Trees provide amenity value, habitat value and protection from the sun and wind. However trees can sometimes become dangerous. Falling branches and invasive root systems can be hazardous and may cause personal injury or serious property damage.
If you are concerned about a neighbours' tree, talk to them first. Find out what concerns they may have and ask for suggestions about solving any problems. Solutions can often be reached which satisfy everyone. If neighbours cannot resolve issues themselves, and complaints are made, Council will investigate.
Under Council’s local law, an authorised person (a council arborist) may determine a tree is a nuisance if a tree:
- is dangerous or hazardous; or
- has caused or is likely to cause personal injury or serious property damage.
The local law does not apply to damage caused by leaf matter, flower petals, twigs and sap.
Council may issue a compliance notice to a property owner if a tree is found to be a nuisance and require the removal or lopping of the tree to reduce the hazard or to prevent further property damage. Non-compliance may result in a Council contractor performing the necessary work to make the tree safe and the property owner being liable for the costs. A fine of up to $500 may also apply.
For further information, please refer to the Nuisance Tree Fact Sheet (PDF 132 KB).
State government laws
The Neighbourhood Disputes Resolution Act 2011 commenced on 1 November 2011 and deals with tree issues between neighbours. This new law is not enforced by Council.
The Act contains provisions that deal with:
- overhanging branches
- substantial, ongoing and unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the neighbours land. Example: severe obstruction of sunlight to a window or roof (e.g. interfere with solar panels or television reception), severe obstruction of a view, etc.
For further information about the new laws and how to deal with these issues with your neighbour, contact the Department of Justice on telephone 07 3239 3520 or visit their website at www.neighbourhooddisputes.qld.gov.au.