Are you thinking about cutting down a tree on your property? If so, there are a few things you need to consider before going ahead and hiring a reputable tree removal service. Despite the fact that a plant may be growing on your property, it does not mean that you have complete control over what happens to it. The decision regarding tree removal services lies with the local council, and failing to comply with these laws can result in hefty fines. So here are some things to consider before chopping down a woody shrub on your land.
How do councils decide?
The ultimate decision regarding tree removal services comes down to the local council. They use two tools to help them reach this decision. These are known as TPO’s (Tree Preservation Orders) and LEP’s (Local Environment Plans). TPO’s control what can, or cannot be done to plants that are not considered as significant. LEP’s however, focus on plants that are identified as significant for reasons such as: Aboriginal importance, historical importance, and functional purpose.
When do you need approval?
Approval will be needed for any tree removal service of plants that are classified as TPO or LEP. However, this will be granted if the plant is dead, damaged or about to fall. Furthermore, if the woody shrub is threatening a building, or the branches are interfering with roof materials and causing damage.
When do you not need approval?
In Sydney there are certain situations in which you do not need council approval to hire a tree removal service. If the plant in question is dead or dying, you will be allowed to extricate it without council permission. Furthermore, if it is within three meters of a house or building you will not need approval. If the woody shrub is on your local council’s exemption list, you are free to do as you please with it without checking with the council first. The size of the plant is also taken into consideration, if the woody shrub’s trunk circumference is less than 40cm, or if it is less than 3 meters in height you may not need to obtain a permit. If you do not wish to chop down the plant, but merely need it pruning, you have the right to get 20% of the canopy trimmed every twelve months without checking with the local council.
How much do tree removal services cost?
Getting rid of a plant can cost anywhere between $300- $10,000 per plant, however accurate pricing cannot be given until an inspection of the plant has taken place. Many factors are taken into consideration when it comes to pricing. The most basic quote for extraction includes the woody shrub being chopped into small pieces and taken away. Some aspects that affect the cost of the extraction include the size of the plant and transportation and tipping fees. For instance, the bigger the plant, the more work it will be for the arborist, this will also mean a larger vehicle will be needed to transport and dispose of the waste. These factors will increase the price of the job. The location, and ease of access can also be factors that determine how much it will cost.
What are the penalties for illegally extracting a plant?
As mentioned above, failing to comply with council laws can incur large penalties. If you break the terms of a TPO and cut down a tree without permission, you may be faced with a maximum fine in a local court of $110,000. Furthermore, you may also be taken to a Land and Environment Court and be fined up to $1.1 million.