Tree and verge services

Learn about planting, pruning and removing trees, protecting significant trees, and maintaining and developing your verge.

Trees in the City of PAE

Trees are essential for our neighbourhoods. They cool our streets on hot summer days, clean our air, provide homes for native animals and increase property values by up to 30%.

While the City of Port Adelaide Enfield looks after the nearly 100,000 trees in our streets and parks, you are responsible for trees and plants on your own property. This includes making sure that you keep the area next to public footpaths and roads clear and safe for everyone to use.

To learn how to deal with any problems you are experiencing with a tree growing on someone else’s land, see the Trees and the Law handbook.

Canopy targets

We've set a goal to increase the tree canopy across the City of PAE by 35% by 2050. To reach this target, we’re planting at least 3,000 new trees in our streets and reserves every year. We are also encouraging residents to plant 500 new trees on their properties each year through our Get Shady tree giveaway.

You’ll get a chance to have your say when we’re deciding where to plant new trees. Once we have planted them, we’re happy for you to help nurture the trees by watering them when you can.

Pruning City of PAE trees

We regularly prune street trees to remove dead branches and clear foliage that’s overhanging footpaths, traffic signs and buildings. If you see a street tree that needs pruning for these reasons, please let us know. However, please note that we don’t prune trees to reduce leaf, seed or flower litter, or to provide better light for solar panels.

SA Power Networks prunes trees around power lines. For more information, call them on 131 261 or visit SA Power Networks.

Removing City of PAE trees

We always try to save a sick tree if we can, but if the tree can’t be saved or if the tree is a risk to people, we will cut it down. We will also remove a tree when a building development affects the tree (if there are no other reasonable development options available). Remember that we only look after trees on council and public land, so we can’t remove trees from your own property.

Significant and Regulated Trees Assistance Scheme

We're also helping property owners to maintain regulated or significant trees on their property by providing a small grant to assist with maintenance. Financial reimbursement for tree maintenance can help cover pruning or pest treatments.

Read more about our Significant and Regulated Tree Maintenance Scheme

Verges in the City of PAE

The nature strip or verge is an important and valued part of community open space and place making, defining the character and improving the visual appeal of the local area. Your verge also provides:

  • A space for safe pedestrian movement
  • Vehicle access to private properties and public amenities including trees, furniture and road lighting
  • A corridor for Australia Post delivery
  • Above or below ground service infrastructure that provides water, sewer, gas, electricity and telecommunication services

Maintaining your verge

Your verge is Crown Land that’s cared for through the partnership between the City of PAE and the community. If you choose not to or can’t care for your verge, we will provide maintenance services to make sure that it doesn’t become a risk to the community.

We mow each verge in most suburbs about six or seven times each year, depending on the weather. Once we’ve mowed the verge, we also sweep the area to reduce grass cuttings from entering the stormwater drainage network. We also spray weeds three times a year.

We would love you to maintain your verge in between our maintenance visits, for example by watering street trees and verges during high temperatures, and cutting grass and weeds if needed.

Developing your verge

If you would like to make your streetscape more beautiful by landscaping your verge, you can apply for verge development. Use the plants selector tool to help you pick the ideal species for your landscape project.

Please note that we can’t provide any monetary or physical assistance for verge development.

Tree and verge FAQs

Regulated trees have a trunk circumference of 2m or more. This measurement is taken 1m above the ground.

Where a tree has more than one trunk, it is regulated if the total circumference of all trunks is 2m or more and and the average circumference of all trunks is 0.625m or more.

Significant trees are regulated trees with a trunk circumference of 3m or more.

You need to get approval before you do anything other than maintenance pruning to a regulated tree. This means that you will need to seek approval for:

  • Removing the tree
  • Killing or destroying the tree
  • Lopping branches or limbs
  • Ringbarking or topping
  • Causing any other substantial damage, including to its root system

Adding or removing soil within a tree protection zone will need approval as well.

The Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and its regulations list all the requirements for dealing with regulated and significant trees.

If a City of PAE tree falls down or drops a branch, let us know and we’ll clear it up, even if the debris is on your property.

However, we can’t remove fallen debris if it’s tangled in power lines or if there are damaged power lines around. Please contact SA Power Networks on 13 13 66 to find out more information.

We also can’t remove tree debris from State Government land. Please report the debris to the government department that manages the land.

City of PAE residents can get rid of fallen branches and other garden waste and vegetation free of charge at Integrated Waste Service Wingfield (IWS). For more information, call IWS on 8348 5100. Remember to notify them before you attend to drop off your green waste by submitting the online form.

You can ask us to replace a tree or plant a new one if it’s close to your property. We’ll make a decision about replacing a tree based on the tree's health as well as the laws and policies in the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act and our Tree Management Policy.

If we plant a tree near your property, please water it regularly during the warmer months to help it stay healthy.

We regularly check the health of our trees, so let us know if you see a tree that’s:

  • Diseased, decaying or unstable
  • Has a termite or other infestation
  • Has exposed roots

Our Tree Maintenance Team will treat the tree if they can. They only remove trees as a last resort.

If you are worried about the health of a tree on your neighbour’s private property, find out what to do in the Trees and the Law handbook or contact the Legal Services Commission SA on 1300 366 424.

During the hotter months from October to March, we water our newly planted trees to help them get established and grow a healthy, deep root system. We do this from a large water truck for the first three years after planting.

Please help out as well, if you can, by watering new trees near your property. Just give them a regular bucket or two of water over the hotter months.

We’ll prioritise your request for tree maintenance based on the condition of the tree and how dangerous it is for people nearby. We’ll either schedule it in the next maintenance round or check it out immediately if it’s really urgent.

Remember that we can’t inspect trees on your own property, which you need to maintain yourself.

When we plant new trees in an area, we create more shade to cools our neighbourhoods. Trees also provide habitat for native species and increase the value of our properties by as much as 30%.

We'll consider the view from your property when we select locations for new street trees, but we won't cut down an established tree to give you a better view.

We choose our trees from more than 50 indigenous and non-indigenous species that are more resistant to pests and disease. We also select trees to fit our changing climate.

If you see a vandalised City of PAE tree, let us know and our team will check it out.

You can commemorate the contribution that a local has made to the social, cultural or political life of our community with a memorial plaque on a park seat or at the base of a tree.