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Tree Removal and Pruning

Removal and Pruning of Native Vegetation

A planning permit is generally required for the pruning or removal of trees within the City of Knox. Knox City Council has numerous planning controls which protect trees and vegetation, and vegetation and tree controls are enforced vigorously, with harsh penalties issued for illegal tree removal.

We recommend consulting with Council's Planning staff prior to the pruning or removal of a tree.

Host Trees - A number of Pinus species (ie. P.halepensis, P.radiata and P.pinea)

The State of Victoria Department of Economic Development has set up a restricted area in the outer eastern and southern area of Melbourne to try to halt the spread of the Giant Scale Insect (Marchalina hellenica) throughout Victoria.

The Knox municipality has been declared a restricted area for detections of the Giant Pine Scale.

The giant scale insect sucks the sap of the pine (and other host trees) causing dehydration and the dieback of branches. Giant pine scale moves slowly because the female insects do not have wings and the male insects are rarely observed. However, where host trees are growing close together, the insect can spread more easily from tree to tree. Giant scale insect is also spread inadvertently with human assistance.

Any suspected detections of giant pine scale must be reported to:

  • Phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881
  • Email photographs of the suspected pest together with a contact phone number and the pest’s location to plant.protection@ecodev.vic.gov.au

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) is running a series of Compulsory Training and Accreditation Program for “approved” persons.

Anyone who prunes or destroys (removes) a giant scale host tree in the restricted area or moves giant scale tree host materials (i.e. wood chips, branches, etc) from a restricted area now requires a permit issued by DEDJTR. A business is granted a permit and approved persons are nominated under each permit.

To receive a permit and/or become an approved person, the business/person must have successfully carried out the training conducted by DEDJTR.

The permit has a number of important conditions which need to be met by all approved persons.
It is envisaged the permit will not disrupt work practices but stop the spread of the giant scale insect out of the Restricted Area.

Any person wanting to REMOVE or PRUNE the below mentioned tree species within the Restricted Area must use an approved accredited tree contractor who has a permit issued by DEDJTR. Residents should ask to see a copy of tree contractor's permit issued by The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) before works are commenced on their property.

Trees that have found to be hosts of the giant scale insect in Australia are a number of Pinus species i.e. P.halepensis, P. radiata and P.pinea. (all three grow in the Knox area). The giant scale insect has been found on the following host trees overseas: Pinus brutia, P. kochiana, P. nigra salzmannii, P. sylvestris, P. larico tauricus and P. sosnowskyi. The giant scale insect has also been found on Firs i.e. Abies cephalonica and A. nordmanniana; and Spruces Picea engelmanni and P. orientalis.

Tree generally not affected by the giant scale insect include Cypresses, Araucaria, Allocasuarina, Casuarina and Callitris species. These trees do not need to be removed by an approved and accredited contractor.

Please note: A planning permit is required to remove and prune the aforementioned trees if a relevant overlay under the Knox planning scheme applies to the property. Where an overlay does not trigger a permit to remove or prune due to exemptions, a planning permit is not required but the host tree can only be removed or pruned in the Restricted Area by a suitable trained and accredited person who has been issued a permit by The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR).

Accredited Tree Contractors for Host Trees of the Giant Pine Scale

When requiring to remove any of these affected host trees, please ensure that you ask the tree contractor to show you a valid accredited tree contractor permit issued by The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources (DEDJTR) before commencement of host tree removal.

A business is granted a permit and approved persons are nominated under each permit.

For further information

Planning Services can be contacted by phoning our office on 9298 8125 and will require information on the type of tree, the height of the tree and the health of the vegetation in question in order to determine if a planning permit is required or not.

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