Roadside vegetation – who is responsible for what

Road reserves and verges are the area between property boundaries and the road. Together, property owners and the Council are responsible for keeping the vegetation in these areas clear and tidy.

Who is responsible for what?

It is the responsibility of both the Council and private property owners to maintain plants and trees between roads and the front line of private properties.

The Council is responsible for:

  • maintaining trees over 2 metres tall on road reserves.

Property owners are responsible for:

  • keeping plants and trees from their properties within height and width restrictions over public footpaths and roads
  • mowing or maintaining grass verges between their property edge and the road
  • keeping branches clear of private access ways, such as driveways and footpaths.
Illustration of road reserve areas on either side of a footpath between the road and the front property line

What is a road reserve?

Road reserve is the Council-owned land between the front boundary of your property and the road. The Council maintains these areas regularly.

The Council can provide plants and planting advice to those interested in planting up their neighbourhood.

Plants for volunteer roadside and reserve planting

What is a verge?

A verge is the grassy area between the front boundary of your property and the street. It can include both sides of the footpath. While this is legally Council-owned land, it is the property owner's responsibility to maintain and mow grass verges outside their property.

Height and width restrictions

Vegetation must be kept clear of the footpath and road so it doesn’t restrict access or visibility for pedestrians or motorists. These restrictions apply to both Council pruning practices and property owners' plants.

Footpath clearance

  • All vegetation, whether on road reserve or private property, must be kept in line with the wall, fence, or back of the path, and 2.5 metres above the footpath.

Road clearance

  • All vegetation, whether on road reserve or private property, must be kept 0.5 metres from the edge of the road and 4.5 metres above the road.

Vegetation growing over fences and property lines

Vegetation growing from private land – for example, over or through fences – is the owner’s responsibility. Height and width restrictions apply for all vegetation growing from private land onto public land.

In some cases, the Council may have to prune or remove growth from private land if we receive complaints about the overgrowth.

Encroachments

If you own a garage, car pad, or other encroachment on Council land, you are required to keep the general area around the encroachment tidy. Work on any trees on an encroachment over 2 metres tall requires Council approval.

Encroachments

Bank stability or slips

If a bank on a road reserve is unstable or has slipped, we will investigate and carry out work to stabilise the area.

If the bank has become unstable or has slipped as a result of your actions (a building project, faulty drains, removal of vegetation) you may have to pay for the investigation or stabilisation work needed.