2.72 Tree disputes can escalate quickly and damage neighbourly relations beyond repair if neighbours do not approach or respond to each other in respectful and constructive ways.
2.73 Trees can adversely affect neighbouring land or cause harm in many ways, particularly from encroachment of branches or roots.
2.74 However, trees are not by nature intrusive or hazardous. Trees need to grow, and therefore take up space, to stay alive. There are complex biological and ecological factors that affect the way a tree grows. It is important to take these factors into consideration when planting and maintaining trees, particularly in built environments where neighbours live in close proximity to one another. The Commission invites community members and stakeholders to share examples of neighbourhood tree disputes in Victoria, and whether and how they were resolved.
1 Have you been involved in a neighbourhood tree dispute? What was it about and what was the outcome?
Commissioner Judy Fakes, ‘Tree Disputes—Managing Expectations’ (Speech delivered at the 17th National Street Tree Symposium, Adelaide, 1 September 2016) <www.treenet.org/resources/tree-disputes-managing-expectations/>.