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Street Trees and Verge Treatments


Would you like a street tree planted on your verge or know of a particular location where you see the need for additional trees?

Please let us know as we would love to plant more trees within the Town's street verges. Rally your neighbours and have the whole street planted.

Apply for a verge tree

The Town undertake resident tree planting over the winter/spring months to give trees the best chance of survival.  Information about permissible street tree species is available below.

On receiving your application:

  • a Town officer will assess the suitability of your tree request based on the size of your verge and the availability of the requested tree
  • approved applicants will have the tree/s supplied and planted at no cost 
  • you are requested to assist post-planting by assisting with watering and general care of the tree until it is established.
  • the Town reserves the right to prune, plant, or remove any tree/s on its land or within Council’s verge, which it deems necessary. Pruning of verge trees will only be carried out by Council or Council’s contractor on those trees that cause an adverse impact.

Attempts will be made to plant your first preference of species. Final species selection is at the discretion of the Operations Supervisor and dependent on tree stock availability from our suppliers.

The Town arranges street tree watering for newly planted trees for the first summer following planting. During hot periods, trees may require additional water. By requesting a verge tree, please assist us in looking after it by providing some additional water if required.

Please call 9339 9339 if you would like any further information.

View Style Guide

To see appropriate verge tees for your verge refer to page 46-48 of the Urban Streetscape and Public Realm Style Guide. Please note all requests are approved based on the availability of tree species and the suitability of the associated verge


The Town encourages residents to develop and maintain waterwise verges and gardens to provide a range of social, environmental, and economic benefits to the community. The Town provides a number of annual schemes, which assist residents to create a successful verge garden including:

  • The native plant subsidy scheme runs every year from May 1-30, allowing residents to purchase native plants from local nursery APACE at subsidised prices. 

To Apply for a Verge Garden and to View, the Verge Greening Guidelines, follow the links below. When applying for a Verge Garden please attach a diagram of the proposed works and any amendments to the Verge.




The Town of East Fremantle gains valuable benefit from street, verge and park trees.

Benefits include the beautifying of streetscapes and suburbs, providing a sense of place, improved community wellbeing, increased property values, shade, temperature moderation, and providing habitat for fauna.

Street trees are increasingly being recognised and managed throughout Australia as important community assets as the benefits they deliver are progressively identified, understood, and measured. 

East Fremantle residents can apply to have a street tree planted or replaced on the verge adjacent to their property.

Once a request has been received, it is assessed as a priority by our Parks Staff, whether it is for a new tree i.e. there has never been a tree there before; or a replacement tree.  A site inspection takes place and the type of tree is discussed with the resident who made the request. Preparation is made for obtaining the trees during the summers months, with plantings undertaken between May and July each year.

The Town is also proactively working on replacing all verge and street trees, even if no request has been forthcoming.

All requests and feedback about street and verge trees are welcome. 

Requests for street/verge trees can be placed by contacting the Town of East Fremantle on (08) 9339 9339,  via the Contact Us form on our website or via email


The goal of the Town is to maximise the number of trees on the Town's road reserves, medians and public reserves. Council Policy 4.2.1 provides information about the Removal and Pruning of street trees. Excerpts are below, to read the policy in its entirety download a copy here


It is the Town’s intention to retain verge trees that are healthy, and do not cause any safety concerns. In the absence of suitable justification being provided for the removal of a tree, the request for the tree removal will not be supported.

Pruning (Maintenance)

Council reserves the right to prune, plant, or remove any tree or trees on its land or within Council’s verge, which it deems necessary.
Pruning of verge trees will only be carried out by Council or Council’s contractor on those trees that cause an adverse impact.

If a fallen tree/fallen branch is obstructing a road, footpath, crossover/ driveway or has impacted private property, the Town will respond as soon as possible. If the tree is not considered an urgent safety issue or creating an obstruction, the Town will respond within 5 working days. Please note that during busy periods, staff may take longer to action.


What can I do about my neighbour's overhanging branches or tree roots that are coming on to my property?

Repairing damage caused by a neighbour's tree can be costly. Roots can damage foundations, block drains or lift brick paving. Overhanging branches can drop leaves into your gutters, block light, or prevent your own trees and plants from growing.

Often, the best thing to do first is to talk to your neighbour to tell them about the problem. They might not know what is happening on your side of the fence. They may take care of it themselves or be happy for you to deal with the situation. 

Can I remove branches or roots that have come onto my property? 

You are allowed to:

  • cut an overhanging branch back to the point where it enters your property.
  • dig up the root and cut a tree root back to the boundary or fence line of your property.

You should take care not to cause unnecessary damage to the tree. If you are planning to remove a large amount of branches or roots, which could damage the tree, it is best to tell your neighbour first and get them to arrange for the branches or roots to be pruned.

You must not:

  • cut the branch or root on your neighbour's side of the boundary
  • poison the neighbour's tree or any roots that are on your property, or
  • enter your neighbour's property without their agreement.

Do I have to let my neighbour or anyone else know?

You do not have to let your neighbour know you intend to cut things back from your property, but it is a good idea to let them know there is a problem and what you are planning to do.

Who has to pay the cost of removing branches or pay for repairs?

Once your neighbour knows of the problem caused by their tree (or should have become aware of it), they have a responsibility to fix the problem so it does not continue or get worse. They may be responsible for paying the cost to have it pruned back to the boundary line, or for repairs to fix damage caused by fallen branches or tree roots.

If possible, you should discuss the issue with your neighbour and agree on who will pay and organise things before you start the job. Sometimes, your neighbour may want to organise pruning the tree (either to do it themselves or hire a contractor). If you hire someone before telling your neighbour, it is more likely to lead to disputes later on about who should pay and whether the cost was reasonable.

