But what if those trees are located on public land which is under the control of the local council and interfere with the use of a private owner’s land? There are no statutory controls applying to deciduous trees, (while those applying to evergreen are limited to high hedges), and in the absence of direct, proven damage from a neighbour's tree there is little you can do to restrict its height or growth other than prune back overhanging branches to your boundary. Tree damaging property If you think a tree is damaging your property, the first thing to do is contact your home insurance company for advice. For more information concerning the law relating to nuisance contact Chris Sydes on c.sydes@pigott.com.au. For example, Rubber trees, Indian Coral trees, Umbrella trees, Cocos palms, Oleanders, Poplars, Bamboo and Camphor Laurel. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. I don't mind the tree but its roots have cracked the pavement and are causing serious damage to my garden wall. In the Club’s situation referred to above, following representations made by our firm based on the decision made by the NSW Supreme Court in the Michos case, the local council agreed to reverse its original decision and removed the offending trees, thereby allowing the Club to proceed with the upgrading of its car park. The 'right' to do this was established in a test case known as Lemon versus Webbin 1894, in which it was hel… No, only if the trees are growing on Council land. Formal legal advice should be sought in specific circumstances. I had to pay landscapers to clean up all those trees including the section from my Cherry tree, and replace the three sections of my fence. Council of the City of Botany the NSW Supreme Court held that a council was liable in nuisance and in negligence for damage to private land caused by tree roots on council owned land. If your drains are blocked by roots you will need a drainage company to assist. Local Councils publish a list of trees that are bad trees in their area. • There must be some demonstrated act or omission of negligence by Council. The contents do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. This can crack external and internal property walls. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. If your insurer advises you to remove a healthy, unobtrusive tree as a precaution and you refuse, you may be held responsible for the cost of any future damage. In urban and suburban areas trees can often be the subject of a problem between neighbours. If it is proven that the encroaching roots caused damage to a property, then an action may be brought against the owner of the tree. Several other statutory authorities also have this right. 2.16 Encroachment of branches or tree roots is the most common cause of tree-related impacts on neighbouring property that are reported in cases brought before a court. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. If you live in a conservation area or the trees that surround your property are protected, you may need council permission to trim before taking any action. Common reasons include: Roots damaging sewer pipes Parts of a tree damaging the roof or building Overhanging branches Trees interfering with views or sunlight Leaves etc overflowing or blocking gutters Damage to driveways and fences from tree roots and […] It is well established law that an owner of land can be liable for damage caused by trees located on that owner’s land when the roots of those trees encroach upon the land of neighbouring properties. Removing a tree. The damage where the roots of the tree have been growing into would not be covered because roots do not grow overnight, this is gradual damage. Kerb stones have over the years prevented the roots from spreading leaving a root ball that covers only about 180 degrees i.e all growth on one side (spreading into my property and damaging my walls). However, Council’s ownership of the tree does not create an automatic liability in the event of a tree causing damage. Case study - Tree Root Damage. 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