The 45 Degree Rule

When Can I Remove Trees without Council Approval?

The 45 Degree Rule is a rule in place from Shoalhaven council that states if there is a tree impeding a 45-degree angle from your house (a sign that it may pose a risk in the near future) you do not need to seek council approval to remove these trees. This saves the homeowner wading through a sea of permits and the back and forth of seeking council approval for tree removal. If the tree is outside of this 45-degree angle, then council approval must be sought before attempting to remove the tree.

Changes to the Rule

Changes to the 45 degree rule are being trialled and as part of this trial the homeowner must let council and adjacent homeowners of their intention to remove a tree within at least 5 business days before the tree removal is due to commence.

This trial will run for 12 months and started on the 1st of August. This is not a consent/approval process but rather is to be used as a reporting tool so the council can collect accurate data during this trial. As per the trial the council must be notified and homeowners can do that here (C&S Tree Services can arrange this on your behalf).

After council has been notified the council will undertake ‘spot checks’ to ensure that the tree being removed falls within the 45 Degree Rule exemption. It is important to note that if the tree falls on heritage land that council approval is needed regardless of whether or not the tree falls under the 45 Degree Rule.

Navigating the Rule

This diagram on the right clearly illustrates where the rule can be applied. As you can see from the diagram the tree to the right of the house is clearly within the 45 degree range from the side of the house, so no council approval is necessary for removing this tree. However as indicated by the Shoalhaven council homeowners are required to notify the councils Environmental Services team before commencing these works via the website.

With our guidance, you can gain a clear understanding of whether a tree’s canopy extends within the 45-degree angle specified by the Shoalhaven Council’s rule.

    Council approval must be sought for removal of trees on your property if:

    • the tree falls outside the 45 Degree angle
    • the tree has nests or hollows in it
    • the tree falls on heritage land, or is protected under scenic protection or biodiversity laws

    Unsure of Where your Tree falls??

    If you are unsure whether or not a tree on your porperty falls within the 45 Degree Rule our team of experienced tree care professionals (AQF level 3 arborists) are more than happy to come for an inspection to see which trees may be posing a risk and which can potentially be removed under the rule.

    To book a quote from us simply call 0431 744 772 or email

    Why C&S Tree Services?

    C&S Tree Services understands the challenges of land development and ensuring your site is ready for construction, for both residential and commercial sectors.

    That is why our team provide cost-effective and prompt block clearing services to ensure your project can get underway as soon as possible.

    Need Professional Tree Removal Services in Nowra?

    C&S Tree Services provides safe, effective tree removal, tree pruning
    and stump removal for residential & commercial clients in the Shoalhaven.