The Tree Assistance Fund is to support owners to manage the health of trees that have been identified as having significant characteristics and part of the Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO) 1, 3 or 5.
Trees were deemed to be significant under the following criteria:
- Historical significance
- Rare/Localised distribution
- Horticultural/Genetic value
- Curious growth form
- Outstanding size
- Outstanding example of species
- Particularly old
- Aesthetic value
- Aboriginal culture
- Unique location/Context
- Unique environmental contribution
- Good example of indigenous species
You can check if there is an identified significant tree on your property using Whitehorse Maps and selecting the Planning Overlays Map.
To determine whether you require a planning permit before you remove or lop trees on private property refer to Tree Protection within Whitehorse. Substantial penalties apply for illegal tree removal or lopping.
Owners of eligible trees which are protected by the VPO can apply for a grant of up to $1,000 for works that support the health of the tree. A total of $40,000 will be available for this year’s fund. This is the second year the Tree Assistance Fund has operated and we have tried to streamline the process so that arborist quotes are not required to apply.
Applications open on Friday 17th June 2022 at 9am and close once eighty applications are received. Eligible households will have recently received a letter in the mail. Council will arrange for an arborist to assess the first eighty trees by mid-July. The judging panel will meet after that to determine how to allocate the funds. Council will inform whether you were successful in obtaining funding for your project. Funding for successful applications can only be claimed once projects are completed and be requested prior to end of May 2023.
Find out if a VPO applies to your property
Enter your address below to determine if a VPO 1, 3 or 5 applies to your property.
In 2002, 2006 and 2016, Whitehorse City Council commissioned three separate studies of trees across our municipality. Properties that contained a tree or trees that were deemed to have significant characteristics were given protection under a Vegetation Protection Overlay (VPO 1, 3 or 5).
Trees in general provide habitat and habitat for local animals, help reduce the impacts of Urban Heat Island Effect, provide a green, leafy outlook and improve our neighborhood character. Trees covered by a VPO are recognized by Whitehorse Council as having value for the whole community. They include trees that are significant to the history of the area, have particular form or are an unusual species. As these trees mature they require more attention to maintain their health, and this is why the Tree Assistance Fund has been established to support residents with large, mature trees that have been recognized as having significant characteristics.