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Tree management

Learn how we take care of our trees through pruning, maintenance and our tree planting program. Report a damaged tree or request a tree inspection.

Jogger on a tree-lined footpath

Trees make our city a beautiful place to live and visit and help to remove pollution and keep our city cool.

City of Melbourne’s urban forest includes about 80,000 council trees. These trees are cared for by professional arborists who assess trees for their health, structure, stability, growing environment and clearance requirements from infrastructure such as roads and powerlines. Our tree care team works on tree maintenance daily.

Our tree management is guided by our Tree Policy, Urban Forest Strategy and Nature in the City Strategy.

We do not have authority over trees on private property, except those listed on the Exceptional Tree Register.

Report a tree in need of maintenance

Use the form below to submit requests and report tree issues such as fallen branches, roots causing damage, requests for maintenance and tree planting. 

Please review the street tree clearance guidelines before requesting any tree maintenance. If your request is about pruning a public tree to enable construction and development works, please visit Tree protection.

If there is any danger to the public or public space, please call us immediately on 03 9658 9658. 

Report a tree in need of maintenance

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Track the progress of an existing tree maintenance report
Enter report reference number field is required.

Tree pruning and street tree clearance guidelines

Our tree care team prunes our trees to:

  • comply with Energy Safe Victoria clearance requirements
  • comply with VicRoads requirements
  • comply with Australian Standard 4373-2007 'Pruning of amenity trees'
  • maintain sight lines and clearance for traffic and pedestrians
  • provide clearance from buildings.

Our Electrical Line Clearance Management Plan provides details on how we prune trees to prevent any interference to power lines and safety standards.

Clearance specifications

Diagram showing showing tree clearance specifications
  • 4.6 m above roads
  • 2.5 m above footpaths
  • 0.5 m from buildings.

Pruning works schedule

CBDJanuary 2024
DocklandsMarch 2024
Carlton EastMay 2024
St Kilda Road and Parkville Gardens (includes parts of Parkville)June 2024
Royal Parade, Punt Hill (includes parts of South Yarra and Jolimont), Flemington and South MelbourneAugust 2024
Victoria Parade, Fisherman's Bend and Footscray (includes parts of West Melbourne)September 2024
KensingtonDecember 2024

Tree planting program

We plant over 3000 trees per year to help us achieve our canopy cover and species diversity targets.

The planting season runs during the cooler months when young trees are more likely to establish well in their new environment, typically from April until September each year. Each new tree is placed on a three-year monitoring and maintenance program to make sure it establishes in the landscape.

When a tree has to be removed and replanting is possible in the same location, we add the plot to our list of future plantings. Sometimes there may be delays in replanting, for instance due to the time of year or availability of tree stock.

You can find out more about tree planting plans that are currently being implemented across City of Melbourne as part of the Urban Forest Precinct Plans.

Tree root damage and infrastructure

Tree roots will grow wherever moisture, aeration, nutrition and soil structure are favourable, often reaching across property boundaries and causing conflicts with the built environment.

Direct damage

Direct damage is the distortion of built structures as the growing tree root exerts pressure. Direct damage by tree roots is usually limited to light built structures such as pavements and low walls and can also be witnessed in buildings of sub-standard footings.

Indirect damage

Indirect damage is the distortion of built structures as the growing tree root takes up soil moisture. Foundation movement is often caused by multiple factors, not just tree root growth alone. This is why claims of indirect tree root damage must be accurately investigated.

Leaking pipes can create a moisture gradient that encourages tree root growth in the direction of the pipe. The property owner is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement from the legal point of discharge, usually near the property boundary kerb. The City of Melbourne should always be given the opportunity to inspect the pipes and offending tree roots prior to the property owner undertaking repair works.

Resolving tree root conflicts

City of Melbourne will investigate all claims of tree root damage from public trees by:

  • seeking practical solutions to reduce the risk of damage to infrastructure from public trees
  • seeking viable arboricultural solutions to rectify the situation and to retain the public tree
  • removing the tree if no practical arboricultural solution can be found
  • taking every effort to ensure that replacement and future public trees will not result in similar damage to built structures

Claims of property damage from tree roots must comply with our guidelines for submitting a claim.

Policies and strategies

Tree policy

Trees are an important city infrastructure asset and all options are explored before tree removal is recommended.

Urban Forest Strategy

Playing a critical role in maintaining the health and liveability of Melbourne.

Nature in the City Strategy

Our strategy to create and maintain healthy ecosystems in the city.

Electrical Line Clearance Management Plan

This plan details tree pruning regimes for various low and high voltage electrical infrastructure in the municipality.

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.