Trees and Verges

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Obstruction permits

Obstructions of the road reserve such as bins, cranes, cherry pickers, building materials / equipment, scaffolding, safety fencing or vehicles, requires an Application for Obstruction which can be found on the Roads and Footpaths page.

A traffic / pedestrian management plan is required for all applications (excluding bins) by an accredited traffic consultant when submitting your application.

A verge protection bond of $2,040.00 may be required for obstruction permits.

Applications must be submitted a minimum of five working days prior to commencement to works and ten working days in the case of a full road closure.

Permits are essential as infringements may apply.

Please note: credit card payments incur a 0.05% transaction fee and American Express (AMEX) is not accepted.

Verge bonds

When a building or demolition permit has been issued, it is a requirement that a verge bond is payable prior to commencement of works as follows:

  • $2,040.00 for building permits
  • $3,060.00 for demolition permits
  • For commercial permits or subdivisions, an assessment of the site determines the amount of the bond.  The applicant will be contacted following submission of the application to discuss the bond requirement. This is to ensure that if any damage occurs during works, verge and road reserve will be reinstated to the satisfaction of the City. This is to ensure that if any damage occurs during works, verge and road reserve will be reinstated to the satisfaction of the City.

An application for verge bond refund can be submitted to the City at the completion of construction works.

Additional permits

For works in the road reserve or verge, parking and hood hire permits may be required.  Contact the customer service centre on 08 9432 9999 for details of how to obtain these permits. Additional fees apply for these permits.

Verge mowing program

As part of our commitment to improving core services to ratepayers, the City has recently moved to reintroduce residential verge mowing to areas of the city that have wide verges.

The City acknowledges it is not always possible for residents to maintain verges that are wider than standard, so the council has decided to offer a free verge mowing service in the suburbs of Beaconsfield, White Gum Valley, Hilton, Samson and parts of Fremantle.  To find out more, visit the Verge Mowing Program information page. 

Side of a house with a nice verge garden.Verge gardens

The City of Fremantle encourages residents to develop and maintain verge gardens to provide a range of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community.

Verge gardens help the City achieve strategic goals identified in the One Planet principles and implement green plan linkages identified in Green Plan 2020.

The City provides a number of annual schemes which assist residents to create a successful verge garden:

  • create your verge garden – information booklet provides an overview of the City’s program and initiatives, including advice and guidelines on landscaping and planting. Download the create your verge garden booklet.
  • native plant subsidy scheme – residents may download a voucher for up to 40 low cost native plants from local nursery, APACE. Plants available for pickup from APACE May 1-30. 
  • verge garden policy – the City of Fremantle’s official policy provides details of all rules and regulations regarding verge gardens. Download the City of Fremantle Verge Garden Policy.
  • verge preparation assistance scheme – the City offers assistance to those in need, preparing your verge with minor earthworks. These opportunities are limited. For details, please see the verge garden policy. The scheme runs once a year in February.
  • alternative materials application online form – The City encourages the use of native plants and organic mulch on verges. To apply for the use of special materials (eg hardscapes, bollards, boulders, furniture or structures) please complete this online form.Submit the online form

Mulch

Mulching is one of the many easy ways you can develop a water wise native garden. Keep mulch well maintained and ensure it does not spill on the footpath or road as it can affect drainage infrastructure. Subject to availability, City of Fremantle residents can collect mulch from the City Depot for use on their verges. Proof of residency is required to receive free mulch.

Free street trees

Fremantle residents can apply to have a street tree planted on their verge at no cost to the property owner.  Once an application for street tree has been received by our parks and landscape team, they will undertake inspections which will include your verge during the following April and May and then talk to you about what is most suitable for your verge.  Planting will only occur between April and July each year to ensure your tree will survive.
To request a tree complete the e-services (Parks & Landscape) request online, or contact us on the details below. 

Street tree maintenance

Pruning and maintenance of trees located on verges not only keeps things neat and tidy in your street,  it ensures the long-term survival of trees and the safety of residents, motorists and pedestrians.

Residents are reminded that they are not permitted to prune verge trees.

