Please Wait...
progress bar
Last reviewed: Mon, 26 Apr 2010

Trees - frequently asked questions



If a tree on private property is overhanging either the street, footpath, sign or waterway?

A photograph of trees overhanging power cables.

Under the Local Government Act, the Council can require the property owner to trim a tree or shrub that is obstructing a footpath, road or street sign. The property owner has a limited time in which to do this before the Council will arrange for the work to be done and the owner charged for the work.

Please phone the Council Service line on (03) 941 8666 , to report a tree or shrub causing an obstruction.

If a tree on private property is overhanging a neighbouring property?

The Council has no jurisdiction over trees planted on private land except where road, footpaths, carriageways or public services are affected or where trees involved are protected by the Council. A dispute between residents involving private trees is a civil matter, which has to be resolved by the parties concerned. For further information you need to contact the Community Law Centre or a lawyer.

If you require a tradesperson to trim your trees, help can be found in the Yellow Pages.

If a tree on Council property is overhanging a footpath, berm, park, reserve, waterway or road median strip?

It is the responsibility of the Council to have it trimmed. However, apart from protected trees, residents may prune offending vegetation back to their boundary line in accordance with the Property Law Act 1965. Please contact the Council Service line, (03) 941 8666 .

What can I do if neighbour's tree is shading my property, blocking my view or dropping leaves on my property?

The Council has no jurisdiction over trees on private land except where road footpaths, carriageways or public services are affected or where trees involved are protected by Council.

Disputes between residents involving private trees is a civil matter which has to be resolved by the parties concerned. The Council will not act nor give advice on behalf of one resident against another or mediate in disputes.

For further information contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or a lawyer.

Is there a height limit on neighbour's trees?

No, not under any Council Bylaw. The Council has no jurisdiction over trees on private land except where road footpaths, carriageways or public services are affected or where trees involved are protected by Council.

Disputes between residents involving private trees is a civil matter which has to be resolved by the parties concerned. The Council will not act or give advice on behalf of one resident against another or mediate in disputes.

For further information contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or a Lawyer.

Can I have a tree by a drain removed because of shading?

Council staff will need to determine ownership of the tree. This is determined by where the base of the tree is located. A legal search may be necessary.

The Council will only get involved if the tree is causing damage or will potentially cause damage to a waterway.

  • If the tree is on your property it is your responsibility and you will have to arrange to have it removed.
  • If the tree is in your neighbour's property you must contact the owner to discuss the matter.

Can our street be planted with trees?

Please call the Council Service line on (03) 941 8666 to request that your street be planted with trees.

There are a range of factors that influence the decision as to whether or not your street will be planted with trees, including street services such as power, phones, water, storm water and wastewater services, along with other issues such as traffic visibility and berm size.

Residents wishing to plant on the berm should contact the Council and obtain permission to do so. Planting is arranged by the Council, in consultation with residents. This process may take some years due to the consultation process, funding and approval requirements and programming of work. Planting is usually undertaken during winter months. Planting is carried out at no cost to residents. To fill out a query form, please click here.

Can a tree be planted outside our property?

If there are trees already planted along your street but there is no tree outside your property the planting is undertaken as a replacement planting. Contact the Council to have your property assessed for suitability, i.e. suitability of the berm area; proximity of both overhead and underground services etc. If your property is assessed as suitable your address will be added to the replacement planting list. If it is not suitable, Council will inform you accordingly.

Planting of suitable trees will (dependant on programming constraints) be undertaken during the next winter planting season, May-August. Planting is carried out at no cost to residents. Council can not guarantee that you will have a tree planted on your berm in the immediately following planting season. The Council will, however, endeavour to have a tree planted at its earliest convenience.

 

Authorising Unit: Environmental Policy and Approvals

Last reviewed: Monday, 26 April 2010

Next review: Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Keywords: problem, report