To ask the man next door to cut down his trees

(217 Posts)
FeynmanDiagram Wed 08-May-13 18:27:27

I'm having some problems with my neighbour and created an account to hopefully get an impartial view from you. I'd be grateful for your feedback.

Approximately five years ago a new neighbour moved next-door to me and inherited a garden that was a bit of a mess. We'd had problems with the previous neighbours garden in that the trees at the foot of the garden overhung quite badly into ours. In the end the we managed to get them to cut them back, but the problems haven't stopped.

Now the same trees are so high that they are blocking the sunlight from getting into my garden in the morning. I'd like to be able to enjoy breakfast in the summer sun from the comfort of my own garden, but can't because of the height and the fact that they are covered in ivy.

Rather than going through the courts, I approached my neighbour and explained the situation and he said he'd go away and look into it. They weekend he came back and said that he'd gotten quotes, but said that he wanted me to pay half!

I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees to be fixed when its him that's causing the problem. Especially since I'm on a single income and they are both young professionals with no children.

What are your thoughts? AIBU?

EeyoreIsh Wed 08-May-13 18:29:54

Well... it is causing you problems, not him. so I think that's reasonable.

gallifrey Wed 08-May-13 18:30:45

I am in the same situation with neighbours trees blocking the sunlight from my garden, not just in the morning but all day and evening too!
I haven't approached them yet but if it meant they cut the bloody things down I would happily pay half personally.

It's his garden.

They're his trees.

Good luck.

I'd pay half.

It's you that NASA problem with the trees, not him.

Paying half will probably work out cheaper than taking him to court, possibly losing, and then having to face a smug neighbour every day.

superram Wed 08-May-13 18:32:01

I would be over the moon he has prepared to pay half. If you were asking me I would expect you to pay the full whack! It will be worth it for you, why wouldn't you?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 08-May-13 18:32:12

YABU that's a very fair offer. His income compared to yours is not relevant.

queenofthepirates Wed 08-May-13 18:33:10

Blimey, I'm pretty surprised he even offered to pay half. I would have laughed in your face and told you to trot along.

Scholes34 Wed 08-May-13 18:33:31

We've made compromises, both financially and with our time, to ensure we got the result we wanted with regard to our neighbour's tree. It was definitely worth it.

If you do go half way, ask for reassurance that the height of the trees will be kept in check.

nocake Wed 08-May-13 18:33:36

Tricky one. If the trees aren't bothering him why should he pay to have them cut? I think going halves isn't a bad solution... although if you can't afford it then you're right to say so. It's then his decision if he wants to help you out and get them cut anyway, but he's under no obligation to do so.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 08-May-13 18:33:39

BTW what would you take him to court for? Owning a tree? grin

superram Wed 08-May-13 18:33:44

Also I don't think having trees is against the law. You are entitled to cut down overhanging branches but what exactly would you take him to court for?

I think that's quite fair, as it is you that wants them cut down, but maybe check with your environmental department at the council to see if there are any regs/laws on the height of trees

MrsLettuce Wed 08-May-13 18:34:06

Yes, I'm afraid I agree. It's you that is having problems with the trees and agreeing to have work done and offering to pay half seems pretty good going. Unfortunately relative incomes are irrelevant here.

What kind of trees? There are some that you're not allowed to grow too high.

If it doesn't fall into that category then he's under no obligation and I would pay half if I wanted my light.

If you don't want your light, don't pay.

OwlinaTree Wed 08-May-13 18:36:23

Just cos they have two incomes doesn't mean they are loaded with extra cash to cut down trees that don't bother them.

You will not get far by falling out with him. They are his responsiblity, but try and keep friendly, you are not going to enjoy sitting in your garden with your neighbour glowering at you from his garden. Could you help him find a cheaper quote?

MrsLettuce Wed 08-May-13 18:37:24

yy, helping find a cheaper quote is a good iead.

MrsLettuce Wed 08-May-13 18:37:29


MousyMouse Wed 08-May-13 18:38:16

unless the trees are in danger of falling down.
you can offer to pay for pruning but if he says no, tough luck.

LIZS Wed 08-May-13 18:41:43

We trimmed ours on the request of neighbours - second time we had them attended to in the 5 years we 'd been here. They each initially suggested they might contribute but in the end nothing was forthcoming - one because they said the tree surgeons has dropped debris over the fence and damaged their washing line , the other possibly because we only removed one tree and pruned the others or we didn't go with the £££ quote their "mate" supplied. Ironically they have a 30'+ horse chestnut which has not been attended to in the time we have lived here and sheds all over our garden!

Unfortunately you have no right to light so cannot force him to do anything , not sure where you think the court comes in, and as you have requested this and will clearly be the one to benefit more should really be prepared to offer something towards it.

Floggingmolly Wed 08-May-13 18:45:09

It's him that's causing the problem
But it's a problem for you, not him. He's being more than accommodating paying half, tbh. If it was me, I'd expect you to take the full hit yourself.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 08-May-13 18:46:10

Well, they're his trees in his garden and they are your problem - in so far as it is you that has a problem with them. If they're not a danger and they're not breaking any law or anything, then your options are limited.

So if you want them down and he's prepared to agree to it, I'd find a way to pay half.

Although, tbh, if you reacted as you describe, I'm betting he's no longer willing to accommodate you at all.

mirry2 Wed 08-May-13 18:46:57

I would be overjoyed (and pay the full amount) if my neighbour would agree to cut down his lylandii trees. Unfortunately it's never goung to happen

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 18:47:40

YABU - I assume if he had to be asked by you, he doesn't really want to cut the trees down, you are the one who wants the trees to be cut.

I'd offer to get other quotes, then agree to pay half. Otherwise, you might find it slips down their 'to do' list quite a lot.

trixymalixy Wed 08-May-13 18:47:45

Let me get this right, you want him to cut down trees that aren't bothering him so you can have more light in your garden at his expense? hmm

You're lucky he's generous enough to pay half!

Bite his hand off because if he decides to not play ball you will only be able to cut the overhang off and that will financially be solely down to you!

HDEE Wed 08-May-13 18:50:18

My thoughts are that you are mad to think he would foot the bill. Presumably he doesn't have a problem with his trees, and maybe quite likes them. Contrary to popular belief you don't have a right to sunlight in your garden.

And as for pointing out their double income as opposed to your single one, as a reason for them being responsible for paying...totally ridiculous.

If you were my neighbour I'd be telling you to bugger off, less politely.

TidyDancer Wed 08-May-13 18:50:26

Yep, no right to light as others have already said.

If these trees are causing no issue for your neighbour, you're lucky he's done the leg work and is willing to pay half. If I was him/them, I would've told you I was happy for you to do the work, but I was unwilling to pay.

Legally you can cut back to your boundary, as long as you give back the cuttings and check with your local council that the trees aren't protected.

Sounds like a very generous offer. If you can afford it, take it. Baring a situation where the trees are either unsafe or causing actual damage to your property (e.g. roots damaging foundations, etc) they have no legal responsibility to cut them.

