Browsing articles in "Tree Preservation Order"
Sep 28, 2017
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Birds in the Garden

If you want to encourage native bird life in your garden, hanging a birdseed bell or leaving out food scraps for them to eat is not the way to do it. You need to create a garden which is bird-friendly, and will encourage birds to not just come for a feed, but to nest and make your garden their home.

In order to attract native birds, you should plant native flora. Grevilleas, Banksias and Acacias are excellent sources of nectar, insects and shelter for many native species. Larger species require larger trees for their habitat – Kookaburras, Currawong and Parrots all require native trees of substantial size to feel at home in your garden. Smaller species like Honeyeaters, will be encouraged to visit if you plant nectar producing bushes and trees.

If you are unsure of the type of bird visiting your garden, you can search using descriptives such as size and colouring to find the name of the bird, and read about its habitat, feeding and breeding practices on the Birds in Backyards website.

As well as providing native flora for bird life, a small pond, fountain or bird bath will also encourage winged visitors – especially on a hot day. If your pond has fish in it, you will want to cover the pond with chicken-wire or something similar, because many birds enjoy freshwater seafood! Bird baths should be placed in dappled shade and perched high enough for the birds to feel safe and comfortable. It should also be close to shrubs or trees so that the bird can escape if frightened. Birds drink and bathe in the same water, so the water will need to be refreshed quite frequently. A shallow pond with a fountain and various levels and depths would be perfect.

Providing nest boxes is another great way to attract bird life. Natural hollows in the trunks of old trees used to provide a nesting place for kookaburras and parrots, however in the suburban landscape, old trees are removed and so this natural habitat for nesting is not so freely available. If you are serious about encouraging birds to make your garden their home, then consider a few nesting boxes carefully placed at a safe height and in the shelter of a healthy tree.
The key to creating a bird friendly garden is to create structural diversity with a good mix of native plants. Plants should include a range of shrubs of varying heights, grasses and ground covers and some nice tall trees. Using mulch around garden beds encourages insects, which in turn encourages birds to visit and feed.

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Feb 8, 2012
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Gaining Council Approval for Tree Removal

Getting Council Approval to Remove a Tree

Removing Dead Branches

As frustrating as it can be - your local council has the authority to tell you what you can and can’t do with your property. Councils can be quite strict and quick to hand out fines, so it is worth the time and effort to get the permission required to prune or remove a tree before you book an arborist to perform your tree services.

The good news. Not all trees require a permit to remove. If they are dead, on the your council’s preservation order exemption list (most palm trees are exempt species so can be removed without permission), or if the tree is an immediate safety hazard. Trees damaged in storms, or presenting a threat to people and/or property should be photographed prior to the removal for evidence if required. You should contact your council in writing as soon after the emergency removal.

The bad news. Council applications take time – you need to fill them in completely, honestly, and wait sufficient time for the application to be approved or rejected. Councils generally approve applications with legitimate reasons such as;

  • being a safety hazard,
  • evidence of insect infestation,
  • rotting,
  • the tree is causing severe damage to buildings, pipes, pavements, roads,
  • or the tree is very unhealthy.

Some reasons for requesting permission to remove the tree on your application you should avoid include;

  • the tree is shedding leaves, fruit, bark, cones, or twigs
  • improving the applicants views
  • fear about a healthy tree falling
  • the tree is causing overshadowing
  • minor lifting of driveways and paths by tree roots.

You also need a permit to prune a significant amount of a tree. For example, tree lopping (where you remove major stems of a tree) requires a permit because you are making a structural change to the tree. You don’t need a permit to remove dead branches, or thin the tree 10% per year (or as specified in your council’s tree preservation order).

There are hefty fines for non-compliance with the council’s orders – so make sure you take the time to follow the right procedures. Tree preservation orders can be found on your local council’s web site.

Note: Many councils track trees and their removal using Google Maps or a similar product. They don’t have to catch you in the act, they can fine you well after a tree has been removed if they have evidence to show you removed one without their permission.