When it comes to protected trees, it is best not to risk it even though it is often easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. It is crucial to check your tree’s protection before you remove, prune, or trim it. As professional arborists, we are familiar with protected trees and how to proceed.
IF A TREE IS PROTECTED, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The term “protected tree” refers to a tree that has been identified as valuable and should not be cut down or damaged.
It is common for protected trees to have been chosen for the following reasons:
Significance in terms of history and/or culture
Size, location, or physical characteristics that are unique
Especially in the case of endangered species, rarity is important
Value of horticulture
A sense of belonging to the community and the environment
As part of a local or state vegetation program.
Trees that are protected cannot be damaged or removed without a permit. You can be fined or even sent to VCAT if you damage or remove a protected tree.
In Australia, there are a number of different types of regulations when it comes to tree protection. Each state and territory has its own regulations when it comes to protecting trees. As well as the process of applying for a permit, penalties for disobedience will vary based on the state/territory and council in question.
THE BEST WAY TO KNOW IF YOUR TREE IS PROTECTED
A professional arborist is the best source of information on whether a tree you want to remove or maintain is protected. An experienced arborist will be able to help you determine whether your tree is protected, what type of removal or maintenance it requires, and how to proceed. If your tree requires a permit, an experienced arborist will assist you in obtaining one.
Alternatively, you can contact your local council directly about some of the tree species listed below.
VICTORIA’S PROTECTED TREES
Several tree and plant species are protected under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. You can find the full list of protected trees here.
The following species are commonly protected:
Acacia trees (wattle trees), The paperbark, Yellow gum and Avon peppermint eucalyptus trees