You may have a very shaky legal case if the trees are significantly reducing the amount of light into your house, but even that would be hard to prove (something to do with 20 years of unbroken light historically coming in those windows)

Be fucking grateful your neighbour is willing to do something about them! My neighbour loves his taller-than-our-house-light-blocking conifers.

EleanorFarjeon Wed 08-May-13 18:54:48

I think he's being more than reasonable, as really you should have offered to pay in full imo.

coffeeinbed Wed 08-May-13 18:55:47

Your happiness with a cup of tea is not his responsibility.

Besides, it's the wrong time to be cutting trees anyway - there are nesting birds which should not be disturbed.

whois Wed 08-May-13 18:57:17

YABU OP, personally I think paying half to have YOUR problem sorted is a bloody bargain. Not bothering him, is it?

BoffinMum Wed 08-May-13 18:57:59

TBH I think he's being quite reasonable. We normally go halves with neighbours on things like that, but it has been known for us to pay the whole lot in the past.

Slight derail, but someone up thread said there's certain trees that you can't allow to grow over a certain height?
My neighbourhoods tree that has those horrible flowery things that are just starting to bloom, they make such a mess of my garden, it nearly overhangs as far as my neighbours on the other side.
Does anyone know what kind of tree it is and if there are guidelines relating to high tall you can let it get to please.

whois Wed 08-May-13 18:58:22

Also OP, you had problems with previous neighbours? I generally find people who are constantly having problems, are often the common factor and cause!

TSSDNCOP Wed 08-May-13 19:00:24


In fact I'd swap your neighbour with ours in a heart beat.

We and all all houses abutting his property been barred from even trimming overhanging branches or face a court order. The police were called to my 85 year old neighbour!

PatPig Wed 08-May-13 19:00:49

I can't believe you told him to get lost.

If you did that to me, I'd be inclined to say 'no fuck off, I'm not doing it'', if you came back.

maddening Wed 08-May-13 19:01:19

I think you should pay the whole cost - it isn't affecting him - he is happy with their height and they won't be as aesthetically pleasing once lopped - it's all at your request to benefit you.

Sidge Wed 08-May-13 19:02:42

I'd go halves.

I have a similar problem, in that one of the houses backing onto our garden (but one along IYKWIM) has such a massive tree, higher than the house and very thick and wide, which blocks the sunlight in our garden all day long. If I wanted to enjoy the sunshine I'd have to gaffer tape myself to the fence...

I'm thinking of putting a note through their door asking them kindly if they'd consider cutting back the tree and if they then ask me to contribute I'd offer what I could afford.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 08-May-13 19:04:40

YABU. He's happy with his trees the way they are. If you want them changed, then you pay for it.

He's being very reasonable by getting quotes and offering to pay half.

If trees overhang your garden, you may cut them back at your expense, but put the branches/offcuts back into the owners garden.

I cannot believe that you rebuffed his very generous offer of going halves on cutting down trees that are bothering you....

I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees

I think you've blown any chance of negotiating on this now anyway. You might as well just resign yourself to the fact that morning tea in the sunshine is a distant dream.

Oldraver Wed 08-May-13 19:06:50

You dont have a right to sunlight or even light, though its nice. The fact he has looked into it and is willing to pay half I think is a bonus, he could of said no.

Yesterday I had no sun from about 2pm due to some trees, I will be having mine cut back a little (they are getting too big anyway) but dont expect my neighbour too

Your neighbour sounds very reasonable.

ValentineWiggins Wed 08-May-13 19:08:34

I've asked the neighbours if they would consider cutting their tree and already offered to contribute - I gain much more by it being done! Probably wouldn't go 50/50 as it is a block of flats (at least 20) but will definitely offer something!

Dawndonna Wed 08-May-13 19:09:58

If they are Leylandii they are only allowed to grow to a certain height, these days. useful reading

apatchylass Wed 08-May-13 19:10:16

Hmm, I'm interested in all the responses that htink the OP should be glad to only have to pay half.

Our neighbours told us to cut down a tree we inherited that had grown too big for their liking. DH didn't want the tree to go, but we did it to stay on good terms and we footed all the very expensive bill.

We was robbed, it seems.

LIZS Wed 08-May-13 19:10:47

Realistically you will have missed the opportunity to have them cut now until the autumn due to nesting birds and the growing season.

Sorry, but YABU. And your neighbour is being VERY reasonable in offering to pay half.

"I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees to be fixed when its him that's causing the problem. Especially since I'm on a single income and they are both young professionals with no children."
Oh dear. You've shot yourself in the foot here. If I was your neighbout and you told me 'in no uncertain terms' my offer was ridiculous, I would simply shrug and withdraw it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlepeas Wed 08-May-13 19:15:06

YABU! I think you're jolly lucky he has agreed to cut them down AND offered to pay half. There is no way I would cut down the trees in my garden for anyone (there are birds nesting in them for a start, but they are also my lovely trees and I want them in my garden), let alone pay towards it!

ExcuseTypos Wed 08-May-13 19:15:59

We have a similar thing with the landowner next door.

He lets us chop down trees- we've done about 8 altogether. We actually pay a tree surgeon to come and do it.

We pay as the tree owner is doing us a favour. We get a much better view, so why shouldn't we pay for it?

Cut down trees! Don't we need more trees? We should be paying people to plant them, let alone cutting them down for sun in garden situations.

littlepeas Wed 08-May-13 19:17:57

Oh, and presumably, if the trees are so large they are blocking your light, you bought the house with the trees in situ? So I would be inclined to say tough shit - you knew they were there!

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 19:20:02

can I just ask, is this a reverse AIBU?

ICanTuckMyBoobsInMyPockets - the law applies to hedges not trees. I think a hedge is defined as at least 3 evergreens in a row.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 19:22:33

The High Hedge Legislation may apply. If it doesn't then your neighbour is being reasonable by asking you to pay half if the only reason he is trimming the trees is for your benefit

In most circumstances you have no right to light. However there may be covenents in place that may affect this.

Your neighbour should check there are no Tree Preservation Orders on any of the trees.

BTW. I have NO LEGAL TRAINING...... And am happy to be corrected

You can look or post on The Garden Law website for more info.

Bunbaker Wed 08-May-13 19:22:50

What kind of trees are they - Leylandii? I fthey are, you might find this useful.

digerd Wed 08-May-13 19:23:30

Agree. Advice for all house buyers is to not buy a house if a neighbour has big trees near your side as they will never stop growing and you cannot get a court order to have them removed unless near to your foundations and there is a subsidence risk.

gobbin Wed 08-May-13 19:23:49

Our neighbour has just removed a conifer hedge 8ft high and we are overjoyed. It was a pain to keep our side trimmed owing to awkward access and hadn't been done for two years as I've been unwell/busy with work. He was going to remove it years ago but never did. Have recovered over 2ft extra garden on that side and can now put new plants in (nothing grew under the hedge)

andadietcoke Wed 08-May-13 19:24:43

My neighbour had a similar problem with our trees, and basically came to ask if we'd mind if she had them cut back. She paid the full amount to get them cut down as they weren't affecting us adversely. So based on that, I'd say he was being quite generous in offering to pay half (and/or is a better neighbour than I am)

bruffin Wed 08-May-13 19:28:10

He may not be allowed to cut them. Every tree on our estate has a conservation order. We have to get permission from the council to trim them back and then only by the petcentage they dictate.

