Port Stephens Council Tree Removal

Port Stephens Council Tree Removal has specific guidelines where approval is either required for tree removal, or your trees are exempt, and permission is not required for the removal of trees on residential blocks. To remove a tree without council approval, the tree must comply with one of the following (amended by Council 25th August 2020):

    • There are 7 exemptions that don’t require a Council-issued permit for the removal of an owner’s tree in a non-rural area:
      1. The tree is in danger of immediate failure (within 48 hours) — a self-certification form must be completed and submitted to Council after removal.
      2. The tree presents a risk to property or life — a self-certification form must be completed and submitted to Council at least 10 working days prior to removal.
      3. The tree is dead or dying and is not required as the habitat of native animals — a report by an AQF3 Arborist and a self-certification form must be completed and submitted to Council at least 10 days prior to removal.
      4. Minor pruning of less than 12 months’ growth or 10% of the foliage.
      5. Removal is authorised under a Council-issued development consent, certificate, or under other legislation (for example, the Rural Fires Act 10/50 vegetation clearing rule).
      6. The tree is less than 3 metres high and the trunk diameter is less than 300mm measured at breast height and removal does not otherwise require a permit.
      7. The tree is more than 3 metres high or the trunk diameter is more than 300mm measured at breast height and removal does not otherwise require a permit or the tree is within 5 metres of a wall of an approved structure, is a tree grown for fruit or nut production, or is an undesirable species listed in the Port Stephens DCP.

      Please see our fact sheet on removing trees without Council permission (PDF 1.4MB) for more details and requirements. For exemptions 1 to 3, a self-certification form (interactive PDF 1.8MB) will need to be completed and either submitted to Council or retained for 12 months to assist with follow-up inquiries. In most rural properties, the Local Land Services Act 2013 applies with Hunter Local Land Services as the consent authority.

    For any trees that don’t meet these guidelines, an application to the council is required.

    Branch Management can provide you with a FREE QUOTE and advice on your tree removal.

If Port Stephens Council advice is required or you would like help to fill out your application forms, please call Jess on 0419 289 223.

Outside of urban areas, on most rural properties, the Native Vegetation Act 2004 applies with Hunter Local Land Services as the consent authority.  It is advised to Ring Port Stephens Council on 02 4980 0255 if you are unsure of your land’s rules and guidelines.

For the Rural Fire Service 10/50 Zoning, check your address here.

For Rural zoning or to check if you are located under the Port Stephens Council Rules and Regulations or under the Hunter Local Land Services, please ring the council as different rules may apply.


For free quotes phone Jess 0419 289 223 or contact us below

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