banner image
Vegetation management

City of Gold Coast protects trees and vegetation on private land to preserve our city's character, amenity, biodiversity, historical and ecological values.

Tree removal - private land

Tree removal – private land

We protect trees and vegetation on private land to preserve the City's character, amenity, biodiversity, historical and ecological values. Over 90 per cent of the trees and vegetation in our city are on private land and form an important part of our city’s urban forest.

If a land owner wishes to damage any protected vegetation on their property, an application submission may first be required.

There are a number of checks that will need to be conducted in regards to the size, condition and location of the tree before any vegetation can be removed.

The Do I need to lodge an application for the removal of vegetation on my property? checklist contains the following identifying questions to determine if an application is required:

  • Is the damage/removal of vegetation along an existing property fence, or a proposed new fence?
  • How close is it to a building?
  • How close is it to a pool fence?
  • Is it part of the native under-storey?
  • Is it interfering with the operations of an established agricultural business or animal husbandry business?
  • Considered hazardous and/or dangerous?
  • Does it fit within the Pest Species definition?
  • Around a dwelling that is a potential bush fire hazard?

The checklist will advise if the vegetation you wish to remove is either accepted development or assessable development.

Accepted development

An application to the City of Gold Coast is not required if the proposed works can be undertaken in accordance with the required outcomes for accepted development. Damage to the vegetation can be undertaken without City approval and no application is required. 

The City will not remove trees from any private land, so please ensure you engage your own tree specialist/contractor to do the work. For further information, refer to the Hiring an arborist or tree contractor page.

Assessable development

An application to the City is required if the proposed works can not be undertaken in accordance with the required outcomes for accepted development.

Damage to the vegetation cannot be undertaken without City approval and an application is required. Please refer to the application lodgement page for further instructions on how to submit an application.

Related information

Jump to key information
  • How can I remove a tree from my private property?

    A simple checklist can be completed to determine if an approval is required for removing a tree on your property.

    Please visit the Tree removal – private land page for further information.

  • I want to put up a boundary fence but a tree is in the way.

    If a tree is in the way of a boundary fence, there are some checks that will need to be conducted in regards to how close the vegetation is to the property boundary fence before any vegetation can be removed.

    Please visit the Common civil disputes involving trees and vegetation page for further information.

  • The leaves from the neighbour's tree drop in my pool – surely that means they have to remove the tree?

    No. In many cases pools are built well after trees have become established. If the trees are not causing any damage and are just dropping leaves then City of Gold Coast would not look favourably at an application for removal.

    Please visit the Civil disputes involving vegetation and trees page for advice about resolving a neighbourhood dispute involving vegetation and trees.

  • Well, what do I do now?

    It is recommended that you contact one of the following agencies to investigate or assist you in resolving the problem:

    • Legal Aid office (QLD) -1300 65 1188
    • Gold Coast Community Legal Centre & Advice Bureau Inc. - 07 5532 9611
    • Dispute Resolution Centre - 1800 017 288

    In addition, you can trim whatever is overhanging your property (only to the boundary line).

    In neighbourhood disputes, first try to reach an amicable agreement directly or through an objective mediator such as the Dispute Resolution Centre or the Gold Coast Community Legal Centre & Advice Bureau Inc. Legal action tends to damage neighbour relations. Generally, liaising with your neighbour is better than using a third party.

    Please visit the Civil disputes involving vegetation and trees page for advice about resolving a neighbourhood dispute involving vegetation and trees.

  • Can I throw the branches back into their property?

    Overhanging branches - you can lop off overhanging branches of a neighbour's tree if the branches are causing a nuisance. You should not trespass on the neighbour's land to do this. However, any branches you lop off belong to them and they cannot refuse to take the branches back if you are unable or willing to dispose of them.

  • What do I do to resolve a dispute about a tree with my neighbour?

    Please visit the Civil disputes involving vegetation and trees page for advise about resolving a neighbourhood dispute involving vegetation and trees.

  • My tree branches are going into the power lines; what can be done?

    Contact Energex and they will remove any intruding tree parts from the power lines.

  • Will City of Gold Coast remove the tree(s) on my property?

    No, if City of Gold Coast approves the tree(s) to be removed, you will have to engage your own tree specialist/contractor to do the work.

  • Someone has cut down trees on their property – do they have approval?

    Please ring the City on 07 5582 8688 to check if they have obtained approval or if an approval was necessary.

    If you are sure the trees did not meet the required outcomes for accepted development of the Vegetation management code and City approval has not been obtained, then contact the City's Local Law Compliance section on 07 5667 5991 to report a breach. A City officer will go out to investigate the possible illegal removal.

  • I live on a rural block and want to clear vegetation. Do I need to apply to City of Gold Coast?

    Complete a simple checklist to determine if an approval is required for removing a tree on your property. Please visit the Tree removal – private land page for further information.

    However, if the vegetation is classified as remnant, it may have additional protection under State legislation. Any clearing of remnant vegetation regardless of the status (endangered, of concern or not of concern) will require approval from the State Government.

    If you are not sure what remnant vegetation is and you have an email address, lot and Registered Plan details, visit the Queensland Government website to request an emailed copy of your property report with the vegetation category and status clearly illustrated.

  • What is remnant vegetation?

    Remnant vegetation is all intact and predominantly intact vegetation communities, excluding young regrowth. Clarification can be provided via the above web page link.

  • There is a tree on the nature strip or in the park next door to my property and it is dangerous or dead. Can I remove it?

    No. You must contact City of Gold Coast's (City's) Parks & Recreational Services to assess the tree, as only the City or its contractors are allowed to remove or prune trees on public property. Complete our online Report a problem form or or call 07 5667 5974.

  • I want to hire a qualified arborist or tree contractor. What should I do?

    Hiring a tree contractor or consultant deserves careful consideration and caution. A mistake can be expensive and long-lasting, but the right choice can assure safe healthy trees with a longer life. City of Gold Coast cannot recommend contractors, however for information on hiring a qualified and insured arborist in your area, contact the Queensland Arboricultural Association. Please visit the Steps to complete before hiring a tree contractor or qualified arborist page for more information.

ADVERTISEMENT

Top of page Top of page