Tree clearing on private property
  • Last updated:
  • 24 May 2020

Within our region, certain vegetation on private land is protected from being cleared. This is under the provisions of the biodiversity, waterways and wetlands overlay code. Meaning, it is an offence to damage or remove certain protected trees and areas of vegetation on private property. Penalties may apply.

You must get approval from council to remove protected vegetation. This includes:

  • cutting down trees
  • chopping into or damaging the trunk of a tree
  • pruning to the extent that the tree is likely to die, or
  • clearing of plants within understorey areas (below the tree canopy).

To find out if your property has protected vegetation, refer to the vegetation management code within the planning scheme.

Applying for approval to remove vegetation

To apply to remove protected vegetation you must prepare and submit DA Form 1 to council. For more information, refer to:


You do not need approval if mapped vegetation removal is covered and/or conditioned by another permit:

  • clearing associated with a building approval - once it has been submitted to council and the total amount of clearing does not exceed 600m2, or
  • clearing as conditioned within a development approval for operational works.

Regulation of protected vegetation

Vegetation may also be protected by:

  • covenants
  • drainage easements
  • development approval conditions.

If you have remnant vegetation on your property, you may need a permit from the Department of Environment and Science. Such as areas of:

  • intact native bush, or
  • heath land.

All marine plants; such as mangroves, are protected under Queensland's Fisheries Act 1994. For more information visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

Neighbouring trees and overhanging branches

Trees located on property boundaries are subject to the Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011. The Act:

  • provides advice and choices to help resolve disputes about trees i.e. overhanging branches, and
  • states proper care and maintenance of a tree is the responsibility of the owner of the tree.

More information

For more information, contact council's Development Services.