If you have a problem tree it is very advisable to check and obtain any necessary approvals from your local council before you do anything. You can incur very hefty fines if you just cut it down, even if it is located entirely on your own property. Across Australia, different legislation is in place, and the final word will probably come down to your local council. Be aware that in general, native species are all protected nationwide, especially so if the species has any particular aboriginal significance. Councils will use one of two tools. A Tree Preservation Order, or a Local Environment plan. You are able to remove some trees from your property, without council approval, but you must check to find if it is on a tree registry first.

What reasons can you provide for removing a tree?

The general reasons acceptable for wishing to remove a tree are, that it has become infested with termites or insects, it is posing a physical threat to property, it is dead or dying, or that it is poorly positioned in relation to the house, or intended new development. State by State, there are varying regulations, and other reasons for removal may be valid in some areas, but not in others. Always check.

How much does it cost and who should I use?

This will vary depending on the size of the tree (including the height and branch reach), the location and ease of access, safety factors and possible the cost of taking the tree away. In general the cost ranges from around $2,000 to $6,000. The industry is very competitive, so a company specialising in tree removal in Perth or Sydney will be comparable. You have a choice of two main options in terms of who does the job. A tree feller will be able to prune or cut the tree down, remove the stump and cart away everything. Your second option is to use an arborist, who can provide a more comprehensive service. An arborist, who has specialised knowledge on what is also best for the tree, can provide you with a consultation, outlining your options, advise you on the legal implications, and also help you formulate the correct approach to tree pruning and long term maintenance. Many will provide you with such a consultation free, and may advise you to do nothing, if it is not necessary. An arborist is highly likely to refuse to simply lop your tree, leaving it bare at the top, unable to provide itself with sufficient food and leaving the trees trunk and bark exposed to excess sunlight. Lopping can kill the tree, giving you more problems to deal with.

Wherever you are, a quick Internet search will provide you with a list of local tree fellers and arborists in your region. The right company will be the one that offers a comprehensive range of services, from simple pruning, through risk assessment to when necessary, removal. They will also be able to help you keep your trees under control, wherever they may be, while keeping the health of the tree in mind and keeping you inside the legislation that covers them.