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 08-May-13 19:32:48

I think you made a mistake there. I'd go back, apologise and agree to pay half. If I was him I wouldn't bother at all. If they are not dangerous he doesn't have to.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 19:46:51

Leylandii are the ugliest trees ever. Even the slow growing versions are awful. They act like black holes and absorb light and make the world a darker and more depressing place. ok, so I am exaggerating ...a bit

They are the least suitable trees for boundries imaginable, they usually grow at a ridiculous rate both upwards and outwards, they can't be pollarded or heavily pruned successfully and they 'steal' water and nutrients from all around them.

......and did I mention that they are ugly as hell.

greenformica Wed 08-May-13 19:54:15

I would pay half if I could. Or even 1/3. Tree cutting is very expensive and the couple could happily leave the trees full height.

likeitorlumpit Wed 08-May-13 19:56:36

you are the one bothered by them , hes agreed if you go half, i think hes being very reasonable about it , if they were my trees and not bothering me i would leave them or tell you to pay the whole lot , you should rip his hand off for this deal .

FeynmanDiagram Wed 08-May-13 20:11:47

Hmmm... this wasn't quite the response I was expecting but I thank you for your honesty.

I'm not sure if it helps you better understand my situation, but I took this photo from their garden last week so I can prove how high the trees were.

As you can see they are very high when compared to the neighbouring trees. They look unsightly and are covered in ivy which blocks out the winter sun as well as the summer sun. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask that he at least maintains it to an acceptable aesthetic standard, never mind the morning sunlight issue. I have spoken to my other neighbour about it who is also affected by the problem, and she and I agree that it would be much nicer if the trees were cut down.

I now accept that asking them to pay for it all was perhaps unreasonable, but I'm not convinced that I should have to pay all of it; although we may have to agree to disagree on this point. The simple, sad fact is that I really can't afford it on a single salary.

Is it worth going to the CAB to talk about what legal rights are open to me, just so I'm prepared for next time we end up discussing it? I'd rather avoid the courts if I can (RE high hedge laws mentioned above), since it's better to be a good neighbour about it and come to an amicale agreement - but it's prudent to have the facts in my back pocket, just in case.

Again, thank you for your time.

DontmindifIdo Wed 08-May-13 20:17:53

Can you get other quotes? A lower quote you might be able to afford to go halves...

But otherwise, you're stuck with them unfortunately.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 20:18:41

Soooooo OP, is this a reverse AIBU wink Just asking like.

How's THIS for overgrown nieghbour trees. grin

CloudsAndTrees Wed 08-May-13 20:20:26

How did you get into their garden?

digerd Wed 08-May-13 20:20:43

Are they yellow narrow conifers under the ivy? Can't see how high the 3 tallest are? I assumed they were trees as in deciduous large wide spreading .

digerd Wed 08-May-13 20:26:19

If they are conifers, the council may have an interest if they can be defined as a hedge. They would come down to look , but if deciduous trees - they lose their leaves in winter- they have no interest.

eatmydust Wed 08-May-13 20:26:53

If you go to court it will cost significantly more than cutting the trees back or removing them. I would guess from the photo it would cost around £200 to cut the trees back and £300 plus to remove.

Your neighbour has been very reasonable to offer to pay half the costs - he didn't plant the trees, but inherited them when he moved in

.....and how/why did you get into his garden to take the photo?

TheChaoGoesMu Wed 08-May-13 20:27:48

Hmm, those trees look familar. How did you get into my garden op?

Only joking. My trees are much higher than that grin

coffeeinbed Wed 08-May-13 20:31:27

Don't be daft.
Acceptable aesthetic standard - highly debatable. His does not have to match yours and you don't get to set the standards.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 20:37:26

Oops, cross post. It not a reverse AIBU blush

The high hedge legislation will not apply as the trees are deciduous and the high hedge legislation only applies to evergreen or semi evergreen trees.

It would make a huge difference just cutting off the ivy. It is an easy job. You can look up how to do it online. You need to cut away a band of the ivy right around the trunk as it can grow back together if you simply cut through the ivy stems. The ivy will take a surprisingly longtime to die and then it takes a while before you can pull it off the tree. You should then apply a Glyphosate based weedkiller to the ivy stumps (a strong one, maybe one for killing stumps) you will have to keep doing this for ever a long while.

TBH. The trees don't look that bad in your photo but it is hard to see properly.

Your nieghbour is doing you a favour by offering to pay for half the costs of the work you should be grateful.

Alternatively, if you wait long enough the ivy might kill off the trees (might be awhile)

usualsuspect Wed 08-May-13 20:40:07

You can't take someone to court for having ugly trees.

KitchenandJumble Wed 08-May-13 20:40:18

Just to add my voice to the chorus: YABU. He has no obligation to ensure that your garden receives sunlight. I think it was very kind of him to offer to pay half to accommodate you. But your response sounds quite aggressive and not at all neighbourly.

Our maple trees have been infected with a horrible canker that is spreading through the area. Sadly, we had to remove one beautiful old tree. And just today some of the others were cut back to remove dead and dying branches. It's happening all over town. It makes me so sad to see these lovely mature trees being cut down. <Irrelevant addition>

maddening Wed 08-May-13 20:43:02

maybe you and other impacted neighbour can go halves - seriously he was doing you a favour to be so amicable, proactive and generous to offer to pay half and organise quotes etc.

Roshbegosh Wed 08-May-13 20:46:32

I would get the bloody things cut down if they were bothering a neighbour, and I would not expect her to pay.

Floggingmolly Wed 08-May-13 20:46:52

It's very hard to judge that photo as there's nothing else in it for perspective. Doesn't appear to be blocking that much light though, unless you sit right under them.
It's all academic though; they're his trees, he doesn't have to engage with you at all on the matter, never mind actually pay for the work you want done.
I hope he tells you where to go if you've the brass neck to approach him again.

Yakare Wed 08-May-13 20:47:06

You do realise that the ivy will be supporting a fascinating ecosystem, OP, with all kinds of birds nesting, and invertebrates?

Why not learn to embrace nature, instead of wanting to cut it down?

<bloody townies, mutter mutter>

harbinger Wed 08-May-13 20:47:41

boobsinpocket Magnolia. Pale petals?

That photo is useless for judging anything.

And unless you were in his garden with permission that's trespass.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 21:07:10

I know this doesn't apply to the OP's situation but you don't 'go to court' to enforce the High Hedge Legislation. The local council deal with it. The Local Authority charges the complainant a non refundable fee before looking into a case. The council will then enforce the legislation if need be.

