Trees are a part of Kingston’s character. They provide us with social, economic and environmental benefits. We're naturally committed to conservation and protection of trees, especially large canopy trees that take many years to mature. In line with the State Government’s Biodiversity Strategy, we're aiming for no further net loss in canopy cover throughout the city.
Public trees (street trees and reserves)
Street tree pruning program
A two year cyclic pruning program is in place for maintaining street trees in Kingston.
If you would like a street tree pruned or roots trimmed, please lodge a request with Kingston Council's Parks team.
A two year cyclic pruning program is in place for maintaining street trees in Kingston. The objective of this program is to manage tree health and reduce risks associated with street trees.
The Street Tree Pruning Program aims to achieve the following outcomes:
- Provide clear access along footpaths, nature strips and roadways
- Retain the shape and character of the trees and streetscape;
- Maintain sight lines for pedestrians and motorists;
- Maintain visibility of street signs, traffic signs, street lights, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings;
- Remove dead, dying and dangerous/safety hazardous trees;
- Maintain a “clearance space” around power lines and service lines. This is a statutory requirement specified in Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015 (Energy Safe Victoria)
Street Tree Pruning Program 2021-2022:
- Clayton South July - Aug 21
- Clarinda Aug - Sept 21
- Oakleigh South Sept – Oct 21
- Annual (High Voltage) Pruning program Sept – Dec 21 – All suburbs
- Annual HBRA Pruning Program Nov – Dec 21
- Mentone Dec – Jan 22
- Moorabbin Jan – Feb 22
- Highett Mar 22
- Heatherton Mar – Apr 22
- Cheltenham Apr – Jun 22
- Edithvale Jun – Jul 22
- Waterways July 22
- Aspendale Gardens July – Aug 22
- Mordialloc Aug – Oct 22
Council's Electric Line Clearance (ELC) management plan identifies the steps Council will take to prevent vegetation growing too close to electric power lines.
By implementing this plan Council ensures safety risks such as electrocution, fire (including bushfire) and diminished reliability of electricity supply in relation to trees and power lines are addressed.
Council is required to have an approved ELC management plan on display annually, which can be found on this page in the 'Related Information' section.
Request a street tree
If you don't have a tree on your nature strip and would like to request one, phone Council on 1300 653 356 or lodge an online request.
Annual plantings are scheduled in May and June.
Request street tree removal
As a standard, Council will only remove trees where all options to keep the tree have been explored and are not possible. Reasons that may require the removal of a tree are that it is dead, dying, dangerous, causing damage to infrastructure or an inappropriate species. If you have concerns about a tree please report it to Council’s Parks team.
Please note the outcome of this assessment will be provided in writing to any household the reported tree is located directly in front of.
Private trees (on your property)
Permit for tree pruning and removal
Tree Removal Permit
A permit from the Vegetation team is needed to remove, prune or undertake works to any tree (including multi-stemmed trees) with a trunk circumference of 110cm or more measured at ground level. Further, a local law permit is also required to undertake works within the structural root zone of any protected tree or vegetation.
Please note a fee of $105 per tree is applicable. Valid Concession Card Holders are exempt.
COVID 19 response
In line with the State Governments COVID Safe Plan, the only tree removal applications to be assessed during this time are those that pose a risk to human health and safety (private and public) and/or risk of immediate or significant damage to property.
The submission of an application must include:
- photos (with date stamp) of the tree including the part of the tree most at risk of failure
- the estimated height of the tree,
- the location of the tree within the site, and
- details that clearly define the risk that the tree poses and the potential target of tree failure
A preliminary assessment of the application will be undertaken and if the above criteria are met, a Local Law appointment will be confirmed. Contactless site entry and tree assessment will be mandatory.
The following supporting evidence might be required with any application and will assist in reducing assessment times:
- Property Damage – photographic evidence of the damage and/or a report from a qualified person in their field providing details/evidence to support the claim (engineer, plumber, builder)
- Health & Safety – a report prepared by a qualified Arborist including a risk assessment using an internationally recognised tree risk assessment.
- Development/Construction – copy of building permit or any other relevant documentation
- Other – medical certificate issued by a specialist providing details/evidence to support the claim.
If you are not the owner of the property, Owner's consent is required prior to Council's Vegetation Officer assessing your application. Download the Owner's Consent Form.
If your property has been developed under a Planning Permit, there is likely to be requirements for vegetation protection under that permit. Planning Permits contain permit conditions that are binding and are required to be followed. Planning Permits continue to have effect even when the development has been completed. Please request a copy of planning permit history before lodging any tree removal application.
The City of Kingston has established a Significant Tree Register to help identify and conserve trees of importance to the community. The Register aims to preserve the municipality's leafy neighbourhood character, cultural heritage, history, and biological diversity.
Trees and development - pre-purchase tree inspections
A Planning Permit may be required to remove any vegetation (native to Victoria) on land greater than 4,000m2. Speak to our Vegetation Management Officer or visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website for more details on native vegetation removal.
If you have trees on your site that may be affected by a proposed development, you may be required to submit an aboricultural report with your Planning Application. Download the aboricultural reporting guidelines.
In addition to the above, if planning a development, the following document may be helpful when preparing the landscape component of your development application: Indigenous and Native Plants That Are Suitable for Kingston's Soils and Conditions
Any potential development of land may be affected by existing trees on the land. If you would like information on trees that may affect any future development, you can apply for a "tree inspection report on private property". Council's vegetation officer will visit the site and provide a report detailing advice in relation to specific trees and information on how trees may be managed prior to any Planning Application being lodged.
For further information please refer to Indigenous Plants
Alternatively, please feel free to visit Council's Vegetation Department 1230 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham between the hours of 8.30am-5pm, or phone 03 9581 4131.