Other Tree Specific Issues

Private Sewer and Stormwater Plumbing

Sewer and storm water pipes are assets of the property owner and therefore the property owner’s responsibility to maintain.

If a blockage occurs in a customer’s private sewer or storm water pipe, the property owner should engage a licensed plumber to fix the problem. Blocked sewer lines may be caused by tree roots, inappropriate material put down the drains, sections of pipe collapsing, ground subsidence, debris or siltation.

Tree roots are not known to enter pipes which are well maintained. If tree roots have entered a pipe this is usually the result of the roots seeking water that is available because of the actual deterioration of the pipe (due to age/quality etc) or the failure of the seals joining the pipes. As the maintenance of these pipes are the responsibility of property owner, it is their responsibility to repair.

Driveways and Private Structures (Retaining walls, fences & other Infrastructure)

Driveways and private structures are assets of the property owner and therefore the property owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair.

Where property owners believe that public tree roots are damaging or have the potential to cause damage to driveways and structures, the property Owner should contact the Council as soon as possible to allow the Council to take appropriate action concerning the public tree. Options available include root pruning, removal of the tree, etc.

Pest and Disease

Generally Council does not treat trees for pest and disease but rely on the trees natural defence mechanisms to overcome the infection. Trees are sometimes genetically weak and may not repair. This may be grounds for removal.

Allergies to Trees

Many people in the community have allergic reactions to plant pollen resulting in seasonal hay fever. It is often the case that the pollen of the grasses that surround us are the cause of the symptoms but many trees get blamed.

If it can be established that a certain tree species is detrimental to public health by a recognised health management authority (such as the Department of Health) then that species will not be planted by Council from the date of notification. Existing trees of such species will be progressively culled when they are due for general maintenance treatment.

Overhead Utilities (Electricity & Telecommunication etc.)

Council is not responsible for maintaining clearance zones from overhead services.

Service providers such as Endeavour Energy will only maintain clearance zones for their overhead utilities up until the boundary with private property. Vegetation growing too close to the internal overhead utility is the property owner’s responsibility. Where a tree on Council land over hangs into private property, permission can be given to have these branches removed at the property owners cost.

Underground Utilities (Electricity, Telecommunication, Water etc.)

Council will respond to tree maintenance issues upon request from the utility provider.

Street Lighting

In streets with overhead power lines, it is the responsibility of Endeavour Energy to maintain clearance zones around street lighting.

In streets with underground power, Council is responsible for maintaining clearance zones around street lighting.

Termites/Pest Activity in Trees

Council will generally not undertake the treatment of termites/pests in trees within parks, road or bushland reserves as they are considered a natural part of the environment and the treatment of termites/pests in trees will not stop them invading from other sources or properties. It is the landowner’s responsibility to take the appropriate action to adequately protect their property from the invasion of termites/pests.

Factors that may be considered when receiving a request to treat termites/pests include:

  • Location of the tree
  • Target area under the tree
  • Significance of the tree

Page ID: 162522

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