You do not need to consult a solicetor to do this.

It can cost £300-£400 'ish to do this.

maxpower Wed 08-May-13 21:07:38

OP I've lived both sides of this situation. When we bought our house we inherited 2 massive evergreens. On the opposite side of our garden our neighbours had a row of huge evergreens. Our 2 trees were blocking light into another house. The people living there cowardly sent us a shitty letter threatening (made up) legal action if we didn't get them cut down. As it was we were keen to get them removed but couldn't afford it (it cost about 1k) and we were on 2 incomes. We eventually got enough together to get them cut down. The previous owners of our house already had a history with our neighbours with the row of evergreens which were cutting out all the light to the rear of our house so we just accepted there was nothing we could do. Thankfully a few years later they got the council in to remove them. I wish I'd thought to ask for a contribution from the arseholes neighbours who wrote to us. Just because your neighbours have 2 incomes it doesn't mean they have spare cash to improve your environment. Sorry.

LessMissAbs Wed 08-May-13 21:08:18

Poor trees. Spending so long growing, only to be at risk of being cut down because they are blocking someone's light. They are beautiful trees. Surely you take things like this into account if they are so important to you when buying a property.

Mature trees in urban areas are pretty scarce and a haven for wildlife. Can you not see the beauty in them?

Misspixietrix Wed 08-May-13 21:16:41

Marking my spot on this thread as currently have a similar issue with Neighbours I haven't raised as don't want to create a bad atmosphere when we live within such a close proximity. Theirs is a gigantic overeaching Oak type thing that practically covers one half of our front garden and one of the birds seems to have made itself at home in the Attic <sighs> Im hoping the noisy thing sods off it finds its way back out of the small hole in the Roof it discovered before I did in the not so distant future.

OP I don't think YABU to be annoyed by it albeit it's not a crime, I do think YB a bit U to not bite his hand off at his offer though! I certainly would if my Neighbours offered. I'm on a single Income too and I'd save up the pennies in order to get a decent nights sleep! grin ~

WorraLiberty Wed 08-May-13 21:24:43
Debs75 Wed 08-May-13 21:32:03

iiiiiiiiiiii My mums neighbours trees are that big, they form the boundary between their back gardens and they are higher then the house and take up about 6 feet of her garden they are so bushy.
She has asked him repeatedly over 10 years to cut them back and he always says 'I'll get on it' yet never does. Mum has even offered to pay and he has refused. The only thing he has relented to is when mums house was reclad the company pretty much made him let them cut down the one nearest the house so they could work. They even offered to cut the rest down to about 8 foot high and he refused that.
He is an almighty twat about it and it is affecting everyone. He has had his house on the market for 6 years since his mum dies and loads of people have told him they liked the house but the trees put them off and the expense of diging them up and replacing them was too large.

OP take his offer and go back with a couple of other quotes and get them cut if they bother you that much

digerd Wed 08-May-13 21:34:23

I'd be much more concerned about how near to your house foundations the Oak tree is, due to subsidence risk. Any roots encroaching onto/into your land you can cut off. Same as the branches of the tree.

However, as it is so large, if it is heavier branched on their side, you are endangering it to topple over and you would be responsible for any damage caused.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 21:37:16

Debs What type of trees are they?

You are allowed to cut back any branches that overhang your property, although, you are meant to 'offer' the branches back to the neighbours.

digerd Wed 08-May-13 21:40:36

How did the company force the neighbour to cut down the tree? How near to the house wall was it?

firesideskirt Wed 08-May-13 21:49:49

I would definitely take him up on the offer, and make sure you are there to supervise the tree cutting to ensure it is done to your satisfaction. The benefit of the cutting is all for you.
But now you have upset him the offer may no longer be there, so you'll keep your cash, but not get to enjoy your breakfast in the sunshine.

TheCraicDealer Wed 08-May-13 22:01:48

This has got to be a reverse AIBU. If it isn't- OP, swallow your pride, go back your neighbour and apologise for being such a twat. Offer to go thirds with him and other complaining neighbour and hope they take you up on it. Even if they don't agree, paying for the whole removal yourself will cost a damn sight less than getting solicitors involved.

Carry on down this road and in three years' time you'll be standing in your shady garden with your kids doing sadface poses while the Daily Mail photographer tries to work out how to best portray this tragic story through pictures.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 08-May-13 22:02:40

So did you trespass to take that photo OP?

Tbh your attitude would really make me dig my heels in if I were the owner.

To be clear, you can trim back overhanging trees to the boundary but you must offer the trimmings back to the owner. Dumping them back into their garden without permission is not allowed.

Misspixietrix Wed 08-May-13 22:05:32

digerd Thankyou. hmm? will definately look into the subsidence risk. When we had those gales a few weeks ago though, a Taxi Driver told us not to worry as "there's not a chance in hell of that stong old Ox ever coming down" grin

Sorry to hijack OP, As you were ~

quoteunquote Wed 08-May-13 22:31:11

If you wait to early autumn/ late summer, then all the birds nesting in that ivy will have finish raising their brood.

half was a very generous offer,

if you do cut them down, plant some more, something size appropriate,

Ivy covered trees, provide the majority of habitat for quite a few species, so it would be nice to put up some habitat boxes, bee, bat and bird, before you disturb, so any residents have the opportunity to relocate.

FeynmanDiagram Wed 08-May-13 22:31:32

To answer some of the questions, the quote for getting two trees cut down was £600 total. So if the offer to split is now off the table and I had to pay for the whole thing myself, I'd be better off going the council route and paying the £300 to £400 and forcing his hand. This is of course on the assumption that my (now admittedly) unreasonable behaviour has put him off sharing the cost, and that the high hedge law applies to the trees (which I think still has to be confirmed). Thanks to iiiiiii for the information!

I think maddening has the right idea and I may ask my other neighbour if she would split the cost with him instead. If she's willing to help out, then everyone get's the trees sorted out and no-one gets upset. It's a long shot, but it wouldn't hurt to ask I guess.

maddening Wed 08-May-13 22:33:42

Following quoteunquote's post maybe arrange for this to be done in the autumn after nesting animals have finished nesting.

TidyDancer Wed 08-May-13 22:36:33

You want to ask your other neighbour to pay so you pay nothing?!

Altinkum Wed 08-May-13 22:40:25

YABU, and the courts will laugh at you, Legally you don't have a leg to stand on, you're not entitled to light.

I think he's being more than generous in asking for half of the money, at the end if the day, its you whose bothered by the problem.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 22:41:39

OP, I don't think you read my posts properly, your neighbours trees would not come under the High Hedge Legislation as they are not evergreen or semi evergreen.

I can't actually tell what trees they are from your photo but I would be pretty sure they are deciduous trees. confused

MrsOakenshield Wed 08-May-13 22:45:27

so, you now want another neighbour to pay instead? What?? Or get them to offer to go halves and you'll give them the money - I hope that's what you mean!