If you need to have repairs done or hire a specialist to remove the roots or branches, write a letter, email or send a text message to your neighbour:

  • setting out what the problem or damage is (perhaps include some photos to show them)
  • giving them copies of quotes for getting the work done, and
  • asking them to pay for the work to fix the problem or repair the damage.

You should keep a copy of the letter, email or text.

If you cannot agree on what to do, or who should pay, there are mediation services available that might help to resolve the dispute.

You may also wish to contact Legal Aid WA and the Citizens Advice Bureau to seek advice on resolving the dispute.

Legal Aid - Dividing Fences and other boundary issues


The verge is a key part of the streetscape and consists of the strip of land between the road, your property, and in some cases the footpath. Verges are Crown Land’ under the care, control, and management of the Council.  

Verges are a shared asset for:

  • access to residents and commercial properties
  • crossovers
  • footpaths and pedestrian movements
  • links to nature
  • service utilities
  • street trees.

Requests for gardening/landscaping/verge maintenance/weed control are investigated and responded to based on priority and urgency.  If your request is not considered an urgent safety issue, we will endeavour to respond within 10 working days. Please note that during busy periods or due to the complexity of some requests, staff may take longer to investigate your request but please be assured we will respond in due course. 

Requests regarding verge tree (pruning or health concerns) are investigated and responded to based on priority and urgency. If your request is considered urgent, we will action as soon as possible and respond to you when we can. If your request is not considered an urgent safety issue, we will endeavour to respond within 10 working days. Please note that during busy periods or due to the complexity of some requests, staff may take longer to investigate your request but please be assured we will respond in due course.

For more information on Verge Maintenance responsibilities,click here to view the Fact Sheet 

With the drying of our climate, it's crucial we save as much water as possible. For this reason, the Town encourages the formation of waterwise unirrigated verges in an effort to combat climate change. When designed, installed, and well maintained a waterwise verge gardens can:

  • save water and reduce water bills
  • contribute to the greening of the Towns streets
  • cool the Town and combat the impacts of the urban heat island effect in summer
  • provide habitat for wildlife and improve biodiversity
  • improve rainwater infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff
  • reduce maintenance
  • display your pride in the community.


For residents interested in planting in the verge area around existing street trees,  adjacent to their property, please note and follow the following conditions prior to commencing any work:

  • Any treatment placed in the verge needs to be permeable for water to be absorbed.
  • Provision to the Town of East Fremantle of a diagrammatic to scale sketch or plan indicating the proposed location of plants and proposed plant species. Any proposed irrigation also to be shown (see separate conditions regarding irrigation).
  • The plants are preferably to be native species appropriate to the East Fremantle area.
  • Spikey plants are not permitted.
  • A woodchip bund is to be provided around the plants to clearly define the location of the plant and to allow for proper watering
  • All excess soils and litter resulting from the plantings is to be removed at the applicant’s cost
  • Growth of the plants is to be maintained within the confines of the verge area and not be allowed to spill into the footpath or road areas, and not allowed to exceed a height of 600mm
  • Plants are to be maintained in a weed free state at all times and are to be watered to establish and maintain them.
  • Council accepts no responsibility for the plants’ health and well being.
  • Should it be deemed necessary for any reason, the Town of East Fremantle or service providers (e.g. power, water, gas etc) reserves the right to carry out any necessary works on the verge or authorise others to do so, whether this necessitates removal of any plantings or not, at no cost to Council or other authorised party.
  • Please note - artificial turf on the verge is not permitted.


  1. Please provide, to the Town of East Fremantle, a diagrammatic sketch indicating location of proposed reticulation.
  2. Any water pipes laid must be laid at a depth of not more than 30cm nor less than 15cm, and so that any fitting connected to them does not project above the surface of the verge.
  3. Where connected to a private water supply, where passing under road pavement, made footpaths or crossings the water pipes shall be of galvanised wrought iron, copper or PVC and have approved valves, be located within the property where they are connected to the supply and fitted so as to give complete control of the flow of water from the supply
  4. Prior to any excavation taking place all public utility services are to be located to prevent any damage during excavation (dial before you dig 1100).
  5. All irrigation spray is to be maintained and contained within the verge area and not be allowed to over spray onto footpaths and roadways.
  6. Applicant to remain responsible for maintenance and operation and related costs of reticulation.
  7. The Council may at any time, by notice in writing to the owner or occupier of land that abuts upon that part of a street wherein the owner has had water piping or fittings installed require that owner or occupier to remove such water piping or fittings and may, where the owner or occupier does not comply with the notice, remove the piping or fittings at the expense of the owner or occupier, and any expense incurred by the council pursuant to this by-law may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction.
  8. Where the council or any other authority authorised by law to dig up a street for the purpose of carrying out authorised works is of the opinion that the carrying out of those works may be impeded by the existence of piping, under a lawn or garden in a street, it may give notice to the owner or occupier of the land abutting on the lawn or garden to remove the piping, until the completion of the works; and may, where the owner or occupier does not comply with the notice, remove the piping at the expense of the owner or occupier; and any expense incurred by the council or authority pursuant to this by-law may be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction. In respect of the above, the council or other authority is not liable for damage to piping under a lawn or garden in a street, occasioned either in the course of the removal of the piping or of carrying out authorised works.
  9. Council reserves the right to use the full width of the road reserve as it sees fit and does not accept that it will be responsible to pay compensation for the cost of the 2 reticulation should future works require the removal of all or any part of that reticulation.
  10. Council reserves the right to carry out work to the footpath and verge at any time and takes no responsibility for damage to lawn/vegetation, reticulation and drainage installations, the cost of reinstating same being borne by yourself, if required.
  11. Council will not in any circumstances be responsible for any damage caused to the reticulation whether that damage is caused by the Council, another public authority or any other agent or individual.