sign up Your signup was successful Subscribing..


< back

What to do when concerned about a neighbour’s tree

By Kay Keam - 1 Feb 2009

Although nature can create a beautiful vista, the neighbour's tree is probably not the outlook you had in mind. Here's how to prevent the situation from turning ugly.


Consider starting with a letter to your neighbours

Begin by highlighting your concern and explaining the powers of the Court under the Property Law Act. This can often result in a favourable outcome without the expense of having to go to Court.

If necessary, apply to the Court for help

For the Court to be able to help, your concerns must relate to the trees either:

  • blocking your view
  • reducing your view
  • blocking sunlight
  • interfering with the reasonable enjoyment of your property or
  • being a danger to life/health or property.

In these cases, you can apply to the Court to have the trees removed or trimmed. Your lawyer would make an application in accordance with sections 332 to 338 of the Property Law Act 2007.

What the Court does

When making a decision, the Court considers things like:

  • the usefulness or desirability of the trees (referred to as 'amenity')
  • the public interest
  • the historical, cultural or scientific significance of the trees.

The Court also takes into account the likely effect of removing or trimming of the tree on things like ground stability, water table or runoff.

The Court has the power to make orders that are fair and reasonable. The Court can balance the relative hardships of either removing or not removing the trees.

If you require advice on any trees or on other environmental law matters concerning you, please contact Elise Markwick.


Forward to a friend

Leave a comment