The location of the base of a tree or shrub defines who is responsible for maintaining it.
Generally your council will only get involved with issues involving a tree on private property if it is a protected tree or if it is causing problems near a public road or other public property (for example its branches are overhanging the footpath).
For example if your neighbour’s tree branches are overhanging your property but the council has classed the tree as protected, then no one can trim those overhanging branches without first permission from the council, and no one can remove the tree unless they get resource consent from the council.
Councils are responsible for trimming vegetation overhanging any public access e.g. footpath, berm, park, reserve, waterway or road median strip. Residents can prune to their boundary line, in accordance with the Property Law ACT 1965, where offending vegetation is not a heritage and protected tree.
Councils have no jurisdiction over trees on private land except where road, footpaths, carriageways or public services are affected, or where trees involved are protectedl. Council property is maintained by contractors who have agreed maintenance schedules.
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