Bushfires, Floods and Tree Removal: What You Need to Know

10 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Tree removal is not always such a straightforward process. Just because the tree is on your property, you are not necessarily permitted to remove it, although there are always exceptions. You also need to think about whether the removal is smart, and this is a particularly pressing concern in areas prone to flooding. So if you live in an area that can be affected by flooding or bushfires, what do you need to know about tree removal?

First Things First

Depending on where you live, tree removal is regulated by state government or local council. Trees deemed to be significant cannot necessarily be removed unless they pose an immediate threat to people or property, and even then, only pruning might be permitted. Check with local authorities before hiring a tree removal company. It's your responsibility, and you will be held liable if a significant tree is removed, even though it will be someone else doing the actual removal.

Trees in Flood Prone Areas

If there are any sloped sections to your property, you should consider a partial tree removal. In a flood or even heavy rain, these sections can quickly turn into mud slides — mud that can easily make its way into your home. Leaving the stump (and therefore the roots) intact keeps the soil stable, making the dirt less likely to disintegrate and flow away with the rain. If the tree removal is due to the size of the tree, you can plant a new tree in its place. There are a number of fast-growing trees that thrive in Australia, and they won't grow to an inconvenient size.

Trees in Bushfire Prone Areas

Dead trees should be removed or at least dramatically pruned back in areas prone to bushfire. You still need to check whether removal is permitted, since even dead trees can be deemed to be significant. This is particularly true if the tree is used for nesting by an endangered or vulnerable species. This is rare in a suburban backyard, but it is not unheard of. Some local authorities permit the removal of any tree that is particularly close to a residential property, as this lessens the likelihood of a tree spreading fire onto a dwelling.

The question of whether or not to remove a tree will often be an issue for any homeowner. Before you call a tree removal company, you need to carefully think about whether total removal is the best option for you.