LazyMonkeyButler Wed 08-May-13 22:47:16

OMG, so now you accept that your neighbour was being generous offering to pay half and you are trying to off load the other half of the bill onto another neighbour? shock

Just how rude, selfish & entitled are you?

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 22:47:27

If you remove the ivy and think few of the lower branches it would make a big. Difference and would not cost much at all. You could offer to clear the ivy yourself.

Ivy is great for wildlife but it can be a bit rampant for urban areas. I completely removed it from my garden a monumental task shock but I have planted a variety of other, prettier and less invasive animal-friendly shrubs smile.

maddening Wed 08-May-13 22:47:28

Btw I was suggesting the two complaining neighbours went halves so the neighbour with the tree didn't have to pay.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 22:47:54

Thin not think blush

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 08-May-13 22:50:06

So did you trespass to take that photo?

Floggingmolly Wed 08-May-13 22:50:29

You're going to ask another neighbour to split the cost with him instead? shock
Why would they?????
And as to getting the Council to "force his hand", again - why would they?
You sound quite, quite deluded, op sad

I agree the trees are unsightly. They are ugly in the extreme!

I reckon she did not have to "trespass", dont you think such tall trees are perfectly visible from her garden if they block her light and her sun?

Tall trees should be no less than a meter from your fence or boundary. If they are less than a meter you can demand they are cut down at their expense (If I remember this correctly)

When we bought our house, we put a Leylandii in a gap in the boundary hedge between the street, our property and our neighbours property.
Being foreigners neither me nor my husband had any idea how tall they would grow. 10 years down the line, our house was let and we lived overseas, our neighbour emailed me to ask if I minded chopping down the tree, and split the cost. He had a mate that was a tree surgeon and could give me a quote. Mates rates it cost £95. I thought it was a bargain. I told my neighbour that he should just go ahead, but to email me the invoice. I paid the full price. I did not want a tree sour our neighbourly relations, and £95 was pretty reasonable. He had the job of getting quotes and arranging the job, so I thought it only fair that I paid the entire bill. I did not tell my neighbour this until I saw the invoice though, as I did not want him go and get a ridiculous quote in the knowledge I would pay, iyswim. All is good.

I did have a quote to have a different leylandii taken down, and that was £350, so it is extremely expensive!

ReallyTired Wed 08-May-13 22:54:36

There is a something called the high hedges act which can force your neighbour to reduce the hieght of certain trees.

However when we looked into it, it costs £500 to make an application to the local council and there is no guarentee that your neighbour will be forced to reduce the height.

Prehaps there is some compromise you could make with your neighbour. It may well cost less than £500 to go halves.

Devora Wed 08-May-13 22:54:40

But you are assuming that the council can and will force his hand? I think that's very debateable. I hope it is, anyway [thinks nervously of the tall tree sitting in my garden and hanging over neighbour's fence].

And why do you think the other neighbour will agree to go halves, if you won't? Why do you think you should be the only one NOT to pay, when you're the one who is complaining? Tread very carefully here: you could seriously piss off the whole street!

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 08-May-13 22:58:57

Quint I believe the OP actually said s/he had taken the photo from the neighbours garden - but I can't be bothered to go back through the thread.

And you are wrong about tall trees and boundaries.

Altinkum Wed 08-May-13 22:59:18

Feeman who have you the 300-400 quote?

My dh has a masters degree in Agriculture and Horticulture, he said the quote of 600 is cheap.

Dh reckons the cost of the council bill will be £1000, it will be a 3-4 man job (one for cutting, one for cutting mans safety, one to drop the tree down ad one for chipping, however that can be done when all cutting is finished, but would cost extra time wise) cost of equipment, chainsaws, hoist, chipper, and then clean up and suppose of the wood chippings.

Dh does inspections most days as part of his profession, in an association (similar to a council) he says your lucky to get a quote that low.

Floggingmolly Wed 08-May-13 23:03:34

Trees can be planted anywhere you please with the boundary of your own property. Any overhang into the neighbours garden can be removed by them, but they can't force the removal of the tree.

Unless the roots are disturbing your property, I think. But I accept I may be wrong on this point too. <sigh>

I know, I am not very helpful. Sorry.

Altinkum Wed 08-May-13 23:11:27

Quint, you can plant anywhere in your boundary, and any overhang can be cut down, but overhang only not the trees.

If damage is caused by roots, then you are looking at a bigger bill, as cutting down the trees does not mean the roots then die they will need digging out (dh in the shower, I can't for the life of me think if the machine name needed, but its a expensive piece d machinery.

Maybe it is different here? We are in a conservation area, I was checking about a tree that worried me in my neighbours garden. (But also, every tree aside from Leylandii has tree preservation orders on them. )

Altinkum Wed 08-May-13 23:15:44

Its called Stump grinder and they are 4k + vat.

Altinkum Wed 08-May-13 23:17:24

It may be different as PTO, have different ruleslaws in order to protect the trees.

boschy Wed 08-May-13 23:21:10

Sorry, havent read the whole thread, but we have lots of trees. If they bother the neighbours, I try to be reasonable... but now they are taking the piss (we have lots of neighbours! - funny set up) So now I am afraid that if the trees are bothering them, but are not actually dangerous (have a tree surgeon on tap) I say that if they want them cut down they can pay for it to be done, or do it themselves and remove the debris. I actually dont want to lose any more trees, but can appreciate loss of light etc. In our case, all our neighbours bought their houses with the trees already in existence - caveat emptor.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 23:21:39

Altinkum. The £300-£400+ figure was mentioned earlier in the thread in relation to the cost of making an application to the Local Council to enforce the High Hedge Legislation BUT as the neighbours trees are deciduous the High Hedge Legislation IS NOT APPLICABLE.

The OP was told by the neighbour that they had a quote for £600 for chopping the trees down. We don't know if that includes removal of the waste and stump grinding but even so it seems reasonable based on the photo.. ........ which is, obviously VERY hard to judge.

Quotes from tree surgeon vary a lot. There are untrained cowboys about who can undercut the professionals as they don't necessarily bother with training, safety equipment, insurance etc etc. I would only ever use a properly qualified tree surgeon. I pay a day rate in excess of £400+ for a tree surgeon, a tree surgeons assistant and removal of waste. I live down South. (He does send me a Christmas card though confused grin )

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Wed 08-May-13 23:32:49

That Sounds very reasonable approach smile.
I had the opposite problem in that some of my neighbours were not thrilled when I got rid of all the incredibly ugly fir trees in the garden of my new house. The neighbours were all lovely and polite but they would have preferred it if I had kept the trees. I cut them down because my garden was completely overgrown with ugly non native trees and was permanently in complete shade.

