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Before you remove a tree, do any major pruning, or take any action on the ground near a Registered or Regulated tree, you MUST check whether you need approval. Regulated and Registered trees in the ACT are protected by the Tree Protection Act 2005 .  TreeWorks can advise homeowners regarding tree removal and pruning and can seek approval from City Services on your behalf.  Following are some of the guidelines about what you can and can’t do in the ACT. Steep fines apply for breaching the law.

Before you do a major prune or tree removal you must apply for approval with City Services

Protected Trees

There are two types of protected trees in the ACT: Regulated trees and Registered trees:

A regulated tree is either:

  • 12 m or more in height; or
  • 1.5 m or more in circumference at 1 metre above ground level; or
  • with two or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks, 1 metre above ground level, is 1.5 m or more, or
  • 12 m or more in crown width.

A registered tree has been identified as being exceptional for its:

The definitions of ‘damage’, ‘major pruning’, and ‘groundwork’ can be found here: https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/View/a/2005-51/current/PDF/2005-51.PDF or here: https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2005-51/default.asp

An Application to Undertake a Tree Damaging Activity form is available on the City Services website. TreeWorks can carry out the application on your behalf. This (free of cost) option is often taken up by our customers as we have a wealth of experience on protected trees and can assist the regulators with diagnosis of sick or unsafe trees.

Fruit trees

Approval is not required to prune fruit trees for fruit production. In most other cases you will need to get approval to prune a Registered Tree.

Minor pruning

Minor pruning is permitted on a regulated tree in in accordance with the standard for Pruning Amenity Trees (ASNZ4373). Major pruning on protected trees requires approval from the Conservator.

Emergencies

Urgent pruning or removal of a protected tree due to safety concerns can be obtained quickly at any time of the day or night by phoning the Access Canberra Contact Centre – 13 22 81.

For more information visit the City Services website.