We adopt a conservative policy towards the removal of live trees on public land.
Trees are removed when:
- they are dead, damaged or in irreversible decline
- they constitute a traffic hazard/other identifiable hazard to public safety which cannot be corrected by pruning
- they are interfering with above or below-ground services such as power lines or water pipes and the problem is likely to require repeated remedial action.
Trees are considered for removal when:
- the tree is an unsuitable species for where it is planted, for example poplars and willows near stormwater lines
- they are deemed unsuitable for a location in conflict with the design intent of the landscape
- they are part of a dense planting which requires thinning to promote the health of the remaining trees
- they were designated as temporary in the original landscape design and have reached the end of their intended life span.
Trees are not removed due to:
- householder preference for no street tree or for a different species
- appearance (unless this is related to very poor tree health)
- concerns about leaf litter, twigs, fruit or seed material, or droppings from wildlife
- solar access
- tree roots protruding above the ground or competing with lawns.
If it is necessary to remove a living tree from a nature strip, regardless of whether the tree was planted by the ACT Government or the householder, the resident will be notified. Consultation will be more extensive where a group of trees are to be removed. Where the site and surrounding services allow, a tree of an appropriate species will be replanted in a similar location.
Unless you have written approval, you cannot remove a public tree.
Mature native trees which are dead, damaged or in irreversible decline may be pruned and retained in the landscape where they:
- provide habitat for wildlife such as through hollows
- are a remnant of the original vegetation of the ACT, or have regenerated from one
- are in a location where they do not constitute an identifiable hazard to public safety.
Habitat trees are created by pruning the main branches to leave a 'totem' with exposed hollows to provide habitat for birds and animals. In certain cases, artificial hollows and/or nest boxes may be added to enhance habitat.