Protected trees in the ACT

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Canberra Protected Trees

It is important to confirm whether you have a protected tree in your yard before carrying out any home renovations, development or tree work. In the ACT, legislation covers two categories of protected trees – regulated trees and registered trees.

Registered trees have been classified by the government as having:

  • natural or cultural heritage value
  • landscape and aesthetic value
  • scientific value; and is listed on the ACT Tree Register or Provisional Tree Register.

Regulated trees have been classified by the government as being located on leased government land identified as a tree management precinct and is either:

  • 12 metres or more in height; or
  • 1.5 metres or more in circumference at 1 metre above ground level; or
  • with two or more trunks and the total circumference of all the trunks, 1 metre above ground level, is 1.5 metres or more, or
  • 12 metres in crown width or more.

You can’t carry out any activity that may cause damage to a protected tree. This includes removing the tree or any activity that may cause its decline.  You may need approval if you want to do any ground work surrounding a protected tree including soil work, cutting tree roots and excavating. Preparing garden beds or tree planting is not classified as ground work.

You can undertake minor pruning of regulated trees without seeking approval, however it is recommended you consult your arborist because pruning must be done to Australian standards and other requirements specified by the government. You will most likely always need approval to prune registered trees.

This article is a guide only; please refer to the TAMS website for detailed information on protected trees in the ACT.

Link to Application to Undertake a Tree Damaging Activity.