Trees on a Neighbouring Property

If you are concerned about a tree on a neighbouring property, this page will provide you with some helpful information about what you can do to fix the issue.

Trees on a neighbouring property

If a neighbour's tree overhangs your property you are able to arrange to prune it only if an exemption can be applied within the Armidale or Guyra Development Control Plan (DCP).

The relevant exemption permits pruning of up to 20 percent of the canopy, and branches no larger than 50mm in diameter. If you are using this exemption, it's recommended that you seek advice from a qualified arborist to ensure you are meeting the Australian Standard for 'Pruning Amenity Trees' AS4373-207.

The exemptions contained within Council's DCP do not apply to vegetation in a heritage conservation area or a heritage listed property. For more information about heritage conservation and how that affects vegetation, see the Heritage page in the Development section of our website.

Council cannot become involved if the tree of concern is on a neighbouring private property. If you are concerned about a neighbouring tree, it is best to resolve the issue by having a friendly discussion with the owner of the property. Most neighbours will be helpful and understanding.

If you have a dispute with a neighbour over a tree, it's advised you follow these steps:

  • Notify your neighbour in writing of the damage/nuisance being caused and give them the opportunity to rectify the problem before taking further action.
  • Try and reach an agreement with your neighbour about what should be done before proceeding.
  • If you are having difficulties negotiating a mutually beneficial outcome you should contact the Community Justice Centre on 1800 990 777 for assistance.

The Community Justice Centre is a government funded organisation designed to assist people to resolve disputes. The service provided is free and the mediators are professionally trained. Visit the Community Justice Centre website for more information.

If this does not resolve the issue then Legal advice may be needed and the case may be taken before the NSW Land and Environment Court. This should be the last resort, and there must have been a reasonable attempt to resolve the situation before approaching the court.

If you would like to know how disputes between neighbours are handled, see the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006 No. 126.