Author Archives: ChrisAsh

Explaining the 10/50 vegetation clearing rule

fireAfter being queried by many customers on this issue here’s a brief summary of 10/50 Vegetation clearing scheme.

The ruling was initiated in response to the devastating 2013 bushfires which destroyed many unprepared properties. The scheme is quite controversial and is currently under review by the state government. We will endeavour to keep you updated with any changes to the legislation.

What the scheme allows you to do

Providing your property is within the 10/50 vegetation clearing entitlement area you are permitted to:

  • Clear trees on your property within 10 metres of a home, without seeking approval; and
  • Clear underlying vegetation (other than trees) such as shrubs on your property within 50 metres of a home, without seeking approval.

PLEASE NOTE: As of November 27 the rules have changed, significantly tightening the Entitlement Area.

If the tree that concerns you belongs to a neighbour, you must have their permission before undertaking any tree removal, even if the tree overhangs your property line.

The RFS have a handy tool on their website that allows you to check if you’re property is in the entitlement area, find it HERE
10_50

Some points in responce to questions raised

  • If you are in the entitlement area you are not obligated to clear your block, however if you have concerns you should seek professional advice.
  • The ruling only applies if the relevant Building has habitable rooms, such as a home, tourist accommodation, caravans within a caravan park and mobile homes. It doesn’t include buildings like sheds and barns.
  • The distances are measured from the external walls of the habitable building and include decks and garages attached to the house but not external garages or sheds.
  • For the purposes of the 10/50 scheme a tree is defined as “a perennial woody plant having a single stem or trunk that is three or more metres in height, and has a circumference of more than 30 centimetres at chest height”.

The 10/50 code of practice

The 10/50 scheme is covered by of code of practice (available HERE) that governs what you can and can’t do. It’s highly recommended that you have a read before undertaking any work

…And finally, if you have any doubts or concerns contact us!

We’re hear to help and have extensive experience with this scheme so CONTACT us and we’ll be happy to advise you of your best option.

What happens if a tree falls on my property during a storm?

This is a tricky topic that we have encountered on many occasions in the past 20 years.Storm 6

It is important to have building and contents insurance on your family home or investment property. However, it pays to read the fine-print on your policy to make sure you are not surprised if your home or property is damaged by a falling tree.

In the unfortunate event of a tree falling on your property, in most cases, your insurance company will only pay for removal of tree debris that has fallen on YOUR property. If the tree has also fallen on to your neighbour’s property, or on multiple properties your policy generally does not cover removal of any debris on another property.

That’s right.Storm 3

It may be your tree which falls across one or more fences, but if your neighbours are affected, they will need to put in a claim on their own insurance policy. Each property is handled separately by the property owner’s insurer and they will need to pay their own excess.

Also

In most cases, if a tree falls but does not damage any property, your insurance company will not pay to have the tree debris removed.


What should I do if a tree has fallen and damaged my property?

Storm 7Contact your insurer to lodge a claim. Once your claim has been lodged, an insurance builder will be appointed to manage the repairs and will nominate a tree contractor to attend. You may not be able to choose the contractor, but your insurer only sends approved contractors to these jobs.

Bob and Ben the Tree Men work with a number of insurance builders and have done for many years. We aim to respond to any requests within a few hours and will contact you to discuss the job as soon as we can. In severe storms, such as occurred this week in Sydney, we prioritise the work according to danger levels and complete within the shortest amount of time possible.

Kogarah City Council Tree Pruning and Removal info

kogThis is the third in our series about the different rules and regulations in regards to tree removal and pruning in your council area.

This week we cover the Kogarah City Council (KCC) area

This information is sourced from the KCC DCP 2013 which can be found HERE

As with most Councils, KCC place a high value on the retention of trees in their area, but they also understand that effective management sometimes entails pruning or removal. The following is an outline of their rules and regulations.

What can be trimmed or removed without Council approval?

The following trees don’t require council permission regardless of size:
kog_tree

Also, permission is not required for any emergency work undertaken SES, Rural Fire Service or another Authority.

What do I have to get permission for?

