Significant Tree Register

Adoption by Council

In December 2021, Council resolved to adopt the Significant Tree Register which provides an important step in a process to record, recognise and protect trees that are special or significant, and to promote the special trees that characterise the Shire.

This initial stage includes trees on Shire managed land (Shire managed Crown reserves, road reserves and land owned by the Shire).

Nominated trees on private property or on land controlled by government agencies have not yet been included, but this is being considered as a next step in this process.

View the Significant Tree Register and Assessment Reports below.

Significant Tree Register – Shire Trees

Significant Tree Assessment Reports – Shire Trees

Why have a Significant Tree Register?

Following the release of the Urban and Rural Forest Strategy, the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has taken a significant step towards cleaner, greener and more sustainable future neighbourhoods. One of the goals of the Strategy is to maintain the rural character of the Shire by updating and revising the Significant Tree Register.

Residents who are aware of a tree in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale that they think is special or significant can become Tree Trackers and nominate it for assessment against the criteria for inclusion on the Shire’s Significant Tree Register.

Tree Trackers is an initiative of the Shire to protect trees of significance in our community, providing a first step in a process to record, recognise and protect trees that are special or significant, and to promote the special trees that characterise the Shire. The Register draws attention to special trees, and ensures that their protection is prioritised.

Following inclusion on the Register, the trees can be considered for further protection. This protection is given by the Town Planning Scheme No. 2, Clause 7.12.3, by the Council declaring an area to be a “Tree Preservation Area”. Any activities affecting a “Tree Preservation Area” must be considered by Council.

Trees can be nominated for protection and inclusion on the Significant Tree Register by any member of the community or organisation, and can be native or exotic species, and growing on private or public land.

Residents can nominate a tree by downloading the nomination form on this page. A tree can be a single tree, a group, or even a larger area such as a road or reserve. If a nominated tree is formally adopted on the Shire’s Significant Tree Register, the tree will be protected and its special features recognised.

What makes a tree significant?

  • Is particularly old or large
  • Has a beautiful shape or form
  • Has heritage significance
  • Is an unusual type or species
  • Is special to you or the community for a specific reason

What does it mean to be on the STR?

By being on the STR a tree is awarded extra protection when it comes to future development.

Some notable trees on the newly adopted Register include the Abernethy Road Tree Tunnel and the Oldest Jarrah Tree on Karnup Road near Kiely Lane, pictured below.


Can I still nominate a tree?

If you have a tree or trees that are not on the register you can still nominate them by completing the nomination form below. 

Please note that the tree may not be included immediately as a process needs to be followed as indicated below.  We are however keen to get your nominations and will consider how to add it to the register when a nomination is received.

Significant Tree Register Nomination Assessment Process

Nomination form

Download a nomination form and help us protect our tree below.

Tree Tracker Nomination Form

Spread the word

Download the Tree Tracker flier and help us spread the word to have as many trees nominated to be assessed for inclusion on the Significant Tree Registry.

Tree Tracker Flier

For more information please see the FAQs below or contact the Shire's Environmental Team on 9526 1111.


What is the Significant Tree Register?

The Significant Tree Register provides a record of trees that are special or significant to the community.

Trees on the Register may then be declared under TPS2 to be “Tree Preservation Areas”. Tree Preservation Areas are protected by an extra requirement for applications for removal to be assessed by Council, rather than under delegated authority through a development application as is required for any tree, whether listed or not.

The Register, along with its standardized assessment criteria, provides a consistent and analytical approach to the protection of significant trees. It will be updated following registration of all new significant trees, and will be publicly available.

What makes a tree significant?

An individual tree, a group of trees, or a larger area such as a road or reserve can be considered for inclusion on the Register on the basis of one or more of the following categories of significance.

