If you plan to do construction works near a tree, you need to ensure you protect the tree from damage. Damage caused to trees during construction can affect their health, structure and the wildlife that live in them.
We have tree controls you need to follow to help protect trees during construction. If you do not follow these controls and damage a tree, you might be fined or prosecuted.
To protect a tree on your property during construction there are a number of things you need to do.
Hire a qualified arborist
Engage a qualified arborist. They can give advice in accordance with Australian Standard 4970-2009 Protection of Trees on Development Sites.
Have a permit
Make sure you and any contractors such as builders, landscapers, plumbers and electricians have a permit to do works near a tree.
Set up a Tree Protection Zone
Before you start any works, you need to set up a Tree Protection Zone (TPZ). This might be fencing, mulch or ground protection. These tree protection measures must be in place for the duration of construction works.
The Tree Protection Zone is an area around the tree that needs to be protected to ensure it remains healthy. It is represented by a stylised circle and includes an area both above and below ground.
A Tree Protection Zone is calculated in accordance with Australian Standard 4970-2009 Protection of trees on development sites.
Visit the Council Arboriculture Victoria website for a TPZ calculator.
Avoid works within Tree Protection Zone
Ensure that any demolition, excavation and construction works undertaken within the Tree Protection Zone do not cause damage to a tree.
Works within a Tree Protection Zone
The following activities must be restricted or prevented within the Tree Protection Zone, unless approved by the project arborist and/or Council as required by any permits:
- machine excavation (including trenching and topsoil removal)
- storage or dumping of materials or waste
- preparation of chemicals (including cement products), washing down of equipment, and refuelling of equipment and machinery
- parking or access of vehicles and machinery
- soil compaction or level changes, including any temporary stockpiling of soil
- lighting of fires
temporary or permanent installation of utilities and signs
- physical damage to tree trunks or branches.
Don’t store harsh materials near a tree
Make sure you do not store materials, equipment, rubbish, soil, and chemicals within the Tree Protection Zone.
Maintain the trees
Make sure you look after the tree as directed by a qualified arborist. This may include watering, mulching and fertilising.
Report tree damage or removal
If you are concerned that a tree is being damaged during construction works, you can fill out a form online or call our Statutory Planning team on (03) 9278 4888.
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