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Private trees

Private Trees

All private trees are currently protected by Council's Tree Preservation Guidelines (PDF); if you wish to prune or remove a tree on your property, you will need to submit to Council a current Application for Tree Permit - (TPO) Form.
It is advise to throughly read the Tree Preservation Guidelines part of Auburn's Development Control Plan to ensure a clear understnding of the assosciated conditions relating to Tree Preservation.

All applications to prune or remove trees must have the consent of all the owner/s of the property on which the tree stands or must be accompanied by a full, current copy of the legal instrument that permits the nominee to act on the owner/s behalf.

Application forms and fees are updated annually and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they have the most current form. 

Removing or pruning trees on your property

If the tree is growing on your property you will need to submit to Council a completed Application for Tree Permit - (TPO) Form. All the legal owners of the property must sign the application form and the form must be accompanied by the relevant fees as stated on the form.

Trees growing on rented property

If you are the tenant of a property, you will need to obtain the written consent of the property owner before lodging a Application for Tree Permit - (TPO) Form. The application form must be accompanied by the relevant fees as stated on the form. Managing agents are not able to sign on behalf of the owner of the property.

Removing or pruning trees on your neighbour's property

If a tree is growing on your neighbour’s property you may still lodge a Application for Tree Permit - (TPO) Form; however, all the owners of the property on which the tree stands must sign the application before it will be considered by Council.

Please note Council does not mediate Tree Disputes between neighbours regarding trees. Conflict over the management of private trees in neighbouring properties is the responsibility of both neighbours to resolve.
Where attempts for mediation between parties has failed, the opportunity exists for an owner of land to apply to the NSW Land and Environment Court, under the provisions of the Tree (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 , for an order to remedy, restrain or prevent damage to the owner’s property, or to prevent injury, as a consequence of a tree situated on adjoining land. 

Removing or pruning trees on Strata or Company Title property

If the tree is growing on property owned by Strata or Company title, the Tree Permit (TPO) Application (PDF) must be signed by an authorised officer under common seal. The application must also include the minutes from a meeting of the Body Corporate or Executive Committee at which the listed works were approved. 

Private trees overhanging public space 

Where trees or shrubs from private property overhang a public walkway or carriageway causing obstruction, damage or potential damage to the public, Council may serve an Order on the tree owner to prune or remove the offending vegetation. In some cases Council may undertake to carry out tree works and charge the property owner to recover the costs.
To request that Council investigate private trees or shrubs overhanging public space please contact our Customer Service Department on 9735 1222, or email

Processing your Tree Permit Application

Upon receipt of completed Tree Permit Application a Council Arborist will be assigned to process your request. A site inspection, to assess the tree and the merits of your application, will be required before a determination can be made. It will also be necessary to notify the owners in adjoining properties of your application prior to making a determination.
When assessing an application, The assessment criteria used are consistent with those applied for public trees in Section 3.3. in the  Auburn City Council Policy and Framework 
The criteria to be taken into consideration may include:
  • Potential risk of injury 
  • Potential risk of damage to buildings and structures
  • The trees health, growth potential, and structural soundness
  • The effect upon the streetscape and the tree’s amenity value to the local area
  • Whether the tree forms part of an avenue planting
  • Whether the tree forms part of a green corridor, remnant species, provides native habitat
  • Suitability of the species to the location
  • Whether the tree is visually or culturally significant  

Please note, Council's Tree Poicy and Framework Plan provides the following:

  1. The dropping of leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds or small elements of deadwood by urban trees ordinarily will not provide the basis for the removal of or intervention with an urban tree
  2. The obstruction of light by a street tree is, in itself, not justify its removal or substantive pruning
  3. The use of a tree for habitat by native birds, possums, bats, ants and the like does not provide the basis for tree removal

Tree Permit Determination

At the completion of the assessment process the Council Arborist will make a determination in writing which will be forwarded to the applicant (and owner of the tree where applicable). If approval is granted for the proposed works, or part thereof, the approved works must NOT be commenced prior to receipt of the written determination.
If an application is refused, or part refused, you may lodge an Tree Permit Application for review (PDF) of the determination. Provision of any additional information not available at the time of the original assessment must be provided with any application for review. This additional information would normally take the form of an arborist and/or engineering report. An application for review must be lodged within 12 months of the date of issue of the original determination.

Once I have recieved consent for tree works, can Council do the work?

Council does not carry out approved Private tree removal or pruning works. It is the responsibility of the applicant to organise for approved works to be undertaken. As a condition of approval, applicants may be required to engage the services of a qualified arborist trained to prune trees to Australian Standards. A list of qualified arborists can be found on either the National Arborists Association of Australia or International Society of Arboriculture websites.

Replacement planting

In some cases, a permit for tree removal may include a condition requiring you to plant a replacement tree. The condition may specify the size and species of tree to be planted.
Auburn Council has produced a series of Fact Sheets forLocally Occurring Native Trees for Auburn City as well as Trees Species being used in the City's Street Tree Master Plan. Replacement trees  may be source your local nursery whom can provide can provide information and advice on appropriate ongoing management of your trees and shrubs
When considering replanting options, the following points should be taken into consideration:
  • The characteristics of the replacement planting, (that is, how big will it get, is it evergreen or deciduous)
  • Proximity to services, (electricity wires, sewer/ drainage lines)
  • Proximity to buildings, walls and neighbouring properties