There are more than 500,000 trees on Nillumbik reserves, roadsides and other Council-owned or managed properties, such as parks and early learning centres.

Council is responsible for maintaining these trees throughout the municipality. 

This page contains information about how Council manages these trees, including conducting both proactive maintenance and reacting to maintenance requests from residents.

For information about trees and vegetation on private property, see Planning advice and related Planning pages.

Report a tree issue

If you would like to bring Council's attention to a tree issue, you can let us know either online or by phone.

Report a tree issue

Reactive non-urgent tree maintenance requests

Council can undertake a reactive tree assessment on Council-managed land such as a nature strip, park or road reserve.

Request a tree inspection.

Trees are generally pruned (or removed, as a last resort) for the following reasons:

  • A tree or branch poses a risk to property or life
  • To maintain road and foot path clearances
  • To maintain the line of sight for road users
  • It facilitates approved development and infrastructure improvements
  • A tree is listed as an environmental weed but does not form part of a significant hedge such as the Hawthorn hedges in Kangaroo Ground

The following request types may not result in an inspection:

  • To increase light to a property eg. for solar panels - street and park trees are for the benefit the whole community. Trees cannot be removed for the purpose of a single property.
  • Debris and litter-fall from a street tree - the nature of a tree’s lifecycle is to drop leaves, flowers, fruit and bark. Trees cannot be removed for debris and litter-fall.
  • The tree is unattractive or the resident would prefer another type of tree - Council prunes or removes trees with regard to tree health and safety reasons but not for aesthetic values.
  • The tree harbours wildlife - trees can be valuable habitat for wildlife. 

Tree Management Policy and Guidelines

The Nillumbik Tree Management Policy 2018 and Nillumbik Tree Management Guidelines 2018 outline our commitment to managing and caring for trees in the Shire in line with best practice and legislative requirements and in the interests of public safety, conservation and tree health. 

Electrical line clearance

Council is responsible for maintaining clearance of vegetation around power lines in some areas of the Shire, taking in parts of Eltham, Eltham North, Diamond Creek, Plenty and Greensborough, with a small number of streets in Wattle Glen and Research.

As required by the Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015, Council has prepared its annual Electric Line Clearance Management Plan(PDF, 9MB).

Proactive tree pruning and removal

Council has the following proactive tree maintenance programs:

High Use Site Tree Program

This program includes trees in Council managed sites with a high frequency of use, such as the Shire Offices, libraries, community centres, playgrounds and early learning centres. Depending on the level of use, these sites are either inspected annually or biannually.

Box Clearance Program

This program targets predominantly rural roads in the Shire, to maintain the road envelope clear of vegetation. The roads included in the 2019-2020, 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 rounds of Box Clearance are shown on this map

The following diagram shows the clearance requirements.

box clearance trees.png


Hazardous Tree Program

This program targets predominantly rural roads in the Shire to identify hazardous trees and complete works to reduce the hazard. 

Bushfire mitigation

Council has a proactive program developed annually to reduce the fire risk where possible. The Box Clearance program and Hazard Tree Program are incorporated within this Bushfire Mitigation Program.

Watch the following video to see the works in action, or read about our Bushfire Mitigation Works.

Street tree planting

Council’s street tree planting program occurs between April and September each year and the tree is maintained for two years. The program includes planting single trees and also multiple trees along a whole street.

Please note that not all sites are suitable for planting - this may be because of the location of gas, water, electricity and size of the nature strip.

Tree planting requests for the following years planting season close in November, which allows enough time for good quality tree stock to be ordered.  

If you would like to request for a tree to be planted, please contact Nillumbik Customer Experience on 9433 3111 or and the site will be assessed for planting. 

Trees and vehicle crossovers (driveways)

Residents or developers may request the removal of trees on Council land for the installation of vehicle crossovers, although the tree must be taken into consideration when designing buildings or contemplating vehicle crossings. It cannot be assumed that Council will allow a tree to be removed to provide access.

An infrastructure works permit can be applied for - find out more and apply. The tree will then be assessed by Council’s Arborist. If the tree is mature and healthy and the proposed crossing is closer than three metres from the trunk of the tree, then a vehicle-crossing permit will be denied.

If the tree is assessed to be in poor condition or with low streetscape/amenity value, Council’s Arborist may approve for the removal. If a planning permit is required for removal, the resident or developer may need to submit a planning application to remove the tree and also pay for any fees associated with the permit. The permit will be assessed and if approved, the resident or developer will be responsible for organising and paying for the tree removal works as stated in the planning permit using one of Council’s approved contractors. 

Landscaping or planting on the nature strip

Residents are allowed to plant within the nature strip, as long they have permission from Council.

Find out more about the requirements for planting on the nature strip.  

Roadside vegetation removal

Council does not allow residents to remove trees on the nature strip or road verge.

If you would like a tree assessed please contact Nillumbik Customer Experience on 9433 3111 or

Find out more about the removal of other roadside vegetation as part of our Bushfire Mitigation Works program.

Trees on private property

If you are intending to prune or remove trees on private property you may need a planning permit from Council.

Find out more about permits required for  removing, lopping or pruning trees.