VPO-Very Important Tree?

VPO-Very Important Tree?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons: Cuccioloblu by Vannivanni

Clare loves her fur baby Puffball.

Before purchasing her home last month she made a point of asking the vendors about two Gum trees in the front yard that would prevent her from erecting a fence to keep Puffball in.

The vendors offhandedly told her it would not be a problem to take the trees down in order to do this.

Clare went ahead and purchased the property without doing any further investigation.

She then called Australian Arbor Care to get a quote for the removal of the two Gums.

Michael arrived and on inspection suggested that Clare enquire with her local Council as to whether there were any existing Vegetation Protection Orders on the Gums.

If there are any in place it limits us to just pruning the tree to a maximum of 20% and only if that has not already taken place in the last 12 months.

Clare called the Council immediately and discovered that indeed the trees were protected. Because Clare wants to have them completely removed she now has to apply to her Council to gain permission. In our experience Council are reluctant to allow removals without evidence showing terminal disease or decay or imminent danger to persons or property.

To gather this evidence she needed to seek out a Level 5 Arborist to prepare a report to submit with the applications at a cost of $550.00! (sometimes they can be more than this).

Concerned for Puffball’s welfare and without any other option she contracted a Level 5 Arborist to prepare a report for Council.

This was prepared and sent with the application for Council’s consideration.


3 weeks later…

Council contacted Clare to advise her that her application was unsuccessful due to the trees being in good health and no imminent threat to people of property could be established.

Clare was extremely disappointed with the decision.

Large penalties applied if she went ahead and had the trees removed anyway, both for herself and for any person who undertook the work.


Moral of the Story

Clare was now aware that she should never have purchased the property without checking the status of the trees she intended to remove. Just a simple call to her local Council would have given her this information prior to purchase with no fee involved.

Regardless of the time and money she invested she was still ultimately denied permission to remove the trees that were on her own property.

She was however grateful that Michael had the experience to know that these particular trees showed a likelihood of having Vegetation Protection Orders on them. The last thing Clare needed was thousands of dollars in fines for removing the trees unlawfully.



Puffball, Clare’s Great Dane, lived happily ever after as an inside dog.

No Comments

Post A Comment