Here are three questions you should ask yourself when dealing with regulated trees in Adelaide and South Australia in General:

1. What should I do if I want to remove a tree?

  • Identify the tree to determine if it is significant or regulated in Adelaide. You can get a description on the community information sheet.
  • Identify the tree species to determine if it is exempt. You can find a listing of exempt trees on the community information sheet.
  • Is the tree dead? If the tree is dead, there is no approval required for its removal.
  • If you’re not sure about the answer to any of the above questions, contact your local Adelaide council or seek advice from an independent source.

2. How does the process of getting approval for a tree removal work?

  • Contact the local council for the area where the tree is located and enquire about the development application.
  • You can find the development application online at www.sa.gov.au/planning/developmentapplications.
  • A fee is required when you submit your development application. The cost is updated on an annual basis. Contact your local council for the most current fee listings.
  • After the application is submitted, the local Adelaide council will assess the application against the relevant provisions in the area’s Development Plan.
  • After the assessment is complete, the council will either approve the application, approve it with conditions or refuse the proposed development.

3. What happens after approval has been given to remove the tree?

  • If you are given permission to remove a tree in Adelaide, the council may place a condition on the application. The condition may state that you must replace the tree by planting others or that you must pay money to the urban tree fund.
  • If you have to replace the tree, you will need to plant two trees for each regulated tree removed and three for each significant tree.
  • If you would rather pay into the urban tree fun, you will have to pay $75 for each replacement tree that you do not plant.
  • You can appeal either of these conditions to the Environment, Resources and Development Court.
  • You must lodge the appeal with the court without two months of the development application decision.