Can I cut down a neighbour’s tree?

05/05/2021

Ask Chris, Northern Beaches Arborist and Horticulturist.

QUESTION
Can I ask my neighbour to cut down their tree that is blocking my view and dropping leaves into my pool?  Can I cut down my neighbour’s tree myself?
ANSWER

The short answer is YES, however the process is far from short and simple.

Hazardous neighbour trees

If your neighbour’s trees are causing trouble and hazards to you or your family, a straightforward and friendly approach might work.

Examples, where you might want to approach your neighbour about their trees, include:

  • branches and leaves blocking your view,
  • leaves falling on your garden and pool,
  • the tree might fall on your property during a storm

In some cases though, it can result in a long legal and mediation process. You need your neighbour’s written consent (aside from Council approval) to get that hazardous tree removed.

Consent from your neighbour and Council is paramount

There can be huge financial consequences if you remove a neighbour’s tree without their consent. This is what happened in a case handled by the Hunter’s Hill Council in 2018 (source: Land and Environment Court of New South Wales).

The original complainant about the neighbour’s trees went ahead with cutting the trees without the neighbour’s consent. Also, there was no permit from the Hunter’s Hill Council in the first place. The resulting fine is more than $80,000 total. In addition, she was required to plant replacement trees on the neighbour’s property (with professional services from a qualified arborist).

That might be a rare case but you get a glimpse of what might happen if you went ahead without going through the right process. There, we’re only talking about the financial consequences. The whole situation becomes even more complicated if we also talk about the potential conflict among neighbours and in the community. For example, if you already had issues with a particular neighbour (e.g. always noisy because of frequent parties), the hazardous tree in his/her property might finally get you angry. As a result, it will seem impossible to ask for a written consent and come up with a win-win solution.

Mediation with the help of the Community Justice Centre can help settle things between you and your neighbour. However, this might turn into a long process of negotiation and compromise. Agreement is still possible but be ready for the process and timeline before things finally get settled.

This is just to give you an idea of what might happen if your neighbour’s tree is hazardous or troublesome and you want it removed.

Advise about removing a neighbours tree

If you have more questions or concerns about removing a neighbour’s tree, contact Chris direct for advice.  Chris is proficient in Council tree removal regulations and, as a member of the National Arborists Association of Australia and the International Society of Arboriculture, we can work with you and your neighbour to ensure the process is handled peacefully and professionally.

About Banksia Arborcare

All tree services Northern Beaches and North Shore Sydney.

Chris Allchin, owner of Banksia Arborcare, is a qualified arborist who has undertaken 8 years of study in arboriculture to gain a broad and varied understanding of tree and plant care. A member of the National Arborists Association of Australia & International Society of Arboriculture, Chris has years of experience in a wide range of tree services, making Banksia Arborcare is a trusted choice in providing trusted landscaping advice and solutions.

Affordable and reliable tree services

Safe and reliable tree services.

The team at Banksia Arborcare use only the highest quality, most advanced equipment to ensure all our tree services are safe, reliable and completed on time. We always try to endeavour to educate the public on the significant positives of maintaining a green environment and as a result, we always perform our tree services with the environment in mind.

Arboriculture is a dangerous profession and Banksia Arborcare follow all Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines;

  • The Banksia Arborcare team wear protective clothing during emergency tree removal and use well-maintained equipment;
  • Removal of small and large trees, leaving the area neat and tidy. Banksia Arborcare can offer experience advice on the planting of new trees and they can supply and plant trees;
  • All pruning work complies with Australian Standard AS 4373;
  • Stump grinding – unattractive stumps can be turned into fine mulch and used in the garden;
  • They will discuss any problematic trees you may have and suggest an appropriate course of action.

Arborist reports.

Chris and the team at Banksia Arborcare are leading Northern Beaches arborists who have the necessary Level 5 qualification to prepare any arborist report.

Our arborists can often save problem trees.

Trees make our world a better place, but sometimes they can cause problems, and emergency tree removal becomes necessary. That’s why we recommend you employ an arborist to regularly inspect your trees to predict and, importantly, prevent serious tree problems from arising.

When you suspect a tree problem, whether it’s sick or dangerous, in most instances a tree be saved with just a few maintenance steps.

NEED TREE ADVICE?

For advice on how you can maintain happy and healthy trees on your property and neighbourhood, don’t hesitate to contact Chris direct or scroll down to complete our online enquiry form. Chris is passionate about the trees and our environment and is always happy to impart his expertise in plant care to his clients.

The team at Banksia Arborcare service Sydney’s Northern Beaches, North Shore and Northern Sydney areas 7 days a week.