Q: If a tree on council owned land falls (totally or branches) onto my residence but causes no damage – is Council responsible for cleaning up the fallen tree/branches?
A: Yes, you can let us know of by lodging a Snap Send Solve, an online request, or call 1300 322 322.
Q: If a Council tree damages my residence or property (for example, car/caravan) and I pay via insurance to fix repairs and clear debris will Council pay for my insurance excess?
A: The matter would be investigated. It would have to be established that Council has been negligent in its management of the tree prior to the event and has breached its duty of care. The fact that the event has occurred, does not mean that Council is automatically responsible.
Council reactively responds to customer concerns regarding tree risk and has in place a cyclic maintenance program where trees are routinely inspected by qualified, experienced Arborists, to undertake proactive maintenance and rectify any risks or defects in accordance with Australian Standards for Pruning of Amenity Trees.
Q: I have complained about a Council tree for many years and nothing has been done about it – it has now fallen onto my residence and caused damage. Will Council prioritise this issue and will they pay for repairs?
A: This matter would be investigated as above. All customer requests regarding tree hazards are inspected by Council’s Arborist. Council currently employs five qualified Arborist across multiple departments, engages independent Arboricultural consultants and four experienced arboricultural contractors. All outcomes of arboricultural inspections are documented in councils Tree Asset management systems.
In a storm event we prioritise rectification works based on risk as much as possible but there can be a delay due to the amount of damage sustained in the Municipality.
Q: An Arborist from Council has said a Council tree that doesn’t look safe to me is in a healthy condition. How do I escalate the issue?
A: Please lodge your concerns in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org./gov.au, by or mail P.O Box 490 Frankston or hand delivery to any customer service centre and we will investigate the matter further.
Q: The tree on my nature strip is making a mess – will Council clean this up – or could it be removed?
A: No, generally, Frankston City Council does not carry out maintenance on nature strips except for street trees which are cared for and maintained by the Council. The usual practice is for residents of abutting properties to maintain nature strips by regular mowing, edging turf, weeding and picking up litter and twigs. Fallen leaves, twigs, fruit and flowers are considered normal and are not considered valid reasons to remove a tree. Trees will only be considered for removal if they are presenting an unacceptable risk as a result of health or structural defects. Tree roots may sometimes affect roads and footpaths which are inspected every two years and hazards are responded to within timelines specified in councils adopted Road Management Plan.
Q: I never see Council looking after the trees - why is that the case?
A: Council maintains more than 65,000 street trees. Council has a routine cyclic maintenance program where each tree under Council’s responsibility is inspected every two years. Trees may be pruned or removed as a result of this inspection. The cyclic inspection routine does not negate any requests from residents for pruning or inspections due to safety concerns. These tree requests, once reviewed, are prioritised according to the level of risk.
Q: The roots of a Council owned tree are affecting my property – whose responsibility is to fix this?
A: Any issues with tree root damage from Council trees will be investigated by a Council Arborist. If an inspection determines that private infrastructure damage is caused by tree roots, Council will work on solutions to reduce the risk of further damage
Tree removal will only be considered if no alternative solution can be found. Residents are able to consult an independent Arborist or building expert if they are unsatisfied with Council response and findings.
Q: Can I prune my street tree?
A: No, Council is responsible for the cared and maintenance of Street trees. Pruning request that relate to safety concerns can be lodged for review by Council’s arborist at Snap Send Solve, and online request or call 1300 322 322. Pruning for other reasons may be considered by Council on a user pays principle with works undertaken by Council or Council’s approved contractors.