Land and Environment Court of NSW

Tree dispute principles

From time to time, the Court will publish a decision, made under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006, which contains a tree dispute principle.

The table on this page is intended to assist legal practitioners and others wishing to know about Land and Environment Court tree dispute principles. The lists of relevant cases will be updated on a regular and on-going basis and the latest Tree Dispute Principle to be issued by the Court will be highlighted in the Latest News section on this website's Homepage.

What is a tree dispute principle?

A tree dispute principle is:

  • a statement of a probable outcome from
  • a chain of reasoning aimed at reaching
  • a list of appropriate matters to be considered in making

a decision concerning an application which has been made pursuant to s 7 of the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006.

The Court will set out tree dispute principles, from time to time, when appropriate cases arise, to provide an understanding of how the Court has approached a particular aspect of such disputes.

While tree dispute principles are stated in general terms, they may be applied to particular cases to promote consistency. Tree dispute principles are not legally binding.


Specific aspect

Case reference and link

​Claims for structural damage to property
​Guidance where applications made pursuant to Part 2 of the Trees Act 2006 include claims for rectification of, or compensation for, structural damage to property caused by roots of a tree. 
​Fang v Li & anor[2017] NSWLEC 1503 

The tree was there first

Matters to be considered when determining who should pay for any works or removal of a tree

Black v Johnson (No 2) [2007] NSWLEC 513

Urban trees and ordinary maintenance issues

The dropping of leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds or small elements of deadwood by urban trees ordinarily will not provide the basis for ordering removal of or intervention with an urban tree.

Barker v Kyriakides[2007] NSWLEC 292

Last updated:

08 May 2023

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