Trees on Private Property

Many areas in the City of South Perth are experiencing a significant loss of trees on private properties, reducing the overall tree canopy cover. It is critical that these trees are preserved wherever possible. 

Preserve an existing tree - Significant Tree Register

To preserve a tree on private property, the property owner may wish to register the tree on the City’s Significant Tree Register.

A tree or group of trees may hold significant value for their visual, aesthetic, botanic, scientific, ecological, historical, commemorative, cultural or social aspects.

A tree or trees nominated for listing must meet one or more of these criteria as well as an analysis of health to be considered for listing. 

If a tree is nominated by someone other than the owner of the property on which it is situated, written consent from the owner must be obtained. 

Once registered, the Tree of Special Significance will be listed on the title of the private property it is planted on. Trees of Special Significance can not be removed, pruned or maintained in any way without written permission from the City.

All the Significant Trees in the City are identified with a purple dot on Intramaps.

Nominate a Significant Tree

Branches and roots from neighbouring trees

While trees can grow beyond property boundaries, it is important to respect your neighbour's safety and public amenity when managing trees on private property.

Branches and roots from trees can, and often do, extend well past property boundaries. Despite this, trees should ideally be left to grow naturally without unnecessary pruning. 

If a branch or root of a neighbour’s tree encroaches on your property and causes an issue, you are allowed to cut and remove the branch or root up to the boundary of your land. You must not cut the branch or root on your neighbour’s side of the boundary without their agreement.

It is best to discuss any pruning with your neighbour, especially if you are cutting any structural roots, as this may weaken the tree. If in doubt, please engage the services of a reputable consulting arborist.

Any root, branch, flower or fruit on a branch that is removed remains the property of the tree’s owner.

Tree safety

If you think your neighbour’s tree is a danger to people or property you should:

  • Speak with your neighbour about your concerns and attempt to reach an amicable solution
  • Write to the owner requesting works to be undertaken on their tree and keep a copy of the letter
  • Obtain an arboricultural report from a qualified consultant and give it to the owner with a request to carry out required works.

Damage caused by a neighbouring tree

If a tree has caused damage to your property, you can notify your neighbour in writing and request:

  • Reimbursement for the costs of repairs and other expenses
  • That the offending part of the tree is removed.

If you cannot reach an agreement, it may be necessary to issue legal proceedings. You may also wish to contact Legal Aid WA and the Citizens Advice Bureau to seek advice on resolving the dispute.

The court may order the tree’s owner to have the encroaching branches or roots removed. If the property owner does not take action after the court ruling, you may report the issue to the City. The City can contact your neighbour to ensure the court action is taken, however you must be able to provide proof of the court action.

Trees for your yard

The City recommends planting waterwise trees with a non-invasive root system on your property. The following trees are ideal for the Perth climate.

Small trees (up to 10 metres)Medium trees (up to 15 metres) 

Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus sp. utilis, forrestiana, todtiana, spathulata, erythronema, synandra, leucoxylon

Native Peppermint - Agonis flexuosa

Banksia - Banksia sp.

Eucalyptus macranda - Coastal Moort

Golden rain - Cassia fistula

Swamp bloodwood - Corymbia ptychocarpa

Bottlebrush - Callistemon sp

Tuckeroo - Cupaniopsis anacardiodes
Lime - Citrus aurantifoliaLeopard tree - Caesalpinea ferrera 
Tahitian lime - Citrus latifoliaRoyal Poinciana - Delonix regia
Pink flowering Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigataEumondo quandong - Elaeocarpus eumundi
Horse bush - Desmodium umbullatum areaClaret Ash - Fraxinus oxycarpa ‘Raywoodii’
Pin cushion Hakea - Hakea laurinaHoney Locust - Gleditsia triacanthos 
Crape myrtle - Lagerstroemia indicaNative Frangipani - Hymenosporum flavum
Paperbarks - Melaleuca sp.Jacaranda - Jacaranda mimosafolia
Port wine magnolia - Michelia figoMango - Mangifera indica
Chinese tupelo - Nyssa sylvatica ‘Tupelo’Magnolia - Michelia alba
Frangipani - Plumeria obtusaCheesewood or leichhardt’s pine - Nauclea orientalis
Pears - Take you pick from Capital pears,
Manchurian pears, Snow pears etc - Pyrus spp
Avocado - Persea Americana
Golden Trumpet Tree - Tabebuia chrysotrichaWheel of fire - Stenocarpus sinuatus 
Chinese Tallow - Triadica sebifera (formerly Sapium sebiferum)
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Peaches , Nectarines, Apricots, Plums, Cherries,
Apples and more.
Chinese Elm - Ulmus chinensis
  Japanese elm - Zelkova serrata