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Trees and Our Urban Forest

We are responsible for trees on City-controlled land as well as implementation of our Urban Forest Strategy, which seeks to protect, preserve and enhance the leafy character and natural biodiversity of our City. Find out more below.

Verge Trees

We are responsible for planting, pruning, replacing and maintaining verge trees. You cannot plant, prune or remove a verge tree without our approval.

Request Tree Pruning or Maintenance

To request pruning or maintenance of a verge tree fill in our online form. We aim to respond to all requests within 5 working days.We will not prune trees for the following reasons:

  • The tree is disliked
  • The tree partially or wholly obstructs views
  • The tree is perceived to present a risk of harm
  • The tree is perceived to aggravate health concerns
  • The tree produces leaf litter, flowers, fruit and bark
  • The tree attracts unwelcome fauna and associated issues
  • The tree is perceived to be inappropriate for the site
Request street tree pruning or maintenance

Request a Free Verge Tree

You can request a free tree for your verge as part of our Urban Forest Strategy. Trees will be planted in the winter planting season for requests submitted before December the previous year.
Request free verge tree

Request Removal of a Verge Tree

A tree will be considered for removal if:
  • The tree is deemed unsafe by us
  • The tree is dead or in irreversible decline
  • The tree is damaged beyond remediation
  • The tree is inappropriate for the site
Contact us to request the removal of a verge tree.

Disputing a Rejected Request for Removal of a Verge Tree

If we reject your request for the removal of a verge tree you can approach your ward councillors and Mayor to discuss the concerns about the tree. If the ward councillors and Mayor agree with the request, we will prepare a report for Council, who will then decide whether the tree is removed.

Report Health of a Tree

If you are concerned about the health of a tree please let us know so we can investigate.
Report the health of a street tree

Our Urban Forest Strategic Plan

Our Urban Forest Strategic Plan gives practical effect to our Urban Forest and Green Spaces Policy and aims to protect, preserve and enhance the leafy character and natural biodiversity of our City.
Trees are one of the most significant components of our neighbourhoods and one of our most important assets. They help keep our neighbourhoods cool while supporting biodiversity and improving the liveability of our suburbs.
Trees are the focus of our Urban Forest and underpin our Tree Expansion and Tree Succession Programs which aim to ensure we achieve locally optimal levels of tree canopy cover across our City.
For more information see our Urban Forest Strategic Plan.

Tree Expansion Program

Our tree expansion program involves planting trees on vacant verges and other public land to increase our overall canopy coverage. Planting trees on public land helps build climate change resilience within our community by helping to reduce urban heating.
Each year we focus on different suburbs for our tree expansion program. Through this program we plant a variety of tree species to assess the ability of different trees to survive in a warming and drying climate. This information is used to inform our future planting programs and ensures a healthy and diverse urban forest
In 2022 we are focussing on the following suburbs:
  • Bateman
  • Booragoon
  • Murdoch
  • Bull Creek

Tree Succession Program

Our tree succession program provides for the replacement of trees that have come to the end of their life span due to age or declining health. Tree succession involves planting a young tree next to an aging tree to enable the younger tree to grow to a substantial height before the mature tree completely declines, however if space is limited, we may need to remove the aging tree which would be replaced with a young tree.
See garden guru, Sabrina Hahn explaining our tree expansion and succession programs in this short video.

Tree Vandalism and Unauthorised Tree Removal or Pruning

It is an offence to purposefully vandalise or damage any trees on City-controlled land, including pruning or removing trees located on verges.

If you see a vandalised tree or someone vandalising a tree please contact us so we can investigate.

If you prune or remove a street tree without our permission, we may issue an infringement and you may be liable for all costs associated with remediating any damage or removing and replacing the tree. For further information on infringements see our Tree Policy.

Trees on Private Land

We have no say on whether a tree on private property is cut down or not, as this decision is up to the property owner.
We can only investigate trees on private land if they pose an immediate safety risk.

Trees and Developments

We have certain rules surrounding the protection of verge trees when developing a site. It is the responsibility of the developer to ensure all contractors and site managers are aware of our rules as to avoid any infringements.
For more information about our rules around trees and developments see our Tree Policy.

Hanging Swings, Decorations or Ornaments from Trees

You cannot hang swings, decorations or ornaments from any trees on public land as they can affect the health of a tree or pose risks to the public. We may be able to ask you to remove anything hanging from your verge tree.

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