Significant trees

Moonee Valley’s tree canopy is an important asset for the community, providing many environmental, community and economic benefits and contributing greatly to the character of Moonee Valley.

We maintain a register of Moonee Valley’s significant trees that are protected by the Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) which is a planning tool that seeks a permit to remove, destroy or lop the trees as well as a permit for any buildings and works within the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) which is put in place to protect root structures.

We are currently undertaking a municipal wide survey to ensure the Significant Tree Register is up to date and captures all trees of significance within Moonee Valley. This survey will produce a draft Significant Tree Study that will undergo a comprehensive consultation process with the community. Updates will be available on this webpage as this process develops.

Amendment C149 - Significant Tree Register Review 2014 - Now completed

March 2016 update

Amendment C149 was approved and officially gazetted by the Minister for Planning on Thursday, 3 March 2016.

October 2015 update

On 27 October 2015, Council resolved to formally adopt the Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2014 excluding one nominated tree at 20 Grace Street, Moonee Ponds which is to be reviewed again following a 12 month period. The amendment has now been sent to the Minister for Planning for approval.  

July 2015 update

Planning Panels Victoria recommends that Amendment C149 be adopted including Council’s minor post exhibition changes. See Panel Report dated 14 July 2015 for further information.

June 2015 update

A Panel Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, 16 June from 10am at the Clocktower Centre. A copy of expert witness reports for this hearing are provided as follows.

Expert witness reports

April 2015 update

Amendment C149 was exhibited from the 12 March 2015 until 17 April 2015.

March 2015 update

Following authorisation from the Minister for Planning we exhibited Amendment C149 which implements the findings of a review undertaken of Council’s Significant Tree Register.

Feedback and submissions closed on Friday 17 April 2015.  For more information download the documents below, or visit the DEWLP website, or call 9243 8888.

Documents as exhibited are available for download below.  You can also view this summary factsheet (pdf, 265KB)

Amendment C149 Documentation

Significant Tree Report 2014

View the Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2014

  1. Report (pdf, 1.19MB) 
  2. Definitions and Methodology (pdf, 159KB) 
  3. Maps (pdf, 1,791KB) 
  4. Tree Report Tabular (pdf, 171KB) 
  5. Individual Tree Report

To find a tree in the review according to the Tree ID Reference Number, please refer to the Tree Report Tabular (Part Four).

Tress proposed to be added

Trees proposed to be added as part of Amendment C149 are from Unique ID 243 onwards.

If you have trouble in locating the relevant tree view this reference table.


The Significant Tree Register was originally developed in 2001 as a database of 192 trees and groups of trees.

Although it was informed by both investigations from Council officers and ongoing feedback from the community, the register wasn't formalised in terms of preservation controls or a management framework.

In November 2010, we decided to undertake a comprehensive review to update the original Significant Tree Register. We worked with the community for two years to review the register, and as a result the number of trees, or groups of trees, on the register increased to 203.

To officially implement the recommendations in the review and have formal controls in place to protect significant trees, we undertook a State Government process called a planning scheme amendment.

The Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2012 was added into the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme through Amendment C130 in December 2013. The amendment documents as approved by the Minister for Planning can be found on the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website.

View the Moonee Valley Significant Tree Register Review 2013. To find a tree in the review according to the Tree Reference Number, please refer to the following guide.

We now undertake a review of the register each year.

What is a significant tree?

Trees are classified as 'significant' after being independently assessed against the National Trust Significant Trees criteria, which has 12 categories:

  1. horticultural or genetic value
  2. unique location or context
  3. rare or localised distribution
  4. particularly old specimen
  5. outstanding size
  6. aesthetic value
  7. curious growth habitat
  8. historical significance
  9. connection to Aboriginal culture
  10. outstanding example of species
  11. remnant vegetation
  12. outstanding habitat

Significant trees can be located on both public and private land and can be a singular tree or a group of trees.

What planning controls protect significant trees?

The Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) is the most appropriate tool for protecting the municipality's significant trees.

This is because, under the ESO, a planning permit is required for:

  1. the removal of any tree identified within the register
  2. for any building and works proposed within each tree’s respective tree protection zone (TPZ)

A TPZ is an area surrounding a tree in which development should be managed in order to prevent damage to the tree and its root structure. The TPZ is calculated as 12 x diameter at breast height (trunk diameter at 1.4 metres above ground level).

A TPZ is applied so that Council can assess a proposed development’s impact on the respective tree’s root system which, if damaged, can severely impact on the health of the tree.

TPZs can extend across property boundaries. This means your property could be included in the ESO even if the significant tree is not located on your land.

Annual review of Significant Tree Register

We undertake an annual review of the Significant Tree Register to ensure it stays up to date. This means that new trees could be added to the register, or deleted if they have been removed (via a planning permit) during the year.

Each annual review of the register is undertaken by external experts who review both the existing trees contained within the register and new nominations from community members.

The timetable for each annual review is:

30 June: cut-off date for nominations each year.

July to September: independent review of existing register and newly nominated trees takes place.*

October to December: draft review report and planning scheme amendment is prepared and presented to Council.*

February to March: consultation on the draft review report and Planning Scheme Amendment takes place with the community.*

April to June: the final review report and Planning Scheme Amendment is presented to Council for adoption (if no Planning Panel is required to review submissions). The planning scheme amendment is then sent to the Minister for Planning in order to officially reference the changes to the ESO (Schedule 2) in the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme.*

*If less than 10 nominations are received by 30 June each year, we will postpone the review until a minimum of 10 nominations are received or until the following year, whichever occurs sooner. We will keep you informed on the progress of the review.

How to nominate a tree

The community is welcome to nominate a tree they feel warrants investigating at any time during the year. Nominations can be lodged in writing to:

Strategic Planning department
Moonee Valley City Council
9 Kellaway Avenue
Moonee Ponds VIC 3039

or email

How to have your say

Each year Council consults on the draft review report before finalising it and undertaking the planning scheme amendment process. Trees on private property may be nominated for assessment by members of the community other than the landowner. People will then be invited to lodge a submission during the consultation period. All submissions will then be considered by an independent planning panel.

For more information please contact our Strategic Planning team on 9243 8888.

Last updated: Thursday, 27 July 2017, 7:14 AM