Trees and vegetation

Street and reserve trees in the urban environment are valuable Council and community assets and an important part of the landscape and natural environment. In the long term, they often create a very real ‘sense of place’ and dramatically enhance the urban environment.

Ballina takes great pride in its streetscapes, reserves and bushlands providing attractive landscapes and a diverse range of open spaces areas for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.

Environmental benefits 

  • A single mature tree can absorb up to 21kg of carbon dioxide each year 
  • Trees reduce energy consumption by shading pavement, cars and buildings
  • Trees remove gaseous pollutants by absorbing them through the leaf surface 
  • Tree canopies, trunks and root structures filter pollution out of stormwater and reduce the amount of pollution that is washed into drains and waterways
  • Trees reduce runoff, which reduces erosion, flooding and recharges water tables
  • Trees provide habitat and food sources for animals and contribute to biodiversity conservation. 

Economic benefits

  • Tree lined streets are shown to boost property values
  • Shoppers are more likely to spend more at stores located along tree-lined streets as they stay longer
  • Trees can also save money by shading houses, reducing the need for air conditioning thereby reducing energy bills
  • Fruit trees play a role in urban agriculture helping families save money and increasing access to nutritious foods.

Social and psychological benefits

  • Trees help residents interact with nature
  • Playing amongst trees helps children develop social skills and cognitive abilities
  • Trees give residents a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction 
  • Trees create a feeling of relaxation and help make residents feel safer
  • Research has shown that visual beauty and sensual enhancement of trees elevates people’s moods and improves their mental and physical health
  • Workers and students are shown to be more productive when their environments have views of trees
  • Street tree canopies contrast with the built environment and can shade and protect pedestrians from winter rain, absorb dust and wind, calm traffic and diminish noise, screen unwanted views, and reduce glare
  • Trees provide seasonal interest and natural beauty through foliage, including leaf patterns, flowers, bark, fruit and canopy. 

Street tree request

The best time to plant a tree was 50 years ago... the second-best time is now!

Want to live in a leafy suburb? You can help Council make your street a more beautiful, shadier, cleaner place by requesting a street tree to be planted in front of your property. Each year Council staff plant new and replacement street trees.

Trees are either grown at Council's nursery or sourced from quality nurseries with tree-planting sites thoroughly prepared. This ensures trees have the best possible start to a long life. To request a street tree complete our Street Tree Request (0.07mb pdf form).

Council also encourages residents to join together and nominate their street for tree planting. If enough residents show an interest in helping to beautify their street, Council can organise a tree planting day. Please contact Council on 1300 86 4444 to discuss a joint neighbour street tree application.

Can I plant my own street tree?

Street tree planting, if carried out by residents without consultation with Council, however well meant, may unintentionally create problems with regard to public safety. Trees planted without Council approval can impact to sight lines for drivers and pedestrians, create inconsistency of streetscape and possibly damage private or public property, such as essential services like water, sewer, stormwater and electricity. Any trees planted on the nature strip can also become potential long-term problems.

Council tries to accommodate all requests for tree planting and encourages residents to help with nurturing any newly planted tree.


Urban tree works - pruning or removal

Public trees are assets that can require professional maintenance. Council will undertake tree and vegetation pruning to improve tree health, habit and provide nominal clearances for pathways, roads, buildings and essential infrastructure. 

The public are not permitted to prune or remove trees or vegetation on Council managed lands including footpaths and reserves without Council consent. 

To apply for approval for tree or vegetation pruning or removal on public land please complete and submit the Tree Works on Public Land Application (0.1mb pdf form).

Council’s Urban Vegetation of Public Land policy (0.1mb pdf) identifies the acceptable and unacceptable reasons for pruning or removal of trees on public land.  


Urban tree works notifications

Council will provide notifications to the public for tree works on public land in accordance with Council's Urban Vegetation on Public Land policy.

Where immediate tree hazard situations cannot safely be mitigated, notifications for tree works may not be able to be provided in time.