Any tree that is not in the above list and has:

  • A height greater than 3.5m, or
  • A branch spread exceeding 3 meters in diameter

sawGaining approval

To gain approval from KCC you must do the following:

  • Fill out an application form; available for download HERE
  • Get the written consent of the land owner
  • Provide reasons for removal/pruning
  • Provide a description of the tree/s including type, size and location

When the above is completed council will grant approval when:

  • It can be proven that the tree is dead or dying, A report from a Qualified Arborist is required which Bob & Ben can assist with
  • It can be proven that the tree represents an immediate threat to life and/or property, this also requires a report from a qualified Arborist which we can provide

In deciding the above council will take into account the following:

  • The current and future uses of the effected area
  • The health and safety of the tree
  • The Characteristics of the tree both current and future, these include height, spread, trunk diameter and life expectancy
  • The damage or potential damage the tree may cause

KCC won’t give approval for any of the following reasons:

  • To erect a fence
  • To avoid leaf litter
  • To increase light
  • To improve views
  • To reduce shade
  • To reduce fruit, resin or bird droppings
  • Minor lifting of paths or driveways

Contact Bob & Ben if you have any questions, we can help you through the application process.

Hurstville City Council Tree Pruning and Removal info

hurst1This is the second in our series about the different rules and regulations in regards to tree removal and pruning in your council area.

This week we cover the Hurstville City Council (HCC) area

This information is sourced from the HCC Website which can be found HERE

What can be trimmed or removed without Council approval?

The following trees don’t require council permission regardless of size:
HCC_non_per
 

 

 

 
 

 

Also, permission is not required for any commercial or domestic fruit tree except Macadamia integrifolia.

What do I have to get permission for?

Written permission is required from the council for the follow trees regardless of size:
HCC_per
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

cut_branches1In addition to the above permission is required for pruning or removal if the tree is:

  • three metres or more in height
  • it has a circumference of 300 millimetres or more, measured at a height of 450 millimetres from the ground
  • it has a branch spread of three metres or more.

Permission will granted if it can be proved to council that the tree is dead or dying or that it has become a threat to people or property.

To facilitate the approval process Council will sometimes require a report from a qualified Arborist to support your application. We can provide such a report.
Contact Bob & Ben for further information should you need a report.

A downloadable HCC application form is available HERE

Once completed, your application must be lodged at the Hurstville Civic Centre Customer Service Centre.
An application fee must also be paid upon lodgement.

Determination of your application.

HCC’s Tree Preservation Order aims to keep as many trees within the HCC area as possible and it is what will determine the outcome of your application.

The following reasons are NOT seen as adequate justification for pruning and/or removal.

  • View
  • Shade (except where a medical condition can be proven)
  • Leaf or twig fall
  • Minor damage
  • Personal concerns (where the applicant feel the tree is unsafe but this cannot be proven)
  • Blocked pipes

Contact Bob & Ben if you have any questions, we can help you through the application process.

Sutherland Shire Tree Pruning and Removal info

husqThis is the first in our series about the different rules and regulations in regards to tree removal and pruning in your council area. We aim to provide you with all the info to navigate this complex topic in one place.

We’ll start with Sutherland Shire Council area

This information is sourced from the Sutherland Shire Council Website which can be found Here 

What can be removed without Council approval?

You can prune or remove the following without permission except where the tree has heritage significance. ( please contact the council if you think your tree may be of heritage significance. )
SS_trees1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I be prune without Council approval?

  • You can prune up to 10% of a tree without permission.
  • Any branches that overhang a dwelling can be pruned without permission.
If you have a tree within 3m of your house, council will generally give you permission to remove it but you will have to fill out an application.

What do I have to get permission for?

Other than the exceptions noted above permission has to be granted for everything else.

  • You can find the online application here.
  • A downloadable application form can be downloaded here.

All applications are assessed by qualified council staff.

A common misconception is that council says “NO” to almost everything. This is not correct.   Sutherland Shire Council has a set criteria by which they assess all trees.  If your trees fit within this criteria then permission will be granted.

Trees on neighbouring properties?

Permission is needed from both council and the owner of the neighbouring property. There is a section on the application form your neighbour should complete and sign before submitting your request.

Contact Bob & Ben if you have any questions, we can help you through the application process.

We’ll cover Hurstville council next time.