Taking down a tree in or near your property is not as simple as it seems. Because they are important part of the ecosystem, the government has laid out strict guidelines regarding the removal of trees so as to protect natural vegetation in the city. Before cutting down a tree, it would be best to familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations around tree removal.
If you believe that a tree needs to be removed because it is causing obstruction or possibly posing potential danger to people, approval may have to be sought if they fall under the protection of the rules set by the city council. If the tree that is being targeted for removal is smaller than 40 centimetres in girth, or the circumference of the trunk, at 1.3 metres above ground, then no approval is necessary, provided that they are located less than 10 metres away from the foundations of an existing or a proposed building or structure. No approval is also necessary if the tree that you wish to remove is located in your very own property, and you wish to remove it to build a structure, such as a fence. If you have a building permit to construct a new house, removal of trees in the lot is in your discretion.
Removing trees in a property other than your own will need approval either from the property owner or the city council if the trees are owned by the council. This rule covers trees that may be in the way of a structure that you would want to build, but the tree is located in your neighbour’s property. Your neighbour will have to agree to the removal first before you can execute the felling of the tree.
If you deem that a tree is already dead and should be removed, remember that it still falls under council jurisdiction. If the girth is more than 40 centimetres at 1.3 metres from the ground, removal of the tree will still need approval even if the tree is already assumed dead. It may also not be wise to do quickly do tree lopping if you think that a tree’s branches are intertwining with power lines. There are proper utility groups that should be in charge of trimming the branches going into the power lines.
There are many more details in the rules and regulations surrounding tree removal. It would be good to consult with the council if there are confusing provisions in the rules.