Gum tree

Council issues warning on rogue tree contractors

12 Feb 2021

Blue Mountains City Council is warning residents that unlicensed tree removal contractors are door knocking in the City and steering vulnerable people into costly works.


Council has received a number of reports regarding rogue operators touting for work, demanding excessive cash payments and making the false claim that residents do not need to seek approval from Council to remove trees.


In some cases, the operator has falsely claimed to be working under the direction of Council. Another case involved a resident being pressured into paying an exorbitant amount for dead branch removal after they were threatened with a fake fine from Council, if they did not agree to the work.


“We take these unsolicited approaches and intimidation by unscrupulous operators very seriously,” Mayor Mark Greenhill said.


“Residents need to be aware that some of these operators are underinsured and are charging prices that are far above competitive local contractor quotations – in some cases 300 per cent more.


If an uninsured operator injures themselves on private property the owner can be liable and domestic public liability rarely covers tree work.


“Acting on poor advice from these operators is a risk. Residents should contact Council if they encounter such individuals and they should contact NSW Police if they feel threatened or intimidated by any person falsely claiming they represent, or work with, Council.


This is also a timely reminder that there are some unlicensed individuals operating in other industries and residents should never disclose their credit card details, unless they are certain it is to a legitimate business.


Any resident who wishes to prune or remove a tree should seek the advice of a reputable local arborist and apply for permission from Council. A list of exemptions can be found on Council’s website and, if the works are not exempt, an application needs to be made. To find out more or apply online, visit Council’s website.


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