I have now planted some beautiful native trees and everyone's happy again. smile

boschy Wed 08-May-13 23:38:02

I agree with iiiiiii some of the prices on here seem really cheap. We are in SE, and have used a 'proper' tree surgeon for the last few years as and when necessary. Thing is, if they are going up big trees they need to be kosher - insurance, enough guys on the ground to cope with the one up the tree, etc etc. We get a discount, because our guy puts the chippings into my chicken run, and knows he can do it a couple of times a year if he wants. But tree surgery is expensive - but it's an art. If you want a big tree cut back so it becomes more manageable, use a proper guy, not the cowboy that appears on your doorstep! here endeth the tree sermon...

hooper02 Thu 09-May-13 00:13:22

We had a similar problem with neighbours leylandii until 5 weeks ago, then a foot and a half of snow and 69mph winds solved it, they now have 5 huge leylandii lying their garden to get rid of grin

I would also go for the removing ivy and trimming up a bit. I think it's a shame that a lot of neighbourhoods don't have large trees in them. Nothing like Greenery to detract from looking at suburbia

I want there to be some planning law introduced to include a certain number of mature trees replanted into new developments too.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 00:25:13

Wow, hooper what a result. I would have been hooping with joy grin I hope they landed in the nieghbours garden.

Mimishimi Thu 09-May-13 00:40:26

I think him asking you to go halves on the bill is not unreasonable. After all, from his perspective, it's your problem not his. At least he was open to the idea. My dad went halves with the neighbour when they wanted a new paling fence put between the properties ( they didn't likr the old wire one).

MidniteScribbler Thu 09-May-13 00:41:07

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Mimishimi Thu 09-May-13 00:50:56

That's a bit mean Midnite considering she's said she's single. Hmmm.. there is nothing wrong with asking him if he would mind but expecting him to foot the whole bill for it isn't very reasonable. Especially since she's lucky he did think about it and not say "These are the trees my dad planted over our dead dog Boxer when I was five, I could never tear them down" or something grin I don't think she would get anywhere in court, looks like most of the ivy is well and truly on his side.

MidniteScribbler Thu 09-May-13 00:54:37

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Floggingmolly Thu 09-May-13 00:55:00

She's expecting the tree owner to pay half, Mimi, and another neighbour to pay the other half. All to resolve a situation that only she has a problem with.
I'm with Midnight

giantpenguinmonster Thu 09-May-13 01:17:13

We have hedge/tree issues with two neighbours. One set sent a man into our garden two days after we moved in and butchered some of our trees without asking us. I went round and they were very rude and suggested they were illegal trees and the council would make us remove them which was utter bollocks. I now allow them to trim the trees once a year to preserve their sea view. If they step out of line one more time I will tell them to fuck off to the far side of fuck. If they asked me to pay I'd do the same.

We have a shared hedge with another neighbour and we pay half to have it trimmed every two years- also to preserve their view. It has little impact on us and I would prefer to spend the money elsewhere but they were nice about it.

I wish we had a sea view!

OP- I would leave it a few months till the birds have fledged then try discussing it again with both neighbours. But you may find you have to pay for all of it. It's up to you to decide if it is worth it. I certainly wouldn't expect the owner to pay for the lot.

Tortoiseontheeggshell Thu 09-May-13 01:21:10

I thought I must have read that last post wrong. Surely the OP means she would see if the other neighbour would split the cost with HER, yes? Not with the tree owner?

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 01:23:23

giantpenguinmonster. Blimey your nieghbours sound awful.

This is a situation where plating a few strategically placed leylandii might be useful

<<I am joking, honest grin >>

I don't suppose you live in Sandbanks. Seaviews are valued highly there

giantpenguinmonster Thu 09-May-13 01:38:32

iii- we call them the 'gin soaked neighbours' and I'm pretty sure they are permanently drunk. Luckily we already have bamboo along that boundary.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 01:42:40

Ah yes, bamboo is a great choice. It's often big, fast growing and invasive - perfect for troublesome nieghbours.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 01:54:13

actually bamboo isnt a brilliant choice unless you put a barrier in the ground so that it is contained where you want it to be.Depending where you live and what type of bamboo it is etc etc. if you dont put a barrier in the ground it can take over Triffid style

Sorry for that boring interjection...... Ahem

Here is what RHS have to say about bamboo.

LIZS Thu 09-May-13 07:22:13

£600 sounds pretty reasonable. We paid around that for attention to 3 trees and removal of one but our neighbour's quote was over £1000.

You say that the problems haven't stopped - they are trees and unless you remove them completely , which is much a bigger job, they grow back ! 5 years or more without needing attention is pretty good going.

So now you're going to ask someone else to pay instead of you? Why not get a tin out and chap every door in the street so they can all chip in for your cup of tea sitting pleasures.

You do really seem to be quite deluded.

SoupDragon Thu 09-May-13 07:51:21

If trees overhang your garden, you may cut them back at your expense, but put the branches/offcuts back into the owners garden.

Please don't just dump the offcuts into a neighbour's garden. You are meant to offer them back but should be prepared to dispose of them yourself.

Last summer my rear neighbours not only came uninvited into my garden to chop some branches off my beech tree but dumped the entire branches, whole, at the end of my garden. I have no way of removing them. Given they clearly had a chainsaw at the time, they could easily have chopped them up. They had never mentioned the tree at all nor asked if I minded if they trimmed the tree (which obviously I would have said yes to).

Floggingmolly Thu 09-May-13 08:01:24

Yes, the key phrase is "offer". They are actually under no obligation to accept the disposal. I'd have dumped them right back, soupdragon.

But what do you do if your neighbour has planted a whole row of 10 whooping big trees like this, not along their border, but along YOUR border, on YOUR property, but you dont notice until 20 years later when they are mahoosive?

Do you just assume that the neighbour has appropriated about a meter of your land as they are there, and has been for the last 20 years? Or do you just chop them down?
Or do you leave them, save in the knowledge they allow you some privacy, is perfect wind shelter, and not blocking any other sun than that of the neighbour who planted them? grin

icklemssunshine1 Thu 09-May-13 08:40:41

I have the same problem. When looking into it unfortunately you do not have the legal right to light & can not force anyone to cut down their trees. I'd love your neighbour & happily pay half - mine won't consider it! Hopefully we'll sell our house & move to a house with a garden free if trees!! And to think when I bought this place I thought they looked pretty ... grrr!!

Samu2 Thu 09-May-13 08:40:44

You know, if it was MY trees blocking the neighbours sunlight I would pay myself. I personally wouldn't think about charging the neighbour half but that's just me. Where I used to live we all used to cut down our huge trees to stop them blocking out the sun for others. I always thought it was my responsibility.

However, I don't think your neighbour is being unreasonable but it isn't how I would personally deal with it.

pictish Thu 09-May-13 08:52:16

Just goes to show how some people can get it so wrong.

"I don't like my neighbour's I have decided he should pay £600 to rectify the problem for me."

Ha ha - jog on...jog on.

The neighbour was generous and very accommodating to offer to go halves. Pity you laughed at him...such was your self importance.

adeucalione Thu 09-May-13 08:56:45

My neighbour recently asked me to reduce the height of two trees in our garden - they've been there for hundreds of years, and look lovely, so I didn't really want to do it, but out of consideration I said that he could arrange to have the work done at his own cost. He arranged it all, and paid for it, and gave me a bottle of wine to say thank you. YABU OP.

