Trees, plants and ground covers


Council encourages residents to maintain their property. By keeping trees, plants and ground covers within your property lines, you are ensuring a safe and accessible space for pedestrians and vehicles to pass by safely.

It is important that trees and plants from your property do not:

  • obstruct or interfere with traffic flow
  • obstruct or interfere with pedestrians on footpaths
  • obstruct the view of vehicles
  • obscure signage obscure lighting on roadways, laneways or nature strips
  • obstruct power lines

Overhanging trees or plants

Residents must keep trees, plants and ground covers trimmed within their property lines. Doing so ensures there is enough space for pedestrians and vehicles to pass by safely.

Council inspects local streets for overhanging and encroaching trees and plants.

If an issue is found:

  • Council will notify the owner/resident via a visit, a phone call or a calling card left at the property
  • Council may request the owner/resident address the issue in a specified time frame with a notice to comply

Penalties for non-compliance

If Council sends you a notice asking you to trim trees or shrubs, or remove hazards like rubbish or overgrown grass, you must do so by the time specified in the notice. If you do not comply you may receive a fine.

Report an issue to Council

Do I need a permit?

A planning permit may be required to remove, destroy or lop any vegetation on private or public land, including dead vegetation.

Particular attention should be paid to Native Vegetation which may include trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses indigenous to Victoria. 

Submit a planning enquiry

Neighbour disputes

Overhanging trees and plants between neighbouring properties can cause neighbourly conflict.

You can:

  • trim branches and plants up to the boundary line of your property

You cannot:

  • enter your neighbour’s property without permission
  • trim branches or plants over the property boundary line

If you have an issue with overhanging trees and plants from your neighbours property, you should attempt to resolve the issue by speaking with your neighbour.

If the issue is not resolved, it may be considered a civil matter. These types of matters are not handled by Council. It is recommended you seek legal advice for dealing with these types of issues.

Visit the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria website or Victoria Legal Aid for more information.

Trees and power lines

Swan Hill – Declared area

Council is responsible for the pruning of trees away from power lines within the ‘declared area boundary’ of Swan Hill as pictured in the map below.  

Report an issue to Council

Swan Hill – Declared area

Other areas of the municipality

In all other areas of the municipality, Powercor is responsible for the pruning of trees away from power lines. Contact Powercor to report an issue.

Trees and plants on roadsides

A person must not plant or remove any tree or vegetation on a road reserve without a permit.

You may apply to Council for permission for any works conducted on a road reserve.