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City trees serve several functions. They release the oxygen we breathe, absorb traffic exhaust fumes and other airborne pollutants and help reduce the greenhouse effect. Trees help to reduce glare, and provide privacy, shelter and shade. They contribute to land stability, erosion control and water table regulation, and provide habitat for birds and animals.

To protect and preserve the City's trees, Council has the Development Control Plan 2011 (DCP2011) in place. This applies to trees growing in private and public places.

Under the DCP2011, you must obtain Council's written consent before cutting down, pruning, ring barking, topping, lopping, or removing most types of trees. Heavy fines apply for breaching the Development Control Plan and for injuring or wilfully destroying a tree.

While most trees are covered by the Development Control Plan 2011, those that aren't include species listed as noxious weeds and fruit plants listed as susceptible to fruit fly under State law.

When you apply for consent to prune or remove a tree, Council will take your reasons into consideration. Please note, however, that permission is usually refused if you are seeking to remove a tree simply because it is shedding leaves, bark, twigs, cones or fruit, or causing minor damage.

If you are unsure whether you need Council consent, read our Guide to the Development Control Plan 2011.

If you're planning to prune or remove a tree, go to the Obtaining consent for tree work section.

If you are landscaping, the Trees Council recommends page contains lists of native trees, shrubs and ground covers. Further advice on choosing plants that are indigenous to the City is available from the Rockdale Community Nursery.

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