Damage to trees during construction can lead to serious tree decline - and fines.

Certain requirements apply to protect significant or canopy trees and you may need to apply for a permit to remove, prune or do works near a tree.

Protecting a tree on your property

Tree roots are generally shallow in the soil and can travel well beyond the dripline of the tree's crown. Roots that collect water and nutrients are found within the top 600mm of the soil. The roots in this surface layer must be protected during works so they continue to grow.

To protect a tree on your property during construction:

  1. Make sure you - or the builder doing the construction - has a permit to do works around a tree.
  2. Make sure there's a Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) around the tree.
  3. Put a fence around the TPZ to prevent anyone from working too close to it.
  4. Don't attach anything to the tree or use it as a winch support or anchorage.
  5. Keep the tree well mulched and watered.

If you're concerned that a tree is being damaged during construction works, you can report it to us online.

Report tree damage or removal online

What is the Tree Protection Zone

A Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is calculated in accordance with Australian Standard 4970-2009 Protection of trees on development sites.


  • protects tree roots from high traffic and soil disturbance
  • provides root space to sustain a tree's health
  • minimises interruption to the tree’s growing environment
  • prevents vehicle damage to the tree trunk and branches.

Note: A TPZ is normally calculated by a qualified arborist or horticultural professional.

When your arborist has provided the correct distance:

  1. Measure from the centre of the tree trunk in all directions
  2. Establish a circular TPZ zone
  3. Set up boundary fencing
  4. Enforce rules for the zone
  5. Keep the zone until construction is complete.

Guidance for works within a TPZ

In accordance with the Australian Standards, the following guidance applies to the TPZ in order to ensure that the tree is protected: 

  • no works will be undertaken without the supervision of a qualified arborist
  • no people, vehicles or machinery can enter the zone
  • no stockpiling of building materials, debris or soil within the zone
  • no fuel, oil dumps or chemicals allowed within or around the zone
  • no altering of soil levels within the zone
  • no open trenching within the zone
  • no attachment of wires, nails, screws or any other fixing device or as a winch support or anchorage
  • supplementary watering is provided to trees through dry periods, during and after the construction process.

Contact us

For more information on Tree Protection Zones or if you have questions about a tree on your property, email Council or call Statutory Planning on 9278 4888.

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