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Protection for trees

On privately owned land, trees may be protected by Redland City Plan's environmental overlays or by Local Law No.6 (Protection of Vegetation)  in various ways.

Your trees may be protected:

  • by a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO) or Tree Protection Area (TPA)
  • by a vegetation clearing provisions under the Redland City Plan
  • by a covenant
  • by a building or development envelope
  • by a condition of a development approval controlling vegetation removal on the land
  • if a development application has been lodged with Council and a decision is pending.

Vegetation may also be protected by the state government. Before clearing you should contact the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy on 135VEG (13 58 34) or the Department of Environment and Science on 13 QGOC (13 74 68) for information.

Rules for removing trees

Removing trees without approval

You can remove trees from your property without Council approval if the trees are located within:

  • It is not within the environmental significance overlay (City Plan); and
  • The extent of clearing does not exceed the area specified in the table of assessment for the environmental significance overlay
  • It is not subject to a VPO or TPA.

Removing dead standing trees

Dead standing trees on rural properties are usually protected if they contain significant hollow-bearing limbs or have habitat value. However, they can be rendered safe by pruning to a habitat structure in accordance with AS4373-2007.

If you can’t make them safe in proximity to dwellings, structures and access roads, you can remove them.

Dead trees standing on urban lots can be removed as they are considered high risk with no sustainable management options available.

Unlawful clearing

It is an offence to remove protected vegetation without an approval and penalties can apply, for example, fines or a requirement that vegetation be restored. Council can help if you are unsure whether your clearing requires approval. Contact us on (07) 3829 8999 with any questions about vegetation on your property.

Rules for maintaining trees

Routine pruning and tree maintenance should be done in line with the guidelines set out in Australian Standard AS4373-2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees.

You can undertake the following tree management without Council approval:

  • removal of deadwood
  • removal of hazardous limbs
  • crown lifting
  • formative pruning
  • selective pruning
  • crown thinning
  • remedial or restorative pruning
  • removal of non-significant trees and vegetation
  • removal of environmental and declared weed species
  • removal of regrowth associated with the maintenance of existing, pasture, cultivated fields, firebreaks, lawn or garden areas, and boundary fence lines
  • pruning to avoid or prevent damage to above-ground services.

Other activities that may result in damage to protected trees may need Council approval.

Dangerous trees

If you are concerned about a tree, a qualified arborist can determine whether the tree should be retained, pruned or removed. They will examine:

  • the tree’s health and structural integrity of the tree
  • the tree’s proximity and height to dwellings and structures
  • how frequently people are around the tree
  • wind loading and predominant wind patterns
  • drainage conditions around the root zone
  • past limb failures
  • encroachment within Tree Protection Zone (TPZ)
  • social and amenity considerations
  • the tree’s significance to the surrounding area.

Council’s qualified arborist can provide advice about vegetation that is causing concern. Council approval is generally required to remove dangerous vegetation unless it is necessary to remove or reduce an imminent risk of serious personal injury or damage to infrastructure posed by the vegetation. Contact us for more information.

Protection from bushfires

We recommend that you develop a bushfire survival plan, with a rural property fire management guide, if your property is located in an area with a bushfire risk. See our information on bushfire safety.

Related forms

More information