TCCS adopts 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; or
- 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 storm water 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; or
- 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 drop, or droppings from wildlife;
- solar access; or
- 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 householder will be notified as to the reason why the tree is to be removed. 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; and/or
- Are a remnant of the original vegetation of the ACT, or have regenerated from one; and
- 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.