Tree works notification list

Notification date Type of works Location Common name Botanical name Reason Significant tree y/n Proposed work month

10/12/19

Removal x 7

84 North Creek Road Reserve to rear

Camphor Laurel

Cinnamomum camphora 

Listed weed species

No

January/February

20/12/19

Removal x 15

153 Kays Lane Wardell

Cocos Palm

Syagrus romanzoffiana

Listed weed species

No

December/January

20/12/19

Removal x 8

164 Tamarind Drive Ballina

Slash Pine

Pinus elliottii 

Listed weed species

No

December/January

20/12/19

Removal x 2

2 Cawley Close

African Tulip Trees

Spathodea campanulata

Listed weed species

No

January

24/12/19

Removal

47 Main Street Alstonville

Tibouchina

tibouchina orientalis

Over mature and in poor condition

No

January

16/1/20

Removal

57 Temple Street Ballina

Cadaghi

Corymbia torelliana

Unacceptable public risk

No

January/February

24/1/20

Removal

Burns Pt Ferry Reserve

NZ Christmas Bush

Metrosideros excelsia

Dead

No

January

24/1/20

Removal

Chickiba Dr East Ballina

Weeping Paper Bark

Melaleuca luecadendra

Damage to public structure

No

January

24/1/20

Removal x 3

1 Mimosa Ct Wollongbar

Queensland

Kauri

Weeping Lilli Pili

Agathist robusta

Waterhousea floribunda

Damage to public structure/services

No

January/February

24/1/20

Removal

2 Spring Creek Pl Wollongbar

Black Wood

Acacia melanoxylon

Unacceptable Public Risk

No

January/February

24/1/20

Removal

189 Fox St Ballina

unidentified

unidentified

Unacceptable Public Risk

No

January/February

29/1/20

Removal

1/47 Martin St Ballina

Benjamin Fig

Ficus benjamina

Dead

No

January/February

29/1/20

Removal

14 Douglas St East Ballina

Blackwood

Acacia melanoxylon

Dead

No

February

12/2/20

Removal

Rossmore Park Alstonville

Cudgerie

Flindersia schottiana

Unacceptable public risk

Yes

February

Nature strip landscaping

Nature strips are important to the streetscape providing a natural setting. They often contain vital services and requirements that need consideration prior to landscaping. A Nature Strip Landscaping Plan must be submitted to Council for approval prior to landscaping.

Looking for an opportunity to give back to the community and environment, sponsor a tree on public land and provide a donation to support the health and growth of the tree.

This may apply to the planting of new trees and the maintenance of existing trees.

Tree Sponsorship will be acknowledged by a certificate and on the Tree Sponsorship Register.

Sponsorship categories include:

  • $200 – Seedling planting and establishment.
  • $1,000 – Advanced tree planted from 100-300 litre containers approx. 2-4 metres in height
  • $5,000 – Advanced trees planted from 300-400 litre containers approx. 4-5 metres in height
  • A general sponsorship to contribute to the shires tree planting programs, throughout the shire.

The Ballina Shire Urban Garden Guide has been produced to assist Ballina shire residents plan a new garden or maintain an established garden while making choices that save water, energy, time, money and help care for the surrounding environment.

This guide presents a diverse selection of native plant species that look great and grow well in the local conditions. Using this guide allows you to enjoy local native birds and animals, and avoid the pitfalls of garden plants that can spread and become weeds throughout the region.

Download the Urban Garden Guide (3.41mb pdf)

Trees on private land

Different rules apply in different parts of the Shire depending on the zoning of the land under the applicable local environmental plan.  In general, consent may be required for the removal of large trees in urban areas and for the clearing of native vegetation in rural and environmental protection areas. You should seek advice prior to starting any work on private land that is likely to impact on native or non-native vegetation (including weeds).  Contact Council's Planning and Environmental Health Division for further information on what rules apply to vegetation on your land and whether or not a development approval is required, telephone 1300 864 444.

More information:


Urban vegetation on public land policy

This Council policy refers to trees on public land and includes information about:

  • tree planting and species selection
  • tree asset management
  • bushland reserves
  • urban subdivisions
  • tree protection

Download the Urban Vegetation on Public Land policy (0.1mb pdf)

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Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478

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