Verge tree pruning guidelines

Street trees are pruned to for the following reasons: 

  • Ensure clearance from overhead power lines  (visit the Western Power verge tree pruning page for details of upcoming works in your area)
  • Allow unobstructed pedestrian and vehicle movement
  • Ensure clear traffic sightlines
  • Improve tree form and health
  • Remove dead, dying diseased or pest infested branches
  • To define tree form and structure
  • Other reasonable requests for extra pruning will be considered.

Street trees will NOT be pruned to:

  • Improve views
  • reduce leaf or fruit litter, bark drop, bird droppings or similar
  • reduce height without a justifiable arboriculture cause
  • reduce shade.

Removal of street trees is not permitted without approval from council. Requests for removal of street trees will only be approved where the City's Street and Reserve Tree Policy permits. Contact our parks and landscape team on 08 9432 9999 if you require any further information.

 Integrated weed management program

The City is responsible for maintaining public open space inclusive of parks, gardens, road reserves, foreshore reserves, bushland reserves and undeveloped lands. The majority of the City’s public open space requires vegetation and weed management. Weed control is undertaken to:

  • Maintain the amenity of public open space.
  • Ensure the survival of desirable plant species to maintain biodiversity.
  • Maintain the aesthetics of the City to the standard the community expect.
  • Manage fire fuel loads.

The City utilises a range of treatment methods as part of a holistic and integrated approach to its weed management responsibilities. The selection of weed control is based on the target species, desired outcome and site location. Treatment methods may include:

  • Manual control by hand-pulling.
  • Suppression through mulching and planting.
  • Mechanical control such as mowing and slashing.
  • Chemical free control by hydro-thermal (steam).
  • Chemical control (herbicide).

The City has a chemical reduction approach to weed management and is trialling alternative treatments to test effectiveness. If they are successful, they are integrated into the City’s weed management program.

Overhanging vegetation

Trees, shrubs and vines obstructing pedestrians along footpaths from private property should be reported to the City to reduce risk to footpath users. The City will request for residents to prune or remove vegetation.  Please contact our parks and landscape team on 08 9432 9999.

Verge tree pruning guidelines

Street trees are pruned to for the following reasons: 

  • Ensure clearance from overhead power lines (visit the Western Power verge tree pruning page for details of upcoming works in your area)
  • Allow unobstructed pedestrian and vehicle movement
  • Ensure clear traffic sightlines
  • Improve tree form and health
  • Remove dead, dying diseased or pest infested branches
  • To define tree form and structure
  • Other reasonable requests for extra pruning will be considered.

Street trees will NOT be pruned to:

  • Improve views
  • reduce leaf or fruit litter, bark drop, bird droppings or similar
  • reduce height without a justifiable arboriculture cause
  • reduce shade.

Removal of street trees is not permitted without approval from council. Requests for removal of street trees will only be approved where the City's tree planting and preservation policy permits. Contact our parks and landscape team on 08 9432 9999 if you require any further information.

Community Gardens

The City recognises community gardening as a sustainable living practice and a valuable recreational activity that builds strong community relationships and provides a wide range of benefits. Community members can be involved in community gardening by joining an existing community garden or by starting their own. For more information click here.

Significant trees

The City has a Local Planning Policy (LPP2.23) that defines how a tree or vegetation area can be nominated for the register and the criteria the City will apply in considering nominations. It also outlines how the City will consider any development application received for a property containing a tree or vegetation on the register including requests for removal.

NEW NOMINATIONS: The next annual assessment and reporting period for nominations is scheduled February to April 2020. Any nominations received prior to this time will be held on file.

Key points on the policy:

The tree or vegetation area must be nominated, or formally supported, by the owner of the land on which it is located. 

The tree must be a healthy specimen with ongoing viability. Viability considers factors such as proximity to buildings and infrastructure, and development potential.

Initial inclusion on the register would require formal nomination, an assessment by the City, public consultation and an annual Council decision. 

The tree or vegetation area must demonstrate significance based on the criteria of:

  • botanic / horticultural value (e.g. rare or endangered species)
  • visual / aesthetic / landmark value
  • heritage value
  • ecological value not otherwise protected through environmental legislation.

Assessment may include the commission of an independent arboricultural report.

For more information see the information brochure. For the detailed policy provisions and procedures, please refer to the full policy document here.

Click here for the nomination form.