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The Legalities And Benefits of Tree Pruning

Updated: Jun 13

Tree pruning is a crucial process to ensure the health and wellbeing of the trees on your property. However, each tree species has different requirements when it comes to effectively pruning them and for this reason there are strict laws around what is permissible regarding tree pruning. The safest way to ensure that yourself and your trees are protected is to enlist the services of a trained arborist for any of your tree pruning needs. Below is a run down of some of the legalities relating to tree pruning and the benefits it can offer to your property as part of its maintenance. 

tree pruning

There are a number of tree species that are exempt from requiring permission to prune under the Sydney Development Control Plan 2012. This list is extensive and there may be caveats relating to size or if the tree is registered as significant or a heritage tree. For these reasons it is required that the tree you wish to prune be identified by a qualified arborist or horticulturalist with a minimum level 3 in arboriculture or horticulture (AQF). You as the property owner are responsible for ensuring that a tree is exempt so don’t leave anything up to chance and make sure that you enlist a professional.

If a tree is not exempt there are still reasons where tree pruning is allowed and necessary. These reasons typically centre around the health of the tree and if it poses any immediate danger to people or structures. 

This kind of tree pruning can be actioned swiftly in the case of an emergency where a tree has evidence of:

  • Root instability 

  • Soil heave or cracking

  • Decay in the root system 

  • Storm damage 

  • Structural defects, such as splitting branches.  

It can’t be stressed enough that if tree pruning takes place without the ability to prove that the tree was dead, dying or that it posed an imminent risk to human life or substantial property damage then you could be hit with a large fine or further legal action.  

So far, most of the information relating to tree pruning has been reasonably serious but tree pruning is actually one of the most common tree services provided in Sydney. Pruning isn’t reliant on there being a problem, it’s all about maximising the health of your trees. Below are just a few of the benefits of pruning:

A pruned tree is a robust tree

Unhealthy branches are typically a result of a lack of light, which can increase the chances of disease and pest damage. Pruning a tree back to a healthy state will increase the likelihood of that tree thriving into the future. Every tree has different requirements though so this is why the expertise of the arborist is so important.

A pruned tree is a safe tree

As branches start to die off they become increasingly less secure and begin to lose their structural integrity. Pruning significantly decreases the chances of falling branches ending up on anybody or any of your possessions.

A thinner canopy is an ideal canopy

Light is crucial for a tree's health. A thinner canopy benefits trees and bushes below some of your largest trees. It can also lower the risk of storm damage as it can reduce the wind resistance created by the tree, decreasing the chance of the tree or its branches coming down in heavy winds.

Pruned trees equal happier property owners

Neat foliage is far more easy on the eyes than a cluttered and busy canopy. Greater air flow and light will also help to increase the health of the space and place less pressure on your home via mold and mildew. 

So, don’t sleep on contacting Arbor to advise on where tree pruning may be beneficial on your property.

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