First you need to establish whether the tree is protected by the under State Environmental Planning Policy (Vegetation in Non-Rural Areas) 2017.
If it is, you will need to ask the owner to apply, or for their permission to apply, to us as set out under ‘Apply to prune or remove a tree on private land’(PDF, 248KB).
We will allow up to 10% of a trees canopy to be removed without consent provided that:
you inform the owner of the tree before carrying out the pruning
you do not unnecessarily damage the tree in the process
you do not enter onto your neighbour’s property without their consent.
If more branches need to be removed you will require consent from your neighbour and us via lodging a tree removal/pruning application.
If your neighbour does not agree to your request, you may apply to have the matter dealt with under the Trees (Disputes between Neighbours) Act 2006.
Trees (Disputes between neighbours) Act 2006
Many disputes occur between neighbours about trees which overhang property boundaries, contact and/or damage buildings or where roots have lifted pavements, driveways and/or blocked underground sewer or stormwater pipes.
Most of these disputes can be resolved by talking the matter through and where relevant consulting with us. We cannot, however, act as a mediator or make decisions on tree disputes between neighbours.
If the matter cannot be resolved mutually, the next step is for neighbours to participate in voluntary mediation through the Community Justice Centre (CJC). Mediation provided by the CJC is free, informal and does not require lawyers. The CJC can be contacted on 1800 990 777 or visit their website.
Where mediation fails, the parties may be required to consider more formal dispute resolution processes through the Trees (Disputes between Neighbours) Act 2006(PDF, 306KB) in the Land and Environment Court
We can provide an information package to a resident outlining the process to resolve the matter through the Trees (Dispute between Neighbours) Act 2006(PDF, 306KB) . This Act puts forward a set of logical steps which can be used to resolve the matter without lengthy and expensive legal battles.
This information is provided as a general guide, and specific situations may vary. It should not be relied on as legal advice. Read the Trees (Dispute between Neighbours) Act 2006 for more information and if you require specific advice you should seek your own legal advice from a practicing lawyer or solicitor.