Amendment C379 proposes to protect an additional 119 exceptional trees in the Central City, Parkville, University of Melbourne Parkville Campus, Carlton, South Yarra, East Melbourne, Kensington, Flemington, and North Melbourne.

We called for submissions on Amendment C379 from 31 March until 2 May 2022.

Amendment overview

The Melbourne Planning Scheme is a public document that sets out the way land can be used and developed in the municipality. It zones land for different uses, and applies overlays to particular properties or precincts to manage growth and change.

The Melbourne Planning Scheme is a living document that is regularly updated to reflect evolving priorities for and knowledge about the city.

Changes to the Scheme are called amendments and the process is set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act).

An amendment may involve a change to a planning scheme map (for example: adding a new overlay), a change to the written part of the scheme, or both. Generally, amendments to the planning scheme change the way land can be used or developed and can also change the basis for making planning decisions in the future.

Unless the Minister for Planning deems it unnecessary, a planning scheme amendment generally involves consultation with affected parties, through a formal exhibition. If Council cannot resolve matters raised by submitters, an independent Planning Panel will hear arguments for or against the proposed changes to the Planning Scheme.

Amendment C379

Planning Scheme Amendment C379 proposes to protect a further 119 exceptional trees located on privately owned or managed land from being removed or significantly pruned.

The list of 119 trees were recommended via public nominations, assessed by independent arborists and reviewed by an expert panel to determine which trees should be recommended for inclusion in the register.

The Amendment proposes to protect the 119 exceptional trees in the planning scheme by listings the trees in Schedule 2 to Environmental Significance Overlay. This will trigger a requirement for a planning permit if any building or works are proposed within the tree protection zone, or significant pruning, lopping or removal of the tree is proposed.

In addition, the Amendment also proposes to update Schedule 2 to Environmental Significance Overlay by individually specifying tree protection zones for 22 exceptional trees within existing tree groups, deleting redundant controls for 7 trees which have been removed due to poor health, and referencing the Exceptional Tree Register 2019 which has been updated to list and detail the 119 exceptional trees.

Specifically, the amendment:

  • Amends Schedule 2 to the Clause 42.01 (Environmental Significance Overlay) (Exceptional Trees) on a permanent basis to:
    • Include an additional 119 trees across the municipality, expand the existing tree groups No’s 96, 98, 121 and 133 to individually list already protected exceptional trees,
    • Delete 7 trees that no longer require protection under the overlay,
    • Make minor listing corrections and consequential changes to comply with the Ministerial Direction on the Form and Content of Planning Schemes
    • Delete redundant background documents.
  • Amends the schedule to Clause 72.08 to reference the Exceptional Tree Register 2019 as a background document.
  • Updates the Planning Scheme Maps Nos. 3ESO, 4ESO, 5ESO, 8ESO, 9ESO and 11ESO,to reflect the inclusion and deletion of trees on a permanent basis.

For trees to be classified as exceptional, they must meet at least one of the following exceptional criteria:

  • Aboriginal association
  • aesthetic value
  • curious growth form
  • environmental or microclimate services
  • historical value
  • horticultural value
  • location or context
  • outstanding example of species
  • outstanding habitat value
  • outstanding size; particularly old
  • rare or localised
  • social, cultural or spiritual significance.

Each exceptional tree has its own tree protection zone which is an area above, around and below the tree. The Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) is a standard measurement used in Arboriculture to determine the area, where a tree’s root system could be detrimentally damaged by development. TPZ is calculated in accordance with in accordance with AS 4970-2009, Protection of Trees on Development Sites, using a trunk diameter measurement and varies depending on the size of the tree. Specially, the TPZ radius is calculated by multiplying the tree's trunk (stem) diameter (‘Diameter at Breast Height’ DBH) by 12, where the DBH is measured at 1.4 metres up from ground level.

An image showing the tree protection zone, which is defined by a radius of the tree's trunk diameter by 12.

If the proposed planning controls are approved and include an exceptional tree which is on your land or where the tree protection zone of the tree extends into your land, you will need a planning permit to build or carry out works within the area of tree protection zone or to significantly prune, lop or remove the exceptional tree.

If you are not proposing to build or carry out works to your property then the Amendment will not affect you. If you are proposing to build on your property you may need to alter the design of your works to ensure the tree and the root zone around the tree is protected.

The application of the new planning controls will not mean that new building works cannot take place, but that the health of the tree will be carefully considered before a decision is made.

While the trunk of an exceptional tree may not be located directly on your property, the Tree Protection Zone (TPZ) may encompass areas of your property and therefore be subject to planning controls. The TPZ is a standard measurement used in Arboriculture to determine the area where a tree’s root system could be detrimentally damaged by development. TPZ distances are measured as a radius from the centre of the trunk at ground level. By applying a TPZ and associated planning controls, this helps minimise any activity in this area that could damage roots, tree health and structural integrity.

Use the interactive map below to find out more information on each new proposed exceptional tree or read the information in the Exceptional Tree Register 2019.

The register provides an opportunity to promote, share and protect trees that are exceptional. Owners of properties where exceptional trees are located play an important role caring for a valuable community asset. Not only do urban trees provide substantial environmental and community benefits, they can also help to reduce energy costs, increase property values and provide aesthetic and amenity value.

Once public exhibition of the amendment is completed, all submissions will be considered by Council. Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987, Council can decide whether to make the changes requested by submitters, abandon the amendment or request that the Minister for Planning appoint an independent panel to review and hear submissions.

Before making a final decision on the amendment, Council will consider the independent panel’s advice. If the amendment is adopted by Council, then it will be submitted to the Minister for Planning for final approval.

For more information, see the planning scheme amendment process (PDF 2MB).

For questions about the Exceptional Tree Register 2019, contact Council’s Urban Forest and Ecology Team on or 9658 9658.

For questions relating to the amendment process, contact Council’s Planning Policy team on or 9658 9658.

For anything else, please contact City of Melbourne Customer Service on 9658 9658 (English speakers) or 03 9280 0726 (language interpreter).

Interactive map

The interactive map provides details of the new proposed exceptional trees to be protected under Amendment C379. In the search bar, hit the drop down box and select if you want to search by address or exceptional tree number, or zoom into the area you are interested. Select a tree to open a pop-up box and find out more information about the tree, including the tree location map, a summary of the significance of the tree and where the tree protection zone covers.

  • Green points represent new proposed exceptional trees.
  • Orange dots represent existing exceptional trees in groups that are being updated with individual listings and associated tree protection zones.
  • Black points represent trees which have been removed due to poor health.

Proposed exceptional trees examples

Document Library

Adopted documents

Amendment C379: Protecting Exceptional Trees