Trees on private property
Trees for Residents
The City’s Trees for Residents program is designed to assist our residents to increase canopy cover on their own properties. City of Belmont residents can request a maximum of one tree for their property. The tree must be planted inside your property, and not on the council verge.
The Trees for Residents program will be returning in 2023.
Where tree roots or overhanging branches between two or more private properties has caused an issue, the City recommends that you work to resolve this issue with your neighbours first, before taking any other action.
How you handle the issue will depend on a range of factors, including the nature or severity of the issue and your relationship with your neighbour who owns or occupies the property. The best place to start is usually with a friendly discussion to let them know about the problem caused by the tree and your thoughts on how it could be solved. Please remember that you could be held accountable for damage caused to the tree through root removal or pruning.
Here are some points to consider if you need help to resolve an issue:
- Legal Aid and the Citizens Advice Bureau websites offer tips on how to handle disputes about overhanging branches and intruding roots;
- If you need a professional arboricultural assessment and report, the City recommends that you engage the services of a qualified arboricultural consultant who can identify measures to mediate or mitigate the problem;
- If you need professional tree services, such as pruning or removal, the City recommends that you engage the services of a reputable contractor who can present arboricultural qualifications.
If the issue is related to a City tree, please note that residents are not allowed to prune a tree adjacent to their property on land which is owned or managed by City. Learn more about requests for a City tree to be pruned.
Safe trees on private property
If you have a concern relating to the safety of a tree (or trees) on private property, please report the tree. In the interest of public safety and in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995
, the City of Belmont will, where notified by residents, play an active role in the management of potentially dangerous trees on private property.
The City’s arboriculturalist will conduct a visual inspection of the tree as soon as possible once the tree has been reported. Based on that inspection:
- If the tree is found to pose a high risk of significant harm, immediate action is needed. In accordance with Section 3.27 (1) Schedule 3.2 (7) of the Local Government Act, the City could take action to reduce the risk of harm from the tree, with or without consent from the owner or occupier of the land;
- If the tree is considered potentially dangerous but not a ‘serious and immediate danger’, the City will act in accordance with Section 3.25 (1) Schedule 3.1(8) & (9) of the Local Government Act. The owner or occupier will receive a notice asking for them to remove all or part of the tree so it poses a low risk of harm;
- If the tree is found to pose a low risk of harm, you and the property owner will be notified and no further action will be taken.
Report a problem with a tree
If you have an issue relating to trees on private property, this is considered a civil matter between you and your neighbours which generally does not involve the City of Belmont. Native vegetation and trees within the Swan and Canning Rivers Development Control Area, which could be growing on private property, may be protected under State or Federal Government legislation.