Trees on private property

Find out about trees on your property – what you can and can't do, neighbour negotiations, power lines, and protected trees.

The Council has no jurisdiction over trees on private property

We only become involved in issues about trees on private property if a tree:

  • blocks public areas, such as public footpaths or roads
  • is listed as protected historic or notable trees.

Before pruning or cutting down any tree

Before doing any work to a tree, it's important to be sure it is on your private property. If you prune or cut down a tree that is on public property you can be fined.

Find out if a tree is on your private property:

Roadside boundaries – who is responsible for what

Trees on public Council land

Unless a tree on your property is protected, you can maintain it as necessary. This includes native trees such as pohutukawa.

Protected trees on your property

About half of Wellington's 150 protected trees are on private property. If you have a heritage or notable tree on your property there may be restrictions to what you can do to it.

Before beginning work, check if your tree is heritage or notable.

Heritage and notable trees

Solving tree disputes

Trees on your property are yours to enjoy as well as look after. Property owners are also responsible for making sure their trees do not cause problems for others, including pedestrians and neighbours.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities – Trees and Neighbours –

Trees – Citizen's Advice Bureau

Contract an arborist for tree work on your property

We suggest you contract a professional, qualified arborist for consultation, advice, or any planned work.

Find an approved contractor – New Zealand Arboricultural Association

Trees and power lines

Where trees grow from private property, it is the property owner's responsibility to monitor clearance from power lines. Do not attempt to prune a tree growing within four metres of a power line.

If your tree is getting close to power lines, contact Wellington Electricity.

Your trees are part of nature

Trees and plants in your front or backyard are home to Wellington's native plants and animals. If you must remove vegetation on your property, consider what native plants you can plant instead.

Nurture nature in your backyard

Keeping your trees clear of public areas

Trees and plants on your property must be kept clear of public footpaths and roads so they don't restrict access or visibility for pedestrians or motorists.

Find out height and width restrictions where your trees affect public space.

Roadside vegetation – who is responsible for what

Public trees affecting your property

The Council arborists routinely maintain public trees in the city. The Council only removes trees that are dead, dying, or dangerous. Sometimes discretionary work is permitted at a cost.

If trees on your property are blocking you or your neighbours' pipes on your property, contact a plumber or drain layer to assist you.