Tree removal is a long and often costly process. In order to obtain approval to have a tree removed you must obtain an arborist report. Arborist reporting on the Sunshine Coast requires an arborist that has an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 5 diploma. The chosen arborist must also have a minimum of six years of post-graduate work with arboriculture and show evidence of continued professional development.
The stringent requirements for arborist reporting on the Sunshine Coast are in part due to the number of protected varieties of trees. A skilled arborist is needed to determine whether a tree actually must be removed, or if there is a substantial possibility that the tree could be brought back to health. Whenever possible the city council prefers to have trees restored to health rather than removed. A landscaper can provide insight as to what plants will look the nicest when planted in combination, but an arborist is needed to determine feasibility.
Arborists are trained to assess not only the condition of the tree, but also how the tree interacts in an urban environment. Improperly planted trees are a constant risk in dense population areas. They can over grow power lines, interfere with sewage pipes, and branches can fall causing property damage. A skilled arborist will be able to assess each of these risk factors and make recommendations as to the best methods of planting to minimise risk. They are also able to determine if an existing tree will pose such a risk in future and whether it is more prudent to remove the tree or to work to bring it back to health.