Tree protection measures

This advice is intended to assist permit holders who are carrying out works on sites where trees are to be retained for their landscape and habitat value, or are carrying out works within close proximity to trees to be retained (either with or without planning permission).

There are many areas of native vegetation remaining within Nillumbik that contribute significantly to the landscape character of the Shire, and provide important habitat for wildlife. Planning controls exist to protect this vegetation and maintain landscape and environmental values.  Should you obtain a planning permit, it may contain specific conditions relating to the retention of trees on your property, and particular requirements for tree protection fencing.

It is imperative that you conform with all requirements and conditions of your planning permit, including that of tree protection fencing. Note that substantial penalties apply for contraventions to planning permit requirements and conditions and individual infringement notices or fines may apply to each tree affected.

Most planning permits concerning development on treed sites will require permit holders to erect and maintain tree protection zones to Council’s specifications around vegetation required to be retained and which is in close proximity of works areas. Soil disturbance, damage to vegetation or the failure to erect and maintain the requisite protection fencing within these defined protection zones will attract substantial penalties.

The following activities should not occur within any Tree Protection Zone (TPZ):

  • Any erection of structures or hard landscape features
  • Any storage of materials including equipment, fuel and building waste or rubble
  • Any soil disturbance, primarily stripping and grade changes
  • Any excavation works, specifically surface-dug trenches for underground utilities
  • Nothing is to be attached to any tree (including service wires, nails, screws or other device)

The TPZ must be a physical barrier of protective fencing that is a minimum of 1.5 metres high. Tree protection fencing should be erected around the retained specimens (at the edge of the TPZ) before site works commence, to enhance tree protection and prevent any pedestrian access into the protection area. As a guide, the fencing associated with the TPZ should be erected at or beyond the drip line (canopy trees) of the tree to be retained (refer to Figure 1), or around the outer canopy line where trees are grouped. Alternatively, a qualified arborist may require a larger tree protection zone.