Removing a Tree for Fire Management: How Straightforward Is It?

Removing a Tree for Fire Management: How Straightforward Is It?

18 February 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Removing a tree on your property can be a practical need. This can be the intention when the tree needs to be removed to eliminate a potential fire risk. Before you make plans to get rid of a tree that could endanger your home in the event of a fire, what do you need to know?

In New South Wales

Firstly, the matter has been simplified for residents of New South Wales, where the 10/50 legislation applies. This permits homeowners to remove any significant tree of more than three metres in height, as long as that tree is within 10 metres of the outer wall of a habitable dwelling (which is your home). Any vegetation (such as shrubs) can be removed as long as it's within 50 metres of your home. This legislation overrides any local preservation orders (applied to trees of a certain height and age) or native vegetation protection orders, meaning prior permission is not required. 

Other States

What about if you don't live in New South Wales? Some considerations can be applied in other states and territories to remove a tree that could pose a risk to your home during a bushfire. However, local preservation orders and native vegetation protection orders may still apply, which means that permission can be required, even though the tree in question is on private property. Queensland, for example, offers exemptions when the removal of the tree or vegetation is for the express purpose of fire management. Additional local restrictions may apply, and these fall under the jurisdiction of your local council. 

Seeking Permission

It's all a bit confusing, isn't it? Don't let any bureaucratic confusion prevent you from removing a potential risk from your property. You can start by contacting your local council to find out about their exemptions for removing a tree for the purposes of fire management. The problem is that they might also refer you to other government bodies whose authority applies, such as the Department of Environment in your state or territory. Additional federal restrictions may apply in some cases. You can, however, bypass this bureaucracy to some extent.

Professional Assistance

When you're considering removing a tree for the purposes of fire management, contact a professional tree removal contractor. Explain the situation to them, and ask if they can determine whether the tree can be removed under applicable legislation and if they can obtain any necessary permits. Think of it as a one-stop service; while there can be a fee for any additional legal requirements, it's much easier than making the arrangements yourself. Be sure to retain a copy of any issued permits for your own records.

It can be somewhat complicated to remove a tree as a part of fire management, and some professional assistance will speed up the process. Contact a local tree removal contractor to learn more.