We are responsible for the management of all trees on the public highway and within Council owned parks and open spaces.
We receive a lot of enquiries about trees and we hope the following information will answer your questions
A Council owned tree overhangs my property
The Council has no legal obligation to prune overhanging trees unless they are causing direct damage to an adjacent property or are dangerous. As a result we will not prune trees that overhang a neighbour's property unless they are dangerous or are causing an actionable nuisance. This reflects our position as an owner of thousands of trees and the resources available. As an adjacent landowner you are entitled to prune encroaching tree branches or roots back to the boundary of your property.
A tree on Council land is blocking light to my property
A common complaint about urban trees is that they block light from properties or shade gardens. However, the seriousness of this effect is variable and often removal of the tree will have little effect on the amount of sunlight reaching the house or garden. An example of this is where the house is north facing and the tree is small or at a distance. There is no right to light under the law and therefore we have no legal obligation to abate this perceived nuisance. However we will consider taking action (pruning or felling) in the following circumstances:.
A tree on Council land is interfering with my television and radio reception
Interference with television or satellite reception causes frequent complaints. Interference is worse when leaves are on trees and in bad windy and rainy weather. Satellite reception is more sensitive to interference than television reception. There is no right to good reception and in many cases it is possible to resolve issues of poor reception by finding an engineering solution.
A tree on Council land is creating a nuisance
We will not fell or prune Council owned trees solely to alleviate problems caused by natural and/or seasonal phenomena, which are largely outside of our control. There are a variety of potential nuisances associated with trees, most of which are minor or seasonal and considered to be social problems associated with living near trees. Examples are:
- Falling leaves, sap, fruit, nuts, bird droppings or blossom.
- Reduction or increase of moisture to gardens.
- Suckers or germinating seedlings in gardens.
- Leaves falling into gutters, drains or onto flat roofs.
- The build up of algae on fences, paths or other structures.
A tree on Council land is causing damage to my property
We will cut back trees from properties where they touch windows, walls, roofs or gutters. This will ensure that damage to property such as aerials, tiles or gutters is avoided. Cases of direct root damage will be considered on an individual basis. A balance will be struck between the nuisance experienced by individuals and the benefits offered by the tree to the wider community. We will not normally take action in response to complaints that Council trees are damaging drains. Trees do not have the capacity to break into a sound drain, but they will ruthlessly exploit any existing fault. The removal of one tree will not prevent other vegetation from exploiting the same opportunity. The appropriate way to deal with tree root blockage of drains is to ensure that the drains are watertight.
I have reported a problem how soon will the tree be inspected?
Unless there is a genuine emergency, which will receive immediate response, Inspections resulting from your enquiries will be processed within 30 working days.
If you see a tree on Council or public land that you feel is dangerous please call us to let us know. We will inspect the tree as a matter of urgency and take the necessary action to remove the danger.
When storms or high winds occur we will receive a high number of reports of damaged trees that may be dangerous. We will assess the level of urgency of each reported problem and will deal with them as quickly as we can in order of priority.
Ivy on trees
Ivy causes no direct damage to trees. We only remove ivy from trees if it aids visual tree health assessment.
In woodland, ivy has a variety of conservation benefits and forms an integral part of the natural habitat.
It is a climbing, scrambling plant abundant as a groundcover shrub in the under storey of many rural woodlands.
In the urban environment, there is the need to balance three main considerations for its retention:
- tree safety
However, in some situations, it may be considered unsightly and more importantly can create problems for efficient management by obscuring structural defects and fungal fruiting bodies.
It also increases the weight of a tree's crown and the 'sail' effect during the wet, windier, winter months, when deciduous trees have shed their leaves.