Street and reserve trees in the urban environment are valuable Council and community assets and an important part of the landscape and natural 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.

Click on the following links to learn more about the trees and vegetation of Ballina Shire.

Benefits of trees

Trees can transform the character of streets and provide numerous environmental, aesthetic, cultural and economic benefits. In the long term, they often create a very real ‘sense of place’ and dramatically enhance the urban environment.

Environmental benefits 

  • A single mature tree can absorb up to 21 kg 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 application 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.

Significant tree register

Council has developed a significant tree register for trees on public and private land.

Significant Trees are those showing exceptional significance assessed through rigorous criteria displaying historic, social, cultural, natural, biodiversity, visual or aesthetic values.

Contact Council's Natural Resource Officer to enquire about the significant tree register. 

The Significant Tree Register is reviewed annually enabling trees to be added or removed from the register. Residents may apply to Council to have trees included or removed from this register.

The Urban Vegetation on Public Land policy applies only to public trees with separate legislation applying to private trees.

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.

Council’s Urban Vegetation of Public Land policy 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 Councils Urban Vegetation on Public Land policy.

Where immediate tree hazard situations cannot be safely 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 week
22 January 2019 Removal 15 Banksia Ave Lennox Head Nature Strip Swamp Mahogany Eucalyptus robusta Dead Tree No

21 - 25 Jan 2019

24 January 2019 Removal Lighthouse Parade Reserve, East Ballina Coastal Banksia Banksia Integrifolia Dead tree No 24 - 25 Jan 2019

1 Feb 2019

Removal 25 Byron Street Lennox head nature strip Coastal Banksia Banksia Integrifolia Over mature, poor condition No

6 - 8 Feb 2019

5 Feb 2019

Removal Castle Drive Public Reserve  
Paulownia coreana
Over mature, poor condition No

6 - 8 Feb 2019

4 Feb 2019

Removal Eyles drive Drainage Reserve (Next to Golf Course), East Ballina Gum Tree Eucalyptus sp. Storm damaged. Complete trunk failure. No

4 - 8 February 2019

7 February 2019

Removal  Easton Park East Ballina Coastal Banksia Banksia Integrifolia Dead tree No

7-8 February 2019

7 February 2019

Removal Missingham Park, East Ballina Tuckeroo Cupaniopsis anacardioides Dead tree No

7-8 February 2019

13 Feb 2019

Removal Cnr Kerr and Tamarind Sts Ballina Swamp Oak Casuarina Glauca Wind damage and Immediate risk No

13 Feb 2019


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 the residents of Ballina shire plan and plant their gardens. When planning a new garden or maintaining an established one, you are able to make choices that save water, energy, time and money whilst helping to care for the surrounding environment.

This guide can be referred to when planning and planting your front and back yards. It presents a diverse selection of native plant species that look great, grow well in the local conditions, and are friendly to the wider environment of the Shire. Gardening in this way allows you to enjoy local native birds and othe animals, and at the same time avoid the pitfalls of garden plants that can spread and become weeds throughout the region.

Locally occurring and Australian plants have been selected that are well suited to the different landscapes within the Shire. They provide valuable habitat for fauna such as birds and butterflies. Many of our native animals now have a hard time surviving due to limited natural environment. As urban landowners we can help our local Australian fanua by establishing plants that provide fruits and nectar for food and complementary habitat for nesting, sleeping and protection.

Download the Urban Garden Guide

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 Development and Environmental Health Group 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:

Pandanus trees

Pandanus trees (Pandanus tectorius) are a key species of the high conservation value coastal dune and headland vegetation found on the north coast of New South Wales. Pandanus trees are also culturally significant to all Australians, both indigenous and non-indigenous people.

Presently our iconic Pandanus trees within Ballina Shire are at risk from dieback. A sap-sucking insect the "planthopper" (Jamella australiae) is native to North Queensland and is causing this dieback. Infestations have been located in both Lennox Head and East Ballina.

We are working closely with adjoining land management agencies and landowners to control the planthopper infestations and protect our Pandanus trees.

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


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