Cessnock Tree Services

This is a brief overview of the Tree Preservation Order within Cessnock City Council. Please note this page should be used as a guide only. For full details, visit the Cessnock City Council Website.


Minor pruning of trees or removal for the following purposes does not require Council approval:

  • Removal of dead tree(s) or branches. Trees which are apparently dying and suffering some form of stress should not be removed without seeking the  advice of Council’s Tree Preservation Officer.  Appropriate treatment may return the plant to a state of health.
  • Pruning for ornamental purposes where such pruning is a normal accepted practice.
  • Removal of noxious or undesirable trees or shrubs (see Exempt Nosious Weed list to the right).
  • Any tree which has a trunk less than 3 metres from the outermost projection of a building.
  • Removal of trees to give effect to a Council approved development.  Tree removal or pruning is restricted to those specific areas where it is necessary to carry out earthworks, building works, service installation and pavement construction.  Tree removal or pruning is to be restricted to an area which is no greater then 3 metres from the above construction works, otherwise Council approval will be required.  Unnecessary clearing or damage to trees is to be avoided.
  • In accordance with Section 88 of the Roads Act 1993, a roads authority may remove or lop any tree or other vegetation that is on or overhanging a public road where this is necessary for the purpose of roadworks or traffic hazard reduction.
  • Where Council is the roads authority, consultation with the Community Services Department is required prior to tree removal or pruning within any road reserve. Unnecessary clearing, pruning or disturbance of vegetation is to be avoided and clearing confined to those activities necessary for roadworks and hazard reduction.

The provisions of this Order do not apply to trees:

  • In a state forest, land reserved as a timber reserve or on lands defined as ‘other crown-timber lands’ within the meaning of the Forestry Act 1916;
  • Required to be trimmed in accordance with Regulation 23 of the Electricity (Overhead Line Safety) Regulation 1991;
  • In any Water Catchment Area under the control of an authority responsible for the water supply; or
  • In a proclaimed National Park.


Under the provision of the TPO Council approval is required for the removal, ringbarking, lopping, topping or injuring of any trees with a height of 3 metres or greater or which have crown spreads of 3 metres or more within the identified zones throughout the Cessnock City Council Local Government Area.


Particular importance will be placed on the preservation of a tree where it is considered that it:

  • Has historical or commemorative significance;
  • Makes a significant contribution to the landscape and amenity of the area;
  • Is exceptionally old, large or rare;
  • Has notable aesthetic qualities; and/or
  • Has horticultural or scientific value. 


Council requires a written application to remove or prune a protected tree. Applications shall:

  • Identify the property and owner of the property to which the application relates;
  • Identify by drawing and description the location, type and size of the tree or trees to be removed or
  • pruned; and
  • Specify the nature and extent of work proposed and reason(s) for the work.Approval will be granted or refused on the circumstances of the case. Should approval be granted, advice as to the removal or pruning procedure will be given. This approval may carry specific conditions that must be met including:

– qualification of the worker,
– equipment required,
– special precautions to be taken during the procedure,
– acceptable times in which the work may be carried out,
– details regarding pruning procedure,
– adequate insurance cover.

  • Approval shall remain valid for a period of three (3) calendar months from date of issue.

The following species are exempt from the Tree Preservation Orde and you do not require a permit to remove or prune these trees on your property:

  • Alianthus altissima –Tree of Heaven
  • Alianthus altissima –Tree of Heaven
  • Cinnamomum species –Camphor Laurel
  • Salix species –Willow Tree
  • Ailanthus species – Tree of Heaven
  • Populus species – Poplars
  • Robina Psuedvacacia – False Acacia
Providing tree maintenance services to residential,
commercial and government clients