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Common civil disputes involving trees and vegetation

The most common civil disputes involving trees and vegetation are those where there is a tree on a boundary fence and when branches/leaves fall from a neighbouring property.

The following information will provide further advice around how to resolve common disputes relating to trees and vegetation.

Boundary fence

If a tree is in the way of a boundary fence, there are some checks that will need to be conducted. Before any vegetation can be removed, checks need to be conducted in regard to how close the vegetation is to the property boundary fence.

Private trees

Please refer to the checklist to find out more information and determine if the vegetation you wish to remove can be undertaken without City of Gold Coast approval or if an application is required to remove or damage the tree.

However, even if the tree on your neighbour's property does not require an approval from the City, your neighbour still owns this tree, and you do not have any authority to remove it. The tree's owner(s) must provide their approval to remove the trees on their property. 

Public trees

If the neighbouring tree is owned by the City, an application will need to be made to the City seeking approval to injure, affect or destroy public vegetation.

Branches/leaves from neighbouring property

Private trees

If leaves from the neighbouring property are falling onto your property, you can lop off or trim overhanging branches if the branches are causing a nuisance and are overhanging on your property (only to the boundary line). You should not trespass on the neighbour's land to do this. Any branches you lop off belong to them, and they cannot refuse to take the branches back if you are unable or willing to dispose of them. However, perhaps it is more neighbourly to dispose of these branches yourself.

Public trees

If the trees are on public land and are not causing any property damage and are just dropping leaves, then the City would not look favourably at an application for removal.

For additional information on resolving civil disputes involving vegetation and trees, please refer to Advice on civil disputes involving trees and vegetation.

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