DontmindifIdo Thu 09-May-13 09:03:40

OP - so let's get this straight, your neighbour has found a very low quote of £600 (that is very very low! check it's for all the trees!) to remove the trees - and wants only £300 from you to be certain they will be gone?

Were you very rude when you turned him down? If not, could you go round now and say you're sorry you were a little shocked by being asked to go halves as they are his trees, but now you've had time to think about it, you've realised that you should offer half the costs, that while they are his trees, you are the one who'd like them done sooner rather than later. Then offer him the £300.

Seems much more sensible to spend only £300 to be certain the trees will be gone in time for you to enjoy some of the summer sun, than £300- 400 to put in a high hedges application that might end up being wasted money and probably will be dragged out until winter and will pretty much ensure your neighbours hate you.

Of course, if you were rude and stroppy with him when he asked, you might have burned your bridges, which might explain why you'd rather just spend the same amount on something less likely to get rid of the trees...

DontmindifIdo Thu 09-May-13 09:05:39

oh wait, just seen the bit in your OP when you say: I told him how in no uncertain terms how ridiculous it would be for me to have to pay for his trees to be fixed when its him that's causing the problem. I guess "in no uncertain terms" would assume you've been rude and burnt your bridges on the sharing costs and getting them done....

valiumredhead Thu 09-May-13 09:09:26

We are going through the same atm OP. HUGE trees that have been neglected and never been pruned so are blocking the light. Neighbour is having them cut back at HIS expensive. Iirc the council were involved as trees that are too tall/neglected can be a hazard if too close to houses. Worth ringing your council and seeing what they say.

Floggingmolly Thu 09-May-13 09:09:53

a little shocked at being asked to go halves as they're his trees
His trees. Op's problem.
If I was the neighbour and op had the nerve to approach me again, I'd set the dogs on her.

digerd Thu 09-May-13 09:12:47

Yep, that would put anyone's back up. He'll refuse now, I bet. Don't blame him.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 09:13:27

To be fair the OP has already admitted she behaved unreasonably.

StanleyLambchop Thu 09-May-13 09:17:39

Just my pennies worth..

The trees are deciduous, not evergreen so they would not come under the High Hedge Act. Even if they did, then you would have to ask the council to do an inspection, pay your non-refundable fee, and here's the rub- the council is obliged to look at it from both sides and allow your neighbour the right to put his side. They may then decide he has no case to answer. So it is not a done deal that you pay your money and the council tell him to chop his trees down!

Going through legal channels will cost a shed load more. You would have to pay for a survey to back up your case- again you cannot just turn up at court and expect the judge to order the removal without good reason. Right to light for your cup of tea is not enough, it would have to be for something quite serious like structural damage to your house. The fact that he has made an offer to pay 50% of removal costs would also work in his favour- the courts would probably say that was reasonable and you should have accepted it rather than dragging him through the legal system for something so trivial.

Finally, is the land on his side of the fence the same height as on your side? It could be that he is higher, in which case the trees will appear taller on your side, but the height will be measured from the side the trees are growing in.

If I were you, I would accept the 50% deal. Or shut up about it. YABU.

digerd Thu 09-May-13 09:17:51

I think it depends on the council. We have council trees that have got much too tall, but they have refused to reduce their height, just cut the lower bits that were scratching the cars that drove past.

And depends on the person complaining - some are never said no to and others are ignored confused

StanleyLambchop Thu 09-May-13 09:22:39

Digerd- it probably depends on the individual circumstances of the tree and the problems it is allegedly causing, rather than the person complaining. The council have to weigh up all the factors and make a decision- sometimes it will be the 'wrong' decision, depending on which side of the fence you are (excuse the pun)

But the ivy is evergreen not? Would he be required to get the ivy off the trees?

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:03:40

You don't know one of my neighbours - she has a way with her and always gets what she wants. The neighbour opposite they fobbed off and didn't do what they promised to do.

Just a few weeks ago, the council arrived to do some little job, and she charged up to them and got the men to do what they did not have on their list.shock
She is awesome < wish I had what she has got>

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:09:54

No, not ivy. It caused, on council land, a tree to break some of the branches and they were lying in the road, and others hanging over.
The neighbour opposite got fed up of waiting for the council and arranged to do it himself and they would collect the branches. They never did despite phone calls gallore.

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:11:58

The ivy is still engulfing the council's tree which used to bloom in spring and not now as ivy has smothered the budding processsad.

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:14:52

And spread to our gardens which are plagued with ivy now.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 10:17:01

digerd. If you don't like the ivy it wouldonly take a moment to cut through the stem at the base of tree. Advice and links are given earlier in This thread.

diddl Thu 09-May-13 10:22:33

Pay half?

Lucky you!

When our neighbour asked-we said OK-he arranged it all & we paid nothing!

quietlysuggests Thu 09-May-13 10:26:12

OP has a neck like a jockey's bollix as my MIL says!

melika Thu 09-May-13 10:27:28

OP, I would be on my knees to the neighbours to get the trees done asap.

Before some tree hugger decides to slap TPO on them!

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:32:53

The problem is that if the ivy could be killed from the base, it could fall from the tree onto the cars passing by , small , narrow cul-de-sac- pulling braches with it.

Haven't found anything that will kill the ivy in my garden < growing through fence from neighbour> or at the front, near the large ivy covered tree. Can't find the roots either as they grow in the most inaccessible places. confused < grimace face>

digerd Thu 09-May-13 10:33:24


iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 10:43:54

If you kill a lot of ivy on a tree the ivy dies very slowly. If bits of ivy did falloff they would not be heavy at all and it usually stays attached to the tree anyway. I would have no reservations at all about killing it.

Ivy rarely kills tree although it prefers to grow on weaker or dying trees.
I would cut the stems of the ivy (you need to cut a big hunk out of them as the 'cut' part can reattach itself to the root part) you then need a stong weedkiller (a stump killing one) to put onthe base. You could try digging out the roots but it would be extremely hard work).

The info is on the link I gave earlier in the thread.

You have to keep on top of ivy and pull it up or chemically treat it as soon as it reappears.

There are lots of other less invasive and prettier plants and shrubs you can use if you want to encourage wildlife

EldritchCleavage Thu 09-May-13 12:26:05

Why don't you apologise to tree-owning neighbour for your initial response and say you'd now like to accept his offer. Nothing much to lose, is there?

thompson369 Thu 09-May-13 12:31:00

I haven't read through all of the above messages but I had this situation too a few years back, as far as I could work out you have no legal right to light so going to Court would not get you anywhere. Therefore I offered to pay the full amount (£250), my neighbour said yes and IMO it was money well spent as my garden is now not overlooked by trees at all.

FreedomOfTheTess Thu 09-May-13 12:33:07


You are the person who has asked him to have them cut down, because they are blocking your light, so it's only right you contribute.

petra27 Thu 09-May-13 12:46:08

I have read the whole thread and I still think this is a reverse thread because otherwise I am baffled that anyone who can write an articulate, considered OP can be so completely unreasonable.

