Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Stage 4 restrictions: what's closed and what's open.

Common issues include a tree that:

  • creates a mess due to bark and leaf litter
  • has roots blocking drains
  • has roots lifting paving and driveways
  • causes safety concerns
  • has overhanging branches.

Your neighbour's property

If a tree on your neighbour's property is causing a nuisance to your property, the first step is to speak to the tree owner about your concerns.

The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria has helpful information on how to talk to your neighbour.

    Legally you can remove branches from neighbouring trees that hang over your fence. However, we recommend that you let your neighbour know before you start pruning branches.

    It's also important to note:

    • Pruning can only be done from your property - you can't step onto neighbouring land to remove branches unless you have the owner's permission.
    • Remove branches sensitively, without damaging the tree, and only prune to the common boundary.
    • Pruning must be done in accordance with the Australian Standard (4373- 2007) – Pruning of amenity trees.
    • If the tree is a significant tree, a Tree Protection Local Law Permit may be required before the tree is pruned. If you are in a Significant Landscape Overlay or Vegetation Protection Overlay, you should check with Council as to whether you need a permit to prune the tree. The owner of the property will need to apply for, and agree to, this permit. See remove, prune or carry out works near a tree.
    • Don't leave removed branches on neighbouring land.

    Council’s role in tree disputes

    We are not able to adjudicate in discussions or disputes if a neighbour’s tree is causing an issue or damaging your property. We are also not able to direct the property owner to remove the tree. Work to prune or remove a tree may require a permit, which the neighbour will need to agree to and apply for. See remove, prune or carry out works near a tree.

    Your property

    You're responsible for keeping trees in your garden pruned so they don't overhang into your neighbour's property or block public access on footpaths or driveways.

    • Your neighbour can legally remove branches that hang into their garden. This can only be done from their property. They can't step onto your land to do it.
    • If you have a branch or foliage that hangs into public space or Council property, we may send you a notice asking you to remove it.

    Public parks, reserves and naturestrips

    You can report overhanging branches in parks, reserves or naturestrips

    Report a tree issue online

    Other public places

    For problem trees on public land not managed by Council, contact:

    • VicRoads on 13 11 71 for trees on main roads
    • VicTrack on 9619 1111 for trees on public transport land
    • Parks Victoria on 13 1963 for trees in state parks.
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