Street and park trees

Brisbane City Council helps care for Brisbane's urban forest through its management of the city's street and park trees. This includes protecting, planting and maintaining street and park trees.

Urban trees provide benefits that are important to our city's liveability, identity and prosperity. Shady, attractive streets help give Brisbane's suburbs character and support our outdoor, subtropical lifestyle.

Use this page to find out about how we are protecting, planting and maintaining street and park trees.

Benefits of street and park trees

Brisbane's street and park trees help to:

  • provide cooler, shadier, greener, more comfortable pathways for walking and cycling and encourage healthy outdoor lifestyles
  • provide the natural structure of Brisbane's subtropical landscape character
  • improve air quality by producing oxygen, taking in carbon dioxide and storing carbon, which helps reduce greenhouse gases
  • provide shelter, habitat and food for wildlife
  • connect us to nature, which improves mental health and wellbeing
  • reduce stormwater runoff and manage erosion
  • improve property values, boost tourism and the economic vitality of business centres.

How Brisbane residents value our street and park trees

In 2020, we invited Brisbane residents to have their say on (a) what they most valued and (b) what most concerned them about street and park trees in our urban environment.

Overall, Brisbane residents:

  • are satisfied with trees in Brisbane, but would like more of them
  • are aware of the benefits of trees and see them as important to our city's lifestyle and subtropical feel
  • want more shade trees at bus stops
  • want to know more about how we manage trees to reduce damage caused by tree roots and limb failure.

Residents also expressed that they prefer:

  • medium-sized trees
  • umbrella-shaped or spreading trees
  • non-deciduous trees
  • native tree species.

Protecting street and park trees

Street and park trees are valuable community assets with protection under the Natural Assets Local law 2003 (NALL). Because of this, it is an offence to trim, remove, or interfere with Council trees above and below the ground without Council's permission.

Resident permits - minor street tree trimming

Street trees are those trees growing in the road verge. Property owners need a permit to undertake minor trimming on any street tree directly outside their property. Minor street tree trimming includes removing small branches overhanging the front fence, driveway, or footpath. Council trims all other street trees, including park trees.

Council provides guidelines to permit holders to ensure trees are trimmed correctly and safely.

To apply for a permit, submit an Application to carry out works on protected vegetation by:

Permit holders should keep a copy of the permit which is to be made available upon request by an authorised Council officer.

If more significant works are required that are beyond what is permitted through the minor street tree trimming permit, contact Council to request an inspection.

Private works affecting street or park trees

Residents undertaking work on private property that will affect street or park trees must obtain Council approval. 

  1. Driveway crossover - Where there is an existing street tree, you must provide a minimum two metre clearance to your new driveway or more where the tree has buttresses. See our driveway technical standards, specifically BSD-2022.
  2. Relocating houses - When you are relocating a house, you will need to check and obtain planning approval (if required), building approval and a footpath permit. See our Demolishing, removal and relocating page.
  3. Undertaking excavation works within a tree's critical root zone - Any excavation works within a Council tree's critical root zone require Council approval under the Natural Assets Local Law. See our Brisbane Standard Drawings, specifically BSD-9081.

Planting street and park trees

Council is committed to growing Brisbane's urban forest through the planting of additional street and park trees across the city.

Council carefully selects species and planting locations to ensure the right tree is planted in the right place.

Council chooses trees to:

  • provide shade, amenity, beauty and colour
  • suit site conditions
  • not interfere with services such as power lines 
  • not obstruct visibility for road users and pedestrians
  • complement the character of an area
  • provide habitat for local wildlife.

Council ensures new street trees will not impact on existing infrastructure such as electricity, water supply, fire suppression, traffic signals, footpaths, pedestrian crossings and bus stops, or obstruct visibility for road users and pedestrians.

View the tree species selection that Council currently uses.

Council's tree planting program

Council plants over 13,500 street and park trees each year. Council's proactive approach towards tree planting targets those suburbs with lower shade and tree cover, as well as those hotter areas of the city, and areas where there are higher numbers of young people and older people.

