Tree Policies & Strategies

North Sydney Council maintains a huge network of public trees with over 17,000 street trees plus many more growing in parks and reserves.

Data is kept on each one of them as a manageable asset!

Managing Trees in North Sydney (1MB)

Managing Trees on Private Land (2MB)


Our tree maintenance team strives to ensure the health and longevity of the urban forest to secure ongoing amenity for the residents of North Sydney. The team inspects all street trees approximately every 18 months and carries out any necessary maintenance tasks as they are identified. Park trees are monitored by grounds staff who call in the tree maintenance team as required.


Street Tree Strategy 2016

Our Street Tree Strategy 2016 is a practical and useful document that guides tree management practices over the next 5-10 years. It has also taken into consideration today's litigious society and the important issue of risk management to provide Council with a balanced approach to providing a healthy and pleasant environment while ensuring the safety of persons and property.

Street Tree Strategy (5MB)


Tree Vandalism Policy

This policy guides the investigation and assessment of incidents of malicious damage to trees. It also details the procedures to be followed once the level of significance of the incident has been assessed.

Tree & Vegetation Vandalism Policy (224KB)


North Sydney Urban Forest Strategy

The Urban Forest Strategy provides an in-depth look at how our 'green infrastructure' is performing and considers how we can maximise its performance in the future.

Urban Forest Strategy (2MB)

Urban forest is defined as the totality of trees and shrubs on all public and private land in and around urban areas and is measured as a canopy cover percentage of the total area. Urban forest is internationally recognised as a primary component of the urban ecosystem and an essential part of a "liveable" and economically sound community.

As the arboriculture and environmental management industries have developed, scientific research has been undertaken and tools have become available to measure and quantify the social and environmental benefits provided by the urban forest. We can now prove the value and importance of green infrastructure and justify the cost of maintaining this important asset. This Strategy will ensure industry best practice and cost effective resource allocation to maximize community benefits.

Development of this Strategy has involved the following steps:

Assess our existing urban forest to define the asset.

  1. Measure existing performance - calculate the economic value of the existing Urban Forest as an asset and as a provider of ecosystem services.
  2. Determine appropriate canopy cover goals for North Sydney and set targets and priorities.
  3. Develop a strategy to achieve our canopy cover goals and targets.
  4. Set in place appropriate measures to monitor and assess our performance.

Our key objectives are:

  • To ensure no net loss of canopy.
  • To value and manage the urban forest as an integral and essential component of urban infrastructure.
  • To strategically plan and work across administrative boundaries and disciplines within the North Sydney Local Government Area to effectively manage the urban forest.
  • To maximize community awareness, understanding and appreciation of the value and benefits of the urban forest.


NSDCP 2013

North Sydney Development Control Plan (NSDCP) contains Council's detailed provisions on all aspects of development:

Part B Section 16 - Trees Vegetation Management (228KB)


This sets out Council's goals in managing the urban trees and vegetation in our area, in particular detailing the requirements for tree protection and tree planting in relation to land development. It also contains Councils 'Tree Preservation Order' controls. You can also view the complete NSDCP 2013.