Is it ok to Cut a Neighbor’s Overhanging Tree?

There are neighbours, whether you like them or hate them. If your neighbour has a garden, you’re probably familiar with the annoyance of their trees overhanging onto yours. A tree that overhangs can do more than look unattractive; it can also leave debris on your property and can become hazardous if it is close to your home or vehicle. Who is responsible for overhanging trees, and how can you handle them?

Is it okay to cut or trim overhanging branches?

Overhanging leaves, branches, or roots can be cut.

In order to trim branches and trees, you need a permit from your council and ensure that you are not harming any protected trees. You are also liable if you damage your neighbour’s tree.


As far as arranging and paying for the arborist and permit to trim the tree, that ultimately depends on the agreement you have made with your neighbour.

Tree owners are typically not required to maintain their trees unless they cause nuisances or are considered hazards. However, it can vary based on your specific local council guidelines.

Ideally, you should discuss the matter with your neighbour and explain why you would like that branch or tree trimmed or removed before deciding who will pay and arrange the arborist’s work. If it is an aesthetic issue, you may have to pay for the branch trimming since there is no legal precedent for your neighbour to do so.

You can try to force your neighbour to pay for the trimming, but this type of dispute is rarely worth the time or effort – especially if the dispute escalates to civil court. Before filing a dispute with the disputes body, check with your local council and state or territory government to find out how to cut back overhanging trees.


A trained arborist can advise you on whether your tree is protected and whether you need a council permit after discussing the issue with your neighbour.

If you trim the branch yourself, you may be responsible for any damage the tree may sustain. Some people may be tempted to remove the branch themselves. Tree branches can be safely and efficiently cut by an arborist who has the right equipment, experience and skills. In addition, they will dispose of the remaining green waste so you don’t have to worry about it.

If you have been putting the activity off or struggling to find affordable, qualified and well experienced arborist or tree services near you, look no further and give us a call at (03) 9988 1256. Our team will be more than happy to provide you with advice and details of the work to be performed taking away any stress you had.

Contact Redback Tree Services today to discuss your tree services needs!