Trees in parks and on roadsides
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 are 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, please see Planning advice and related Planning pages.
Report an urgent tree issue
An urgent tree is classified as a tree or branch which has fallen, up rooted, or is hanging/leaning over a road, footpath or structure such as a bus shelter, building, carpark or playground and requires immediate attention.
If you need to report an urgent issue with a tree on Council managed land such as a nature strip, park or road reserve, please contact Nillumbik Customer Experience on 9433 3111 - 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
For urgent requests outside of business hours, please call our after hours pager service on 9433 3334.
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 2020/2021.
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 usage 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 is 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.
Hazardous Tree Program
This program targets predominantly rural roads in the Shire to identify hazardous trees and complete works to reduce the hazard.
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.
To find out more about this program please click here and watch the following video to see the works in action:
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. Please contact Nillumbik Customer Experience on 9433 3111 or email@example.com to 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.
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 eg 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
A Works within Road Reserve permit can be applied for - click here to 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 3 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.