Tree disputes between neighbours


If works are being done on a tree, you can contact Council to verify a permit has been obtained.

Tree pruning or removal

An application to prune overhanging branches or remove trees from a neighbouring property must have the written consent of the owner of the tree(s).

Council does not have the regulatory powers to compel neighbours to prune or remove trees that may be causing damage or a nuisance to their neighbour, nor can Council mediate in disputes.

Conflict over the management of private trees on neighbouring properties is the responsibility of both neighbours to discuss and resolve.

Residents are firstly advised to contact their local Community Justice Centre to seek mediation. If that avenue is unsuccessful, residents can make an application to the Land and Environment Court under the Tree (Disputes Between Neighbour’s) Act 2006.

Tree disputes are usually heard on site by a Commissioner of the Court who has the powers to make orders that remedy, restrain or prevent damage to a neighbouring property or injury to a person from a neighbour’s tree. The Court also has the powers to award compensation order rectification of damage caused by a neighbour’s tree.

This act only applies to tree on private property and not Council owned trees.

Trees and views

  • Private land owners are under no obligation to prune or remove a tree on their property to facilitate a neighbour’s view.
  • Where a private view is likely to be affected by the planting or replacing of trees in a street or park, Council policy is that no individual exclusively owns a view, but rather that the amenity provided by trees outweighs the amenity of views.
  • Council will only consider pruning trees on public land where it is requested by residents in order to retain a previously established view and there is a history of the identified tree(s) being pruned to restore the pre-existing view. If this applies, lodge a request using the ‘Trees’ option.
  • New plantings in the public domain will always consider the impact on views and an appropriate size species will be selected and placed as not to impede on pre-existing views.

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