reduction.


Tree Management Guidelines for Private Trees(PDF, 5MB)


Application Forms

Use the following form to apply for:

  • Assessment by Council Officers for removal of tree/s
  • Tree pruning (by more than 10%)
  • Further advice on trees on private land.


Tree Management Application(PDF, 679KB)
View associated Fees & Charges - (Fees & Charges are Part 5 of The Hills Shire Plan)

Payment by Credit Card Form(PDF, 390KB)


Further Assistance 

For further assistance with your application please call Council during business hours or +61 2 9843 0555.


10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice

Please note that the 10/50 Vegetation Clearing Code of Practice applies to parts of the Shire. Residents should make their own assessment as to how the 10-/50 Code applies to their property. More information can be obtained from the RFS website


Native Vegetation Clearing Application

A Vegetation Clearing application is required to be lodged for minor works that are proposed to clear any native vegetation that is not approved as part of a Development Consent issued by The Hills Shire Council or a Hazard Reduction Certificate issued by NSW Rural Fire Service.

Vegetation Clearing Application Form(PDF, 99KB)


Consulting and Contracting Arborists 

The two organisations listed below keep registers of consulting and practicing arborists and may be useful for sourcing an arborist to assess and report on trees, supervise works on or adjacent to trees, or for professional pruning or tree removal.

Disclaimer: The Hills Shire Council does not endorse or recommend any listed provider or warrant that any service providers are suitable or appropriately qualified. Individuals and organisations should conduct their own review process before choosing or engaging any listed service provider and do so at their own risk.