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Advice and information about trees.

Remove or trim a tree

If you plan to remove or trim a tree, you may need to talk to us first. 

Tree on your property

If the tree's on your property, but on a hill side - talk to us first.

If you're cutting down a few trees - talk to us first.

If the tree's inside your property boundary - will the removal or trimming affect anyone else?  Is it near a footpath or road, will pedestrians or vehicles be affected? 
Will your neighbour's property be affected?

Talk to us first. 

Trees not on your property

If the tree is outside your property boundary on the grass verge - this is a Council tree - you must talk to us first.

If you're trimming or removing a tree that's near power lines -  contact Eastland Network first.

Neighbour's tree

Suburbs need trees. They beautify our city and landscape, but disputes over trees can cause conflict between neighbours.

Council will not become involved in neighbourly disputes about trees.  It is a civil matter between neighbours, council does not get involved or act as a mediator between parties.  If you have any issues with neighbour's trees you should talk to your neighbour first and try to resolve it between yourselves.  If you cannot agree then you should seek legal advice.

If a tree's overhanging a public place and hindering the use of a footpath, or the tree is on public land please tell us

Overhanging branches or tree roots

If the roots or branches of a neighbour's tree cross the boundary, you can cut or trim them.  The owner of the tree cannot be asked to pay for the cost of removing branches.

Any overhanging fruit or flowers belong to the tree owner, neighbours should ask before picking them.

If tree roots or branches cause damage

If the roots from your neighbour's tree continually block your drains, which means you have to get a plumber to clear them, or the branches are pushing the fence over, ask the tree owner to do something about it. 

You can only cut roots on your side of the boundary.  If you poison the roots, and the tree dies, the tree owner could claim compensation.

Your right to take action stops at the boundary line between your property and your neighbours'. 

Leaves falling onto your property

If your neighbour's tree drops leaves onto your property, or blocks your guttering, you're allowed to prune the overhanging branches back to the fence line. 

Trees blocking your sunlight

If your neighbour's tree is blocking sunlight to your house, talk to your neighbour.  If your neighbour won't do anything about it, you could take legal action.  You will have to convince a court that the tree is having an adverse effect on your property and enjoyment of it. 

Loss of view

If trees are blocking your view, even if the offending trees are not on your neighbour's property but on a property further away, you can do something about it.  However, it may need to be resolved in court if talking to the tree owner does not work.

Links to more tree information

Citizens Advice Bureau website(external link)

Pamphlet - Your neighbour's trees (1.25 MB)

You want to plant a tree on your grass verge 

This land belongs to council.  Information on road reserve

Council trees

If a council owned tree is causing a nuisance - please tell us, fill in an online eFix form.