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Council DA Arborist Reports

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Arborist Reports for Council DA’s – A General Guide

If you have a tree specified on your tree survey when proposing to do renovations/developments (both on the subject site and on adjoining land within 5m of the boundaries of the subject site), Council will require an impact assessment to detail how the tree(s) will be managed or protected during development.
Most council require the consultant to have a qualification of AQF Level 5 in Arboriculture.
If trees do get damaged this can result in fines and breaches of the DA which can cause delays and additional costs.

Types of Arborist Reports used for Council DA:

Types of Arborist Reports used for Council DA

There are several types of reports council may require from an arborist as part of a development application.

  • Preliminary Arboricultural Impact Assessment – Prior to designs being drafted, clients may obtain a Preliminary Report to determine the impact a proposed development is likely to have on the trees.  Having this done prior to planning can reduce the cost of planning and reduce any re-drafting of plans.
  • Impact Assessment –   If designs are already in place, you will require an Arboricultural Impact Assessment report.  This report assesses the impact a proposed development is likely to have on the trees and are produced by AQF Level 5 Arborists. These reports are required for development purposes and are requested by Council as part of the DA process.
  • Project Arborist – Arborist Certificates – When an Impact Assessment Report has been done on the site, it may have check points set out in the DA that need to be adhered to during construction. These check points are critical and typically require certification by project arborist.

Make sure you read entire report from arborist and make yourself aware of requirements.

Often a project arborist will be required to certify you are complying with DA conditions throughout the build .  This means regular communication with the arborist …you don’t want to get a big fine from council for not getting a compliance certificate during the build.

DON’T rely on your builder to read the requirements. The council requirement is directed to the OWNER of the property to ensure compliance, so make sure you are on top of it.


Basic Guidelines for DA Arborist Reports:

  1. Get Tree Survey completed – they will provide collection of data of all tree stock on a site. It is typically recorded in a tabulated format and includes information such as species, height, width, general conditions, age class, retention value, visible defects, TPZ’s and SRZ’s.
  2. Send this survey to your designer and create building plans and design around this survey to avoid issues with council.
  3. Submit Arborist report with plans as part of DA to Council
  4. Comply with approved DA and engage a Project Arborist.
  5. Comply with DA as to frequency of arborist certificates.  You may need ongoing certificates for some work if it a large work.
  6. At completion of building work, obtain final certificate from arborist.