Tree Disputes

New laws have been introduced by the New South Wales Parliament allowing tree disputes between neighbours to be referred to the NSW Land & Environment Court.

The Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Amended Act 2010 allows an owner of land to apply to the court for an order to remedy, restrain or prevent damage to the owner's property or injury as a consequence of a tree situated on adjoining land.  The court may also order compensation for damage already caused by such a tree.

An individual must make a reasonable attempt to resolve the situation before an approach is made to the Court.

Additional information about the way the laws work can be obtained on the Land and Environment Court’s Tree Disputes webpage.

Where the agreed solution between neighbours involves the removal or the pruning of a tree , an application under the WLEP 2012 Tree and Bushland Preservation may need to be submitted by the owner of the property on which the tree is situated and written approval received prior to undertaking any work.

The Act does not apply to trees on land owned or managed by Council. Any resident that has concerns about a tree situated on land owned by Council should call 9777 1000 and lodge a customer service request. One of Council's qualified arborists will inspect the tree and determine what response is necessary in the interests of public safety and tree preservation.