Trees can unfortunately cause dispute between neighbours for a variety of reasons. Residents often contact Council to express their concerns about a neighbour’s tree in the hope that Council will mediate or resolve the matter by requiring their neighbour to carry out work.
Shoalhaven City Council’s Tree Management Policy (PDF 1.53mb) does not give Council the authority to direct any resident to remove or prune a tree. Council is also unable to mediate between neighbours as it is a civil matter that should be resolved between neighbours or through the Land and Environment Court.
If a neighbour’s tree is affecting your property you may consider the following options to seek a resolution:
You can ask your neighbour to prune or remove the tree
You should discuss your concerns about the tree with your neighbour.
If they agree to do the work they will need to consider whether the tree requires approval from Council before being pruned or removed. For further information please review the Tree Pruning/Removal information or contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on (02) 4429 3610.
Get some good tree advice
If you are concerned about the safety of a neighbour’s tree you can engage an arborist or tree surgeon to inspect the tree and assess your concerns. This would be at your expense but their assessment may assist you to convince your neighbour to take action or they may be able to recommend action that you can take to address your concerns.
You can seek mediation
If your neighbour does not agree you can seek mediation through the services of the Community Justice Centre. A trained mediator can facilitate a discussion between you and your neighbour to seek a common sense solution.
Contact the Community Justice Centre (new window) on 1800 990 777 for further information.
You can apply to the Land and Environment Court
If discussions or mediation have failed and your property has been damaged or is at risk of damage you may apply to the Land and Environment Court for a Court Order.
The NSW Trees Act aims to provide a simple, inexpensive and accessible process for resolving neighbour disputes about trees. Further information is available on the Land and Environment Court website (new window)