Arborists are tree specialists who care for and manage trees. They can:
- assess tree health and structure
- do risk assessments of trees
- carry out works such as pruning and removing trees
- treat diseases and pests affecting trees
- give advice about protecting trees during construction
- help improve a tree's health.
To find the right arborist for your needs, follow these steps.
Before requesting a quote from an arborist, ask them if they:
- have a Level 3 Certificate in Arboriculture for pruning and removal, and Level 5 Diploma in Arboriculture for Consulting Services, and on-the-job experience
- have public and products liability and professional indemnity insurance
- are members of professional organisations such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Victorian Tree Industry Organisation (VTIO) or Arboriculture Australia
- can provide a written quote and invoices
- know about our tree works permits requirements for removing, pruning or working near trees and how to apply
- have references from other properties or sites they’ve worked on (references are often on their website).
Do not hire door-knockers who push you to agree to carry out urgent works for a cash payment.
If you’re unsure about an arborist call our Strategic and Statutory Planning team for advice on (03) 9278 4888.
If a protected tree is removed without a permit or damaged during works, even if the arborist told you no permits were needed, you and the arborist could be fined or prosecuted. Find out more on our protected and significant trees page.
Before accepting a quote, compare the details in each quote. Quotes should include:
- a statement of whether a Tree Protection Local Law or Planning Permit is needed
- proposed start and finish date of works
- specific details of the works to be done, including if stumps will be removed and if they will take away the branches and wood
- the total price and hourly rates
- the company's Australian Business Number (ABN), billing address, contact details and payment options.
Qualified arborists prune trees in line with Australian Standard 4373-2007 Pruning of Amenity Trees.
Trees need to be removed safely to avoid people being injured or your property being damaged. Unacceptable activities include:
- randomly cutting off branches without care or precision (lopping)
- topping or significantly reducing the height of a tree
- removing excessive amounts of branches
- using climbing spurs on trees that are not being removed
- removing or damaging protected trees without a permit
- blocking roads or disrupting public access without the required permits.
Find out about permits to occupy roads and footpaths.
If you're unsure or think any of these activities are taking place, call our Strategic and Statutory Planning team on (03) 9278 4888.
If you need to submit an arborist report as part of a Planning Permit application, your arborist needs to prepare it in line with the below guidelines.