Native trees beautify the environment, contribute to the quality of life and perform a valuable task to help get rid of carbon dioxide. It's unsurprising, therefore, that governments across Australia seek to protect these trees and introduce a raft of regulations that specify what you, as a property owner, can and cannot do. If you believe that you have to lop some of the trees on your property, what do you need to know first?

Assessing the Need for Action

Sometimes, a tree will start to develop problems through disease or damage and, in this case, may need to be treated. At other times, a tree may represent a potential hazard if it has grown to such an extent that it is very close to an adjoining property or is simply too big for its current location.

Understanding the Regulations

Typically, regulators may prohibit the removal of the tree, although some trees are excluded from these rules and you should check with your local government first. Further, you may not be allowed to lop more than 10% of the tree, although this rule will allow you to carry out some seasonal pruning in line with standard practice.

Building Your Case Before You Apply

If you think that you need to carry out a substantial modification to the tree in question, to appease a neighbour or from a safety point of view, you may need to gather a lot of evidence first. If there is clearly something wrong with the tree due to root damage, lack of water, soil compaction or another issue, take photographs and use this information to support your application. On the other hand, if you believe that the tree could cause damage to a separate property in the future, you will need to elaborate and make sure that your case is strong before you apply to the government. Note that your case is likely to be rejected if you simply want to modify the tree so that you can improve your view of the surrounding countryside.

Getting Expert Help

If you do get permission to proceed, do not take on this work yourself. Make sure that you employ the services of a professional tree lopper, and they will lop off the required amount in accordance with the local government decision. You may be required to provide evidence of the work once the contractor has finished to close the case out.