Tree Management

Council’s trees have been recognised as a highly important and valuable asset. Council employs a dedicated team, made up of a qualified arborist and panel of approved contractors, to perform works to keep its trees in great shape.

Council's management of trees is guided by the Tree Management Policy, which was adopted at the 25 May 2021 meeting. For more information, please see Tree Management Policy.

Tree Inspections and Maintenance

Tree inspections are carried out by a qualified arborist and may include assessment of the tree species, age, health and structural condition, and pests and diseases. 

The inspection will identify any potential work requirements, which would then be done through Council's contractors.

Tree works are prioritised on a risk basis to ensure community and property safety. Decisions on potential risk are made by one of Council's qualified arborists. 

Maintenance actions can include:

  • Removal of major dead, dying or dangerous branches
  • Pruning to allow clearance for pedestrians and vehicles
  • Pruning to allow clearance to buildings and essential infrastructure 
  • Formative pruning
  • Health, pest and disease assessment

Tree Removal 

The removal of trees may be considered under the following circumstances:

  • If a tree is deemed by Council’s qualified arborist to be dead, dying or in severe decline (with a useful life expectancy of 3 to 5 years) or hazardous (they pose an unacceptable risk to community in short term). See more at Hazardous trees.
  • If a tree has a defect requiring action that cannot be rectified without removal of the tree.
  • Trees that are unviable, have a high probability of failure, or are structurally unsound.
  • To achieve regulated road and electrical line clearance, only once all practical solutions to maintain acceptable clearances have been exhausted.
  • In the case of works and development, only once all practical design solutions to retain the tree have been exhausted.
  • For pest, disease and biosecurity reasons that cannot be managed with the tree where it is.
  • Trees proven to be causing damage to private infrastructure or services where all interventions to retain the tree have been exhausted.
  • Trees that are recognised as inducing severe allergenic or toxic responses.
  • As part of a project, whole street upgrade or capital works program that will result in a net increase in or improvement to green space that could not be achieved with the tree/s where they are.
  • Trees that do not meet specific objectives of the City’s Urban Landscape and Canopy Vegetation Strategy, Street Tree Strategy, a masterplan or a management plan for a location.
  • Non-indigenous trees in natural or bushland reserves that are considered weedy or incompatible with the conservation values of the area.

Common Tree Issues 

Council’s arborists deal with a range of issues that relate to Council trees and their impact on the community. 

Below are some of the common requests they receive and how they are managed in line with Council’s Tree Management Policy.

Leaf litter

As part of a tree's natural biological processes, they will, from time to time, drop leaves, branches, flowers and fruit. They will also provide valuable habitat to to wildlife, which may result in mess from droppings.

Council will not undertake tree pruning or removal in response to a tree displaying its natural processes. Residents are encouraged to tidy up leaf litter and place in their food and garden waste bin. 

Overhanging branches

Council will provide clearance of branches encroaching on the roof or external face of your property by up to 2m from the nearest branch part.

Council will not prune or remove trees due to property overhang. Council and private vegetation may overhang each other's boundary as long as footpath and road clearance is maintained. 

Solar access

Council will provide clearance of branches encroaching on the roof or external face of your property by up to 2m from the nearest branch part.

Council will not prune or remove trees due to property overhang. Council and private vegetation may overhang each other's boundary as long as footpath and road clearance is maintained.  

Storm damage

  • Council Trees - Council’s arborist and contractors are on call 24/7 to manage Council's trees during a storm. Call us on 9518 3777 to report an issue. 
  • Private trees - If a storm-damaged tree is on private land, please call the SES on 13 2500 for help. 

Tree protection

All Council trees will be protected from construction and works activities in accordance with Australian Standard AS 4970-2009 - Protection of trees on development sites.  Tree protection is critical during the construction of a development as any damage in and around the structural root zone may lead to diminished health and structure and increase the risk of tree failure.  

Tree valuation

If a Council tree needs to be removed due to a development, Council’s arborist will undertake an amenity valuation to determine the value of the tree. This sets an amount for the developer to compensate the Monash community for the loss of the tree.

The valuation is based on:

  • Removal costs - Fees incurred by Council for physically removing the tree.
  • Amenity value - Calculated in accordance with Council's amenity formula. The formula takes into account the tree's basic value, species, aesthetics, locality and condition.
  • Reinstatement costs - Calculated in accordance with the greening required to replace the loss to the landscape incurred by the removal, planting and establishment.

Tree roots and private property

The best way to protect your property against potential issues with tree roots is to ensure the proper maintenance of pipes, infrastructure and buildings.

Roots from large trees may come into contact with buildings and pipes. In cases where the pipes and building footings are properly designed and maintained, tree roots are a secondary issue with faulty infrastructure generally being the primary cause.

Council may provide advice on the possibility of mitigation measures to prevent future damage.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to carry out any required work on private property and Council will complete any required works on Council land.

Insurance claims

If a claim is lodged against Council as a result of damage to property, Council will respond in a timely manner to ensure the it is investigated within 10 working days and aim to settle minor claims (up to $5000) within 10 working days of an investigation concluding.

To make a claim for damages, it needs to be lodged via email to mail@monash.vic.gov.au and include relevant evidence of damages (including engineer/geotechnical reports), and copies of invoices for costs incurred.