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Services Environment Sustainability Trees


Trees are an important part of the landscape and urban environment across the City of Salisbury. They provide a range of environmental and ecological benefits for the City and the wider community.

Trees develop and contribute to cultural, economic, aesthetic and environmental benefits within the Community. Trees can transform the local character and create an individual ‘sense of place’ for a street, neighbourhood and the whole City.

The City of Salisbury takes great pride in its streetscapes, parks and open space (reserves and wetlands), through the provision of attractive landscapes and a diverse range of open spaces in the natural environment for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.

Trees in urban environments are proven to:

  • provide high quality visual amenity, including colour and texture
  • provide summer shade for pedestrians and residents
  • provide habitat for birds and wildlife and linkages across the landscape
  • filter air pollutants and provide higher levels of oxygen, also reducing dust and heat
  • provide a landscape form in an environment which is highly modified and subject to climatic influences, such as climate change and a reduction in water supply
  • provide seasonal change in the visual landscape through variation in leaf, flower, colour and texture
  • reduce/screen unwanted views
  • address and complement traffic safety

Street Trees

The City of Salisbury’s street tree population consists of approximately 76,000 trees which is made up of more than 70 different species, both native and exotic, evergreen and deciduous and ranging in age, size and condition.

The appeal of trees and streetscapes is a very subjective issue as some people like formal avenues of trees (often exotic species), while others prefer informal tree planting (often native species).

Requests for removal of a tree

This process involves;

  • Customers to contact the customer centre on 8406 8222 to lodge their request
  • The tree is inspected by Council's Parks and Open Space staff and customer is informed by a phone call or letter regarding the outcome of the inspection
  • If the tree has a circumference of 2 metres or more, this is classed as a 'Regulated Tree' and if the trunk circumference is 3 metres or more, it is classed as a 'Significant Tree' and its removal is subject to the criteria identified in the Development Act 1993
  • Where a request for a tree to be removed has not been supported by Council's Parks and Open Space staff, the customer may request a review of the decision which will be undertaken by the Manager Infrastructure Management and/or Team Leader Parks and Open Space Assets
  • If the existing tree is to be removed, a new tree will be planted where possible and a notification letter will be sent to the customer before planting informing them of the species to be planted and a timeframe of when it is to be planted

Removal of a tree could be warranted if one or more of the following criteria are met;

  • The tree is in an unsuitable location and is unreasonably obstructing approved infrastructure or traffic sight lines
  • The tree is inconsistent with the landscape style or character of the local area and/or does not contribute substantially to the landscape or streetscape
  • The spacing of trees planted on a standard width verge is inconsistent with the 'Street Tree Planting Guidelines' for that species of tree
  • The tree is diseased and/or has a short life expectancy or is dead and has no significant landscape or habitat value
  • The tree is structurally poor and/or poses an unacceptable risk to public or private safety and/or has a history of major limb failure
  • The tree roots are shown to be causing or threatening to cause damage exceeding two thousand dollars to adjacent infrastructure
  • The tree roots have resulted in damage to Council's kerb or footpath that has required replacement or substantial repair works on more than one occasion within a five year period
  • The tree is in the location of a first single driveway of a property (sub-division excluded)
  • The tree is in the location of an approved Council development
  • The tree has been assessed for removal as part of the 'Streetscape or Landscape Redevelopment/Renewal Programme'
  • The tree, according to a medical specialist or GP, has been determined to be the cause of a detrimental effect on the heath of a nearby resident. Such advice must be in writing
  • Genuine hardship:
    • The resident is receiving HACC or a community care service or;
    • The resident does not have the functional ability to relieve the nuisance caused by the tree or;
    • The resident is aged or frail and has moderate, severe or profound disabilities which prevent them from relieving the nuisance caused by the tree; or
    • The resident is a carer of a person that meets the above criteria

Please note: leaf, bark, seeds, fruit or minor branch drop are considered part of the natural environment and are NOT criteria for removal.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does tree planting occur?

Tree planting generally takes place in the cooler months between May and October. Sometimes the weather conditions are unpredictable which will result in a shorter or longer planting season.

Will my tree be watered?

Yes, Council is responsible for watering new trees for at least the first two years after planting. During hot dry periods, residents can greatly assist the establishment of their new tree by giving it a drink of water once or twice a week.

Can I choose the type of tree planted?

If it is related to an individual tree, the new species to be planted will be matched in with existing species in the street. Council utilises a variety of species suited to the city’s climatic conditions. Appropriate species for each street are carefully considered taking into account site constraints (such as overhead powerlines), character of the area, future maintenance requirements and other factors such as soil type.

If it is part of a whole street planting, such as Streetscape Renewal, generally residents will be given an opportunity to vote for their preferred species to go back into the street.

I am allergic to trees; do I still have to have a tree planted?

Council’s tree species selection endeavours to address common allergies. Please submit a doctor’s certificate outlining your allergy to the specific tree and we will negotiate further.

Do I have a say whether I have a tree or not?

No. In order to deliver an even distribution of canopy cover across the city, the City of Salisbury’s level of service is to plant at least one tree per property frontage, where possible.

Are trees messy?

All trees drop leaf litter to a degree and trees have a cycle of leaf, flower and fruit. Council has appropriate maintenance programs to deal with tree litter.

Learn more about Salisbury's tree initiatives