Trees on my Property

Trees and native plants are a beautiful and integral piece of the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s local character. To ensure that they are protected on private properties the Shire’s  Local Planning Scheme contains clauses on Vegetation, Vegetation Removal and Tree Preservation Orders.

Under the Scheme, all vegetation removal requires approval from the Shire. If you wish to remove any trees or native vegetation over the prescribed requirements, you are required to apply for approval from the Shire through a Development Application. Failure to do so may result in compliance action.

View the Scheme text or maps.

Purpose of the Vegetation Clauses

The purpose of the clauses is to preserve the landscape attributes within the Shire and to protect significant and sensitive areas from the negative effects of clearing as a condition of development or subdivision approval. This enhances the amenity, biodiversity and natural beauty. The purpose of this vegetation and tree protection includes: 

  • to protect a vegetation community
  • to develop or maintain vegetated corridors as fauna and flora linkages;
  • to protect habitat or threatened species;
  • to prevent of land degradation;
  • to protect roadside vegetation;
  • to protect and enhance water quality;
  • to provide visual amenity, character and enhance the natural setting; or
  •  to ensure tree canopy cover to reduce the heat island effect.

The Shire achieves these objectives by monitoring and controlling the removal or destruction of or damage to trees and other vegetation.

Prescribed requirements for vegetation removal

Prescribed requirements for vegetation removal on private property are as follows:

All vegetation removal requires the prior development approval of the local government.

Exemptions for vegetation removal

Council’s planning consent is not required for the removal of trees or naturally growing vegetation in the following cases:

  • any clearing, including the provision of firebreaks, that is authorised under the Bush Fires Act 1954 (as amended) except where a variation to the location of a firebreak has been approved by local government;
  • any clearing that is carried out in accordance with an existing subdivision or development approval;
  • any vegetation that is dead or dangerous, except for dead, hollowed nesting habitat trees, as determined by the local government;
  • clearing of native remnant vegetation for an approved primary production purpose in accordance with the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 (as amended);
  • any clearing carried out in accordance with a local government approved Fire Management Plan;
  • the clearing of indigenous vegetation planted for approved forestry, agriculture, wood lots and horticultural purposes;
  • any clearing of declared weeds required under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007;
  • any clearing of environmental weeds identified in the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Florabase/Swan Weeds database, except where those weeds have been planted through the requirements of an approved plan or are identified for preservation; and
  • minor pruning of vegetation undertaken in accordance with Australian Standards AS 4373 for maintenance purposes, which does not endanger the life of the vegetation.

Tree Preservation Orders

In addition to the above controls over vegetation preservation and removal, Council may also place a Tree Preservation Order over specific trees or groups of trees. The purpose of a Tree Preservation Order is to secure or preserve existing amenity including urban cooling.
A Tree Preservation Order prohibits the ring-barking, cutting down, topping, lopping, removing, injuring or wilful destruction of any tree or trees specified in the Tree Preservation Order except with the consent of Council.

State Environmental Clearing Regulations

It is important to remember that the vegetation preservation and removal clauses in our Local Planning Scheme does not negate the need for you to consider relevant state government clearing legislation.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) administers the clearing provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

Clearing native vegetation is an offence, unless done under a clearing permit or the clearing is for an exempt purpose.

There are two types of exemptions:

  1. Exemptions for clearing (that are a requirement of a written law or authorised under certain statutory processes) are listed in Schedule 6 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.
  2. Exemptions for prescribed activities are listed in the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004, but do not apply in environmentally sensitive areas declared by the Minister.

Find out more about DWER Clearing Permits

In some cases, a permit is also required from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), if the vegetation proposed for clearing is a Threatened Ecological Community or it will disturb a threatened plant or animal (
The permit from DBCA is in addition to the permit from DWER.

Frequently asked questions

I've got State approval, do I still need Shire approval?

Yes, one legal requirement does not negate the other.

Related links

Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale Local Planning Scheme No 3

How to lodge a development application

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Native Vegetation Clearing Fact Sheet

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Clearing Permits

Environmental Protection Act 1986

Further information and contact

For further information, please contact us.