Significant trees can be native or exotic, and growing on private or public land. Significant trees can include:

  • Any tree of outstanding aesthetic quality.
  • Any tree outstanding for its large height, trunk circumference or canopy spread.
  • Any tree that is particularly old or venerable.
  • Any tree commemorating or having associations with an important historical event or person.
  • Any tree associated with a well-known public figure or ethnic group.
  • Any tree which occurs in a unique location or situation, or provides a significant contribution to the landscape, including landmarks and trees which form part of an historical garden, park or town.
  • Any tree that is of a rare species or a variety of very localised distribution.
  • Any tree which is of horticultural or genetic value and could be an important source of propagating stock.
  • Any tree which exhibits an unusual or unique physical feature.
  • Any group or avenue of trees conforming to any of the above criteria.

How do you make a nomination?

Any member of the community, Shire officers, or a third party may make nominations. Trees nominated may be on public or private land, and can be native or exotic species.

Nominations must be on the standard form, available above or from the Shire offices.

To nominate a tree for inclusion on the Significant Tree Register, please complete as much of the form as possible. Although information may be limited, make sure to provide some indication of its identity, an accurate description of its location (and GPS coordinates if possible), the reason the tree is significant, and your name and contact details. Photos of the tree are particularly important for confirming its identity.

How is the nomination assessed?

Once a nomination is received, a Shire officer will make a site visit and initial assessment. This forms the basis for a recommendation to the assessment panel, who may view the tree during the assessment process. The tree is then categorised as suitable or unsuitable for inclusion in the Register, and the nominator informed.

If the tree is on private land, the landholder is contacted and given the opportunity to comment on the nomination or provide valid objections, which may be supported by providing an assessment by a qualified arborist. If the landholder objects, the assessment panel reconsiders the nomination, which may be removed from consideration or supported as Significant.

Suitable nominations for inclusion on the Register then proceed to Council for endorsement. Council makes the final decision on whether a tree should be placed on the Register. Affected landholders have the opportunity to address Council on the registration of a particular tree.

After trees are endorsed as Significant and included on the Register, they may be considered for additional protection under TPS2. All trees more than 4m tall require a development application for removal, which is determined under delegated authority. However, Significant trees on the Register which have been declared as “Tree Preservation Areas” must have this protection removed by a decision of Council for an application for removal to be approved.

The nominator and affected landholders are kept informed throughout the assessment process.

Legislative background - Town Planning Scheme No.2

7.12.3    Prescribed Requirements for Tree Preservation

  1. No person shall remove, destroy or damage any tree or cause or suffer to permit the removal or destruction of or damage to any tree within the District having at least one well defined stem or trunk of a height greater than 4 metres or diameter greater than 150mm measured at a height of 1.2 metres above the natural ground level, except with the prior planning consent of the Council given on an application under sub-clause 86(1) of the Deemed Provisions, or unless the tree is exempted pursuant to subclause 7.12.4.
  2. The Council may declare an area of land to be a tree preservation area if in the opinion of the Council:-
    1. the area by reason of its trees; or
    2. a group of trees in the area; or
    3. any particular tree or trees in the area –

has or have historical or cultural heritage significance or other scientific interest.

  1. Without affecting the generality of the control contained in paragraph (1) of this sub-clause, no tree or other natural growing vegetation shall be removed, destroyed or damaged except with the prior planning consent of the Council given on an application under sub-clause 86(1) of the Deemed Provisions.
  2. Notwithstanding the generality of paragraphs (1) and (3) of this sub-clause, the Council may additionally, by notice in writing served upon the owner of the land, require the preservation of a particular tree or species of tree or group of trees, and thereafter the owner shall not remove, destroy or damage, or permit any person to remove, destroy or damage the tree, specifies of tree or group of trees the subject of the notice unless or until the Council rescinds or withdraws the notice.
  3. An owner of land upon whom a notice referred to in the preceding paragraph is served may request the Council in writing to rescind or withdraw the notice. If the Council fails to make a determination on the request for rescission or withdrawal of a notice within sixty (60) days of the Council receipt of the same, the request shall be deemed to be refused in the same way as if the request was an application for planning consent under this Scheme