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Wollongong City Council

Issues with Neighbours' Trees

If a tree on your neighbour’s land is causing issues, the best first step is to talk to your neighbour about it.

If the tree is a type that needs a permit from Council, there are a few options to get approval.

If your neighbour is happy to cooperate, they can apply to prune or remove the tree.

If you can’t talk to the neighbour, or they don’t agree to your request, you can apply to prune the parts of the tree that are on your side of the boundary.

Any pruning that is approved will need to be in line with the Australian Standard for pruning of trees. In some cases we may not approve the full amount of pruning requested. When we assess your application, we will consider how much pruning is needed to reduce any issues caused by your neighbour’s tree. You’ll also have to make sure that any pruning of tree roots doesn’t make the tree unstable.

It’s up to neighbours to work out between themselves who will apply and pay for a tree permit. Council doesn’t deal with disputes about trees between neighbours.

If you have a dispute with your neighbour about a tree, you can seek help through the Community Justice Centre or private legal action. You may also need to get legal advice if a neighbour’s tree has caused damage to you or your property.

If the matter can’t be resolved through mediation, you could consider lodging an application with the Land and Environment Court under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006.

If a tree is growing on a boundary where a fence is to be built, think about keeping it and building the fence either side of the tree.

If it’s not practical to keep the tree, you’ll need to follow the normal rules for tree removal.  Note that if the tree is on more than one property, you’ll need to get your neighbour’s written approval to apply for a tree permit.

If it's not clear whose property a tree is on, you and/or your neighbour may need to have the property surveyed to confirm who owns the tree. This must be done before you apply for a tree permit.

If you need to prune or remove a tree between two properties, both neighbours need to sign the application.

You can apply using the form below:

Apply for a Tree Management Permit PDF, 108.36 KB

If you want to apply online, you can use the button at the bottom of this page, and attach a scan of the hard copy form above, or a statutory declaration PDF, 22.71 KB from your neighbour to support the application.

It's important that your application includes information so we can easily identify which tree/s your request applies to. Please attach details to your application that show where the relevant tree/s are, such as:

  • an aerial map of the property
  • photos
  • a hand-drawn map or diagram
  • plans with the tree locations clearly marked.

After you lodge a tree application, we will inspect the trees listed. Please tag these trees as soon as you lodge your application so we can easily identify them. You should do this using brightly coloured tape, ribbon, string, or a similar non-permanent material that won't hurt the tree.

Our current fees and charges for tree management applications are on our fees and charges page. Prices include GST.

Please note, you will be asked to log in or create an account to apply online.