Neighbouring Tree Disputes

The Shire encourages property owners who have matters of concern with their neighbour in regard to a tree or trees on their boundary line, to resolve the matter amicably to achieve the best possible outcome. Unfortunately such matters are not always easy to resolve and this can lead to misunderstanding between neighbours.

The Shire can only be involved in situations where there is a danger to life or limb, refer to descriptions below.

Danger potential (danger to life or limb)

  1. Discuss the matter with your neighbour in order to reach an amicable outcome for both parties involved.
  2. In the case of a negative reaction or no response, write a letter to your neighbour requesting action in relation to your prior discussions.
  3. If you do not receive a response after 14 days of the date of the letter, you are encouraged to contact the Shire.
  4. A Shire officer will make an initial external observation of the tree, to determine if it is potentially dangerous and if any further action needs to be taken.
  5. If the Shire deems a tree potentially dangerous to life or limb, or a property on adjoining land, the Shire will write to the land owner requesting they either make the tree safe or prove it is not dangerous (via a report from a qualified and experienced arboricultural consultant).
  6. Should there be no response or an inadequate response, the Shire may elect to issue a notice under Section 3.25 of the Local Government Act 1995. Issue of such a notice will initiate legal procedures that require compliance to make safe any potential danger caused by a tree or any part of the tree.

Damage potential (lifting and damaging miscellaneous infrastructure)

A neighbour’s tree causing damage to miscellaneous infrastructure, such as lifting paving, blocking drains or dropping small branches, is not considered a danger to life or limb. In this instance the Shire would not be involved as it is a civil matter.

Nuisance potential (leaf litter, fruit drop, small branch debris)

A neighbour’s tree causing concern based on nuisance potential, such as dropping leaves, fruits or small branch debris, is not considered a danger to life or limb. In this instance the Shire would not be involved as it is a civil matter.

Further information regarding encroaching branches and roots is available on Legal Aid Western Australia’s website.

A couple of tips

Always note dates and times of any discussions you have with your neighbour in regard to these matters.

Always retain copies of any correspondence and/or reports.

More information and contact

Please contact Infrastructure Services on 9290 6716 or email shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au.