Protected vegetation frequently asked questions

What is protected vegetation?

Protected vegetation is identified by Council under the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL). This law protects Brisbane’s natural vegetation and delivers a balance between protecting the city’s environment and people, property and lifestyle. You may require a permit to manage vegetation that is protected under this law.

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For more information on the types of protected vegetation, download the:

Does my property contain protected vegetation?

Your property may have protected vegetation if it:

  • is located near or in the Brisbane River or a waterway corridor
  • is located in a bushland area or rural area
  • contains large trees even in an urban area
  • has heritage values.

You should check with Council if this applies to your property by phoning 07 3403 8888.

Can I ask for significant trees to be protected?

Significant trees can be protected under this local law. If a tree meets the criteria to be protected as a

significant landscape tree, a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO) can be made under the NALL, or another local law administered by Council.

Contact Council on 07 3403 8888 for more information or to request a VPO.

What is a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO)?

A VPO is an order that prohibits work on a protected tree without Council permission. To apply to carry out work on a tree protected by a VPO please contact Council and submit an Application to Carry Out Works to (including interfere with) Protected Vegetation. Permit applications are available to download.

Do I have to apply for permission every time I want to carry out work to protected vegetation?

Generally yes, however there are a number of exemptions. For more information, download the:

Do I apply for a permit to remove vegetation before or after I make an application for building a house?

It is best to apply before finalising your building plans, so Council can discuss all necessary matters with you before you apply for a building approval.

Do I apply for a permit to remove vegetation before or after submitting a development application?

If protected vegetation is proposed to be affected, you will need to apply for a permit in conjunction with any development application.

I am concerned about a tree that is not on my property, what can I do?

If the vegetation is on Council land, such as in a park, you should contact Council to request work.

If the vegetation is on the street adjoining your property you can apply for a permit to carry out work. For more information, download the:

If the protected vegetation is on a privately owned property you can apply for a permit, but generally the property owner will be required to sign the application. Please contact Council for more information.