Trees and vegetation

CONTENTS
Do I need approval?
My neighbour is cutting down / pruning my tree at the fenceline
Tree trimming
Native vegetation
Application form
Useful links


DO I NEED APPROVAL?
The Development Act 1993 provides that damaging a 'regulated' or 'significant' tree is development and requires Development Approval from Council. This does not include dead trees or trees within 20 metres of a house in a bushfire prone area.

The controls also do not apply within the following zones; Native Vegetation Council restrictions apply in these zones.

  • Watershed (Primary Production) Zone
  • Public Purpose Zone
  • Extractive Industry Zone.

What is a 'regulated' tree?
Any tree in metropolitan Adelaide (which includes the Hills Face Zone and/or townships in the Adelaide Hills Council) with a trunk circumference of 2m or more, when measured at a point 1m above natural ground level or, in the case of a tree with multiple trunks, that has trunks with a total circumference of 2m or more and an average circumference of 625mm or more.


MY NEIGHBOUR IS CUTTING DOWN / PRUNING MY TREE AT THE FENCELINE

Pruning back a regulated tree's branches or roots that are encroaching on your property does not require development consent unless it is likely to affect the health and appearance of the tree. For further information please contact the Legal Services Commission.

Where cutting back the tree would result in damage to the tree (including root damage), you will be required to seek Development Approval from Council for any works on your side of the common property boundary.


TREE TRIMMING
Maintenance pruning of less than 30% of a tree crown is not controlled where the pruning is required to remove dead or diseased wood, or to remove branches that pose a risk to buildings or areas frequently used by people. Refer to Australian Standard 4373-1996 'Pruning of Amenity Trees'.


NATIVE VEGETATION

In South Australia native vegetation (not exclusively trees) is protected by the Native Vegetation Act 1991. In most cases the clearance of native vegetation requires the consent of the Native Vegetation Council. Under this Act 'clearance' may be interpreted similarly to 'damaging activity'.

The Regulations of the Native Vegetation Act list a number of exemptions where clearance of native vegetation does not require approval. A full list can be obtained from the Native Vegetation Council.


APPLICATION FORM

Click here to download a Development Application form (PDF)
The PDF can be printed and completed by hand, or completed within the document's fillable fields.


USEFUL LINKS

Development Application Checklist
Fact Sheet: Regulated and Significant Trees
Trees and the law