Trees on my Neighbour's Land

1. Overview

If a neighbour’s tree or hedge is impacting on your property, such as a branch overhanging your land or a tall hedge hindering sunlight, first talk to your neighbour to resolve the issue.

If a tree or other vegetation is not on your land you need approval from the owner/manager of that land before seeking any Council approvals or starting any work. 

2. I want to prune a neighbour’s tree overhanging my boundary

Council’s conditions for undertaking pruning of a neighbour’s tree overhanging your property boundary are:

The neighbour must be notified of the intention to prune the tree prior to the pruning work being undertaken, this includes council trees on public land

  • If the tree is of a council regulated size (varies for different DCP’s) the homeowner must apply for a pruning permit with council
  • Pruning must be done in accordance with AS4373 Pruning of amenity trees and is limited to crown thinning, dead limb removal, reduction pruning, crown lifting and line clearance. Selective pruning may only be undertaken if specified by council in the permit.
  • No first order limbs shall be removed. No unacceptable practices such as lopping or topping shall be undertaken
  • The neighbours property shall not be accessed without their permission

It is recommended an insured professional arborist with a minimum of AQF Level 3 in arboriculture be engaged to undertake the work. Any breaches of this or objection from the tree owner at the notification stage should be directed to the NSW Land and Environment Court.

3. A neighbour’s tree is causing structural damage

Council does not become involved in neighbour disputes.

It is recommended in the first instance you speak with your neighbour and attempt to resolve the issue. Community Justice Centres (CJC) can help you resolve your dispute quickly and for free using mediation. It is important to note this service is non-legal and non-binding and the CJC cannot make any orders, they exist to support people to reach an agreement. 

If discussion or mediation is unsuccessful, you can apply to the Land and Environment Court to resolve the issue under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 (the Trees Act). Council does not become involved in neighbour disputes about trees. For more information please contact the Land and Environment Court on 02 9113 8200, or start an application online.

4. I can’t identify my neighbour

If the neighbouring block is vacant or tenanted or you cannot identify the owner of the land, you can make a request for information via council’s website.

Click here to make an Adjoining Property Owners Details application.

5. The neighbouring land is council owned

Please refer to the Trees on Council Land page here for information relating to the way Council owned trees are managed.

In the event that you cannot resolve your neighbouring tree issue when Council is the neighbouring tree owner, the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 also applies.