If your neighbor or someone else cuts down, removes, or hurts a tree on your property without your permission, that person is required to compensate you (the tree owner) for your loss. If necessary, you can sue to enforce your rights. Removing a tree is usually an easy process. Tree removal professionals are called and scheduled to remove the tree, proceeding without any hassle or obstacles from local or state officials. However, there are rules and regulations in some states requiring permits or special permissions before trees are felled, either for preservation reasons or in accordance with city ordinances.

In any state, utility companies have strict policies in regards to trees and utility lines. The safest distance to plant any hedge or tree shorter than 25 feet in most states is within 20 feet of power lines. Otherwise, if you try to plant a tall tree closer to the power lines, there’s a good chance the utility company or the city will come through and either trim the tree to their specifications or remove it completely. So it’s better to plant it far away from utility lines, as to avoid any problems and keep it looking the way you want.

Are You Allowed to Cut Down Your Tree?

a neighbourhood home with a tree
Do you have a tree on your property that is going to be a nuisance, or is already a hazard?

What about your neighbor’s property? Is there a tree that overhangs on to your land and causes problems?

Or are you considering buying a property that has a large tree on the land?

Before you touch the chainsaw and ‘take care of things yourself’ you need to be aware that there are rules and regulations for cutting down a tree and you should be well versed on these before you polish up your tree gear and start tearing down a tree on your property.

Whether you are considering cutting the tree down entirely or perhaps just cutting it back, there are rules in each state of Australia that you should be aware of.

In Queensland, most of the time you will need council approval from your region’s council before cutting down your tree. However, there are times when you do not require council consent to cut back a tree.

The best way to find out is to contact your local council or a professional arborist before you cut down any trees on your property.

Here is some basic info to be aware of before you start cutting down any trees.

Reasons for cutting down your trees

Everyone these days knows that trees add to a home’s surroundings, and large trees are likely to have been around well before the house.

Most of the time homeowners don’t even want to cut down a tree, but there are various reasons that may mean that this is the only option.

For example, the roots of a tree may be causing continual sewer blockages. Or perhaps the tree has the potential to be a hazardous risk to your children playing in the backyard. Maybe the roots of the tree are causing structural issues to your home.

Here are some common reasons for wanting to cut down a tree on a property:

  • Renovation work which requires building on the area the tree is located
  • Using the wood for another purpose in a heavily wooded area
  • The owner requires the space to grow food on the land
  • The owner wishes to use the area for grazing
  • The owner wants to cut back a tree to improve the usable space on the property
  • The tree is dangerous or is overhanging to adjacent property
  • The owner wishes to remove a tree for a set purpose such as aesthetics

Are you allowed to cut down your neighbor’s tree?

A neighbor’s tree could be affecting your property. In essence, your neighbor’s tree is regarded as affecting your property if it is likely to seriously injure anyone on your property, seriously damage your property, or unreasonably get in the way of your enjoyment of the land (such as blocking solar panels). Normal tree litter is not sufficient to get an order.

If a branch overhangs by 50cm or more and/or is less than 2.5 meters above the ground, you need to formally notify your neighbor by stating a time you require your neighbor to cut back the branch and include one written quote for the work.

If the tree branches are not cut down by that date, you can remove it yourself or have a contractor remove them, for which the neighbor is liable (up to $300).

If a branch overhangs by more than 0.5m and/or the tree is 2.5 m above the ground, if the dispute cannot be resolved by consent between you and your neighbor then you would have to apply to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking a tribunal order before cutting down the tree.

Whatever the reasons for cutting your tree down, a professional arborist can provide the right advice in support of the permit, and professionally cut down the tree.

a residential driveway with trees overhanging

How to be sure you can cut down a tree

Whatever the reasons for cutting your tree down, call the professionals at Treescience. Our tree consultants have the expertise and knowledge to provide the right advice in support of the permit and handle any concerns you may have about removing the tree.

Is there a rule for trees on the property line?

Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, it is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area.

If you both own the tree, any decisions made about the tree should be settled between you and your neighbor. If you can’t come up with a win-win solution, consider working with a mediator.

Original post here https://treescience.com.au/blog/are-you-allowed-to-cut-down-your-tree/.

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