In 2021-22, Council has programmed street tree planting in Carina, Middle Park, Runcorn, Stafford, Sunnybank Hills and Taigum.

Community street tree planting

In line with Queensland Government directives, safety measures will be in place at these events to help minimise the spread of coronavirus. Pre-registration is required and events are subject to change to meet directives.

Council's community street tree planting program invites the community to plant street trees at fun and informative local events. Help to contribute to a cleaner, green Brisbane by planting new trees with your neighbours and enjoy a barbecue and cold drink afterward. These plantings target sunny and open footpaths in residential suburbs to increase shade in local neighbourhoods.

Suburbs selected for community street tree planting events in 2021-22 include Carina Heights, Darra, Deagon, Eight Mile Plains, Ellen Grove, Inala, Manly West (as part of the Greener Suburbs program) and Nundah.

View all future community street tree planting events.

Greener Suburbs program

Council's Greener Suburbs program aims to improve the clean, green feel of locations across Brisbane through increased tree planting and landscaping.

As part of our commitment to growing to greener Brisbane, we're planting more street and park trees and installing subtropical boulevards along our arterial roads and local precincts to enhance the liveability of our neighbourhoods.

Request street tree planting

If you would like a tree planted on the Council verge in front of your house, or more trees planted along your street, phone Council on 07 3403 8888. 

Unlawful tree planting

Council does not permit the planting of trees on Council land. Any planting of this kind will be considered unlawful street tree plantings and will be removed.

Council does support the planting of verge gardens.

Maintaining street and park trees

Council is committed to nurturing and maintaining street and park trees for the duration of their life.

Trimming and other maintenance

Council delivers street and park tree maintenance programs in Brisbane suburbs throughout the year. All trimming works are in accordance with best arboricultural practice and Australian Standards. 

Council's maintenance program also manages tree health against fungal diseases and parasites and clears up damage from severe weather events.

Trees near powerlines

Energex is responsible for trimming street trees that grow through or within one metre of overhead powerlines. 

Report it: tree trimming/maintenance

Residents can request street or park trees requiring maintenance works by:

Inspection and works timeframes

In response to a maintenance request, a Council arborist will inspect a tree within 21 days to determine if works are required.

If works are required, Council will prioritise the scheduling of works as follows:

  • low risk works - Council will deliver these works as part of the routine maintenance program
  • high risk works - Council will prioritise these works to be delivered within an appropriate timeframe, including a 24-hour response for urgent work.

Download our Street tree maintenance fact sheet (Word - 106kb).

Tree removal

As living organisms, all trees go through a natural cycle of germination, growth, maturity, decline and death.

Council will only remove a tree as a last resort. Council may remove a tree for the following reasons.

  1. It poses a public safety or significant risk to property.
  2. It is in poor health which Council cannot remedy.
  3. It is blocking sightlines for traffic/pedestrian safety.
  4. It needs to be removed for essential Council infrastructure works (i.e. road and footpath upgrades).

Council will not consider the removal of a tree for any of the following reasons:

  • leaf, flower or seed drop
  • shading of private swimming pools or solar panels
  • improvement of views
  • overhead telephone or power cables
  • private trees overhanging footpaths.

However, minor tree trimming may be considered for the above reasons in some cases.

Report it: Tree removal

Residents may request tree removal by:

Community street tree planting events

Sat 5 Mar 2022, 9:00am
Free

Council's community street tree planting program invites you to plant street trees at fun and informative local events. Help contribute to a cleaner, green...

Clem Masters Park, Deagon

Sat 19 Mar 2022, 9:00am
Free

Council's community street tree planting program invites you to plant street trees at fun and informative local events. Help contribute to a cleaner, green...

Gagarra Street Park, Eight Mile Plains

Sat 30 Apr 2022, 9:00am
Free

Council's community street tree planting program invites you to plant street trees at fun and informative local events. Help contribute to a cleaner, green...

Northgate Reserve, Northgate

Sat 14 May 2022, 9:00am
Free

Council's community street tree planting program invites you to plant street trees at fun and informative local events. Help contribute to a cleaner, green...

Bill Key Lock Place Park, Inala

Last updated: 22 October 2021