Neighbourhood Tree Disputes

The Commission is conducting an inquiry into neighbourhood tree disputes.

The inquiry is part of the Commission's Community Law Reform program. In accordance with section 5(1)(b) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic), the Commission has the power to initiate inquiries into legal issues of general community concern, provided they are limited in size and scope.

For this inquiry, the Commission will examine the law governing disputes between neighbours involving trees on private land that cause damage. It will examine current practices in dispute resolution, and consider whether the law should be changed to provide better,  fairer ways of resolving these disputes.

The Commission will not consider disputes about trees on public land, or disputes about trees that block sunlight and views.

See the link below for links to the consultation paper and the complete terms of reference.


You can contribute to the review in several ways:



If you have been involved in a tree dispute (personally or professionally) and would like to share your experiences, please take our 5-minute survey.



If you would like to comment on the issues raised in the consultation paper, or options for reform, submissions are open until 28 February 2018. 

Please feel free to send a submission by post or email, or answer the questions using the online form.



Consultations will take place  in early 2018. The Commission will report by 9 May 2019.



If you would like to receive updates on this project, please subscribe to our e-newsletter on the Contact Us page.



Have you been involved in a dispute with a neighbour about a tree? What are your options when you have a tree dispute? Watch our video to find out what you can do.


20 February 2018: 'Poisonings, uprootings and court stoushes: the toxic world of neighbourhood tree disputes', The Law Report, Radio National

Rooting out conflict over trees by Karin Derkley. Law Institute Journal (online) 19 December 2017

Turning over a new leaf. (2018) 92 Law Institute Journal

Neighbourhood tree disputes - have your say. Everyday-Law blog 30 January 2018




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