Photo of trees

Council tree maintenance

The trees of our natural reserves and streets together form an urban forest that provides habitat for numerous species of animals, shade for our community, and increases the value of nearby properties.

The community of Bayside values our tree-lined streets, and so Bayside City council maintains and enforces a number of policies and strategies aimed at protecting and enhancing our urban forest.

Tree maintenance program

Bayside City Council has an ongoing cyclic maintenance program where our service providers, Citywide Tree Care inspects each tree in the Bayside region every two years. Trees are pruned or removed as required as a result of this inspection.

Program Pruning Dates (2015/16)

Please note: these dates are a proposed timeline, and may be delayed if other works of higher priority are required within the municipality, for example a major storm event may delay our programmed pruning works.

Residents can make a request to council for the following:

  • a new naturestrip tree
  • pruning
  • removal

Citywide Tree Care has 15 working days to respond to these requests.

Requests can be submitted through Councils Customer Service Department on 9599 4444 or via Councils 'Report an issue' form.

New tree plantings

Council will carry out an annual tree planting program. We are aiming to have at least one tree in front of every property if the location is suitable, the tree species will be guided by the Tree Selection Guideline and will consider the suitability of the tree for the specific site conditions.

  • If you would like to request a new naturestrip tree please make your request prior to December 31 as planting lists are closed and finalised in January of each year.
  • The planting season runs from May to September of each year.  If weather conditions permit, the season may commence in April and continue through to October.
  • Juvenile trees are subject to a two year establishment program which includes watering and formative pruning.

Tips to care for and promote the healthy and strong growth of your street tree:

  • By regularly watering your tree you can almost double the growth rate of your tree.
  • A bucket of water twice a week in warm weather and once a week in mild weather will assist in the trees growth and survival.
  • If you are mowing or whipper-snippering, avoid damaging the trunk and placing mulch right up against the trunk as this will cause rot.

Tree pruning

Residents can request a tree be pruned at any time, some things to be aware of are:

  • Tree canopy clearance requirements in the city of Bayside are:
    Footpaths  - 2.5m to lowest foliage or limb;
    Driveways  - 3.0m to lowest foliage or limb;
    Roadways  - 3.5m at kerb, 4.5m over road to lowest structural limb.
  • Trees will be pruned to provide visibility for motorists.
  • Park trees shall be maintained in as close to their natural form as possible.
  • Tree prunings will be removed within 48 hours.
  • Trees shall be pruned to provide and maintain clearance from overhead electrical conductors. For more information please refer to:
  •  Bayside Electric Line Clearance Management Plan (PDF)
  •  Bayside Electric Line Clearance Management Plan (DOC)

Tree watering

The drought over the past 10 years has progressively reduced our trees' ability to tolerate extended dry periods. Bayside City Council is concerned that without special effort, many of these trees will not recover when the drought ends. To address this issue we have assessed the health and vigour of our most significant public space trees and developed a program to try and help our trees survive the adverse conditions.

Actions from this program include:

  • implementation of the Mature Tree Watering Program. This program delivers 400 - 500 litres of water to each tree every 10 days on average.
  • trialling of innovations to allow the storage and gradual dissipation of water around trees.
  • soil amelioration treatments aimed at decompacting and saturating the soil.

Tree removals

Residents can request the removal of a street or park tree. Council will remove trees that are

  • dead or in severe decline.
  • a risk to the community that cannot be mitigated through management techniques.
  • identified as part of an asset renewal program.

Many residents request the removal of trees due to the litter the tree sheds. While we acknowledge that trees will, from time to time, drop berries, nuts, leaves and or other material, this is seen as a natural occurrence. As such we cannot remove the tree on this basis. Trees will only be removed in accordance with relevant Council Guidelines and Procedures.

Council will engage with the community on street and park tree removal decisions in accordance with the Community Engagement Framework.

Trees and development

Bayside City Council requires new developments to consider the Council’s street tree asset and adjust designs to accommodate the street tree.

Under some circumstances Council may agree to the replacement or relocation of a street tree provided all of the following criteria are met:

  • The tree has a Safe Useful Life Expectancy (SULE) of less than 5 years (as determined by an appropriate Council Officer)
  • The tree has a value of less than $30,000 (as determined by Councils approved valuation method)
  • It will be impractical to incorporate the tree into the design of the development
  • The applicant agrees to pay the cost of removing the tree/s
  • The applicant agrees to pay planting costs for replacement tree/s (including any applicable Tree Gain), and
  • The applicant agrees to pay compensation for loss of amenity in the amount of the current value of the tree (as determined by Bayside’s agreed valuation system).

Should all of the above criteria be satisfied Council will arrange the removal and replacement of the tree.

Should the request to remove be denied and the the tree has an assessed value less than $5,000 the applicant may request a review of the decision.

All money collected as a result of street or park tree removals will be spent on managing and renewing Bayside’s tree population.

If a tree is to be retained tree protection will be required around the tree. Tree protection is to be established prior to any works being conducted on site and maintained until all works on site are complete. All tree protection is to comply with the Australian Standard 4970-2009 Protection of trees on development sites.

Page last updated: 17 May 2016