There is no right to light in law.
You have no legal right to limit the size of these trees.
There is no legal right to police your neighbours aesthetic choices confused
In short you have no remedy whatsoever at law.

All you can rely on if you want the trees cut is your neighbours good will.

They went to the time and trouble to get a quote for work on something that didn't bother them but they knew bothered you AND offered to pay half and you declined to pay the other half???

The reason you ALSO had trouble with the previous neighbour 5 years ago is because you are being ridiculous.

Pull yourself together, realise how unreasonable you are being, go round and apologise for your behaviour, offer to pay for the whole thing or suck it up and eat your breakfast in the shade.

diddl Thu 09-May-13 13:11:14

'Tis sad to me that people just want to cut down trees all the time.

I love them!

Shame so many houses are so close that they're seen as a nuisance.

lljkk Thu 09-May-13 14:04:47

My mother bought a house with potential great views but blocked by neighbours' trees.

My mother (then only sporadically PT employed) paid for the trees to be cut down; never considered not paying the full amount. She reckoned the value added to her house was far greater.

KansasCityOctopus Thu 09-May-13 14:21:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JazzDalek Thu 09-May-13 14:41:33

'Tis sad to me that people just want to cut down trees all the time.

This sad

My neighbour cut down a beautiful tree on the border between his back yard and ours, at the (bizarre) request of another neighbour from a few doors down who claimed it was interfering with his satellite signal hmm
I was really sad and annoyed actually, as our backyard isn't the prettiest and some lovely greenery made a world of difference.
I always find trees being cut down terribly sad because I am an airy-fairy hippy type at heart

bluesbaby Thu 09-May-13 14:49:51

Just be thankful you're not the neighbour of this bugger grin

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 09-May-13 14:53:48

Unfortunately there are plenty of really ugly trees which are often planted in completely the wrong place.

The secret is to replace the ugly trees with other prettier and more suitable trees. Tree hugged or not I challenge anyone to like leylandii when there are so many beautiful trees about.

People plant leylandii because they are cheap and grow fast. This may be a good reaon if you are a commercial farmer and need huge windbreaks confused or you really hate your nieghbours but Its often a verybad idea.

You can kep on top of leylandii and there are slow growing varieties so it not always a disaster to plant them but I can't stand them myself and I am a tree hugger at heart

THERhubarb Thu 09-May-13 14:56:40

My dh goes around chainsawing through ivy that covers the local trees. We have some beautiful oaks that are covered in ivy and it's a shame to see them so smothered. They are on public land so he gets out his chainsaw and cuts through the ivy roots. It can take them a year or two to actually die back but they will eventually, otherwise they can and will smother and kill the tree.

That quote he got was quite reasonable. Tree surgery is expensive. You can cut the trees back successfully and still keep them living but it does take a lot of manpower and safety equipment. As for the logs, you can actually advertise logs on freecycle and people like my dh will come and take them away for firewood.

OP, I suggest you approach your neighbour and apologise for being rude. Tell him it was generous of him to offer to pay half and explain that you can't really afford to contribute this time but you are talking to other neighbours to see if between you all, you can't all contribute some towards it.

If all else fails, hang up some bird feeders and have your breakfast each morning to the sight and sounds of the hundreds of birds which will make their homes in the trees.

If your neighbour has any sense he'll realise that to make the property re-saleable and to keep on friendly terms with the neighbours, it's better to keep the garden tidy and have plenty of light coming in.

In future a little less haste and a little more research might be more prudent.

JazzDalek Thu 09-May-13 14:59:08

I have just Googled Leylandii as I didn't know what they looked like, and it turns out the fast-growing behemoth in my other neighbour's front garden is one grin

It grows over into our front, but I can't say I find it ugly. I'd rather it was there than not. I think I just derive a lot of comfort from greenery and shade.

THERhubarb Thu 09-May-13 15:02:41

Our neighbours had some overgrown bushes and shrubs (you know those thin spindly tree type ones?) in their front garden when we moved in. We asked if we could trim them down from our side and they agreed.

If you are reasonable with the neighbours then they are more likely to be reasonable with you. You certainly don't want a neighbourhood war on your hands.

Leylandii have a terrible reputation and I'd never get one. They are horrible trees. I think the council can do something about those now.

Your neighbour was more than reasonable with that offer.

I have massive trees in my back garden, just before the fence that backs onto another neighbours back garden, I wouldn't chop down my trees if I was asked and if I did for some reason give in then I wouldn't pay a penny as I like them and there are loads of birds and nests in there and wouldn't agree with touching them.

SilverOldie Thu 09-May-13 16:00:20

My friend had a similar problem and when the neighbour who owned the trees offered to pay half, she nearly bit his hand off as she couldn't afford it all.

I think you've blown it now op re getting your neighbour to pay half.

PS if you do decide to pay, please don't ask the tree surgeon to kill the tree, just reduce its bulk and height and it will be easier to trim in the future. Also please don't do it until the autumn, there could be nesting birds.

WetDog Sat 11-May-13 17:17:25

Hope you get this sorted OP.

We're in your neighbours' situation (we aren't your neighbours btw - those trees don't look like ours grin) and my thread about it is here.

They've asked us to cut our trees back as they are blocking their light, but they are right at the bottom of our garden and we like them, as they screen off the houses. They don't cause us an issue.

We're willing to get them cut back but hopefully we won't have to pay someone to do it, DP will do it with a friend. But we're wondering if the neighbours will help us to get it done quicker and without having to pay someone - but apparently we're being unreasonable.

BringOn2014 Sat 11-May-13 17:30:26

I cant understand - am I right in thinking you are happy to pay £300-400 to go to the council to force him to cut then down but wont go halves on the £600 quote he got?!? If you have the £300 just deal directly with your neighbour and keep things friendly for everyones sake

IrritatingInfinity Sat 11-May-13 17:41:27

BringOn2014. Nope, you have it wrong. The high hedge legislation doesn't even cover the OP's nieghbour trees so the OP is not going to the Council.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 11-May-13 18:26:00

I apologise profusely for the thread hijack but I was hoping all you people would perhaps be able to offer some advice regarding trees so I can pass it on to a lady I know.

She's significantly disabled and currently having problems with benefits so is not in a position to fund this herself she's a council tenant.

In her garden she has 2 trees I think they are leylandii but have extreamly limited gardening knowledge they are always green and no grass grows anywhere near them. They are huge taller than the surrounding houses and to my untrained eyes don't look very safe. And they have electricity cables going through the middle of them she hates them they frighten her most of her neighbours hate them ( one likes them) the ones that hate them are constantly complaining but not keen on helping out with the cost of removing them.

The electricity board used to cut down trees that have the cables through them but now they don't if they are on private property.all they will do is cut the power for as long as it takes to get them down.

Does anyone know if as her landlord the council could be made to come and chop them down?

If it matters she did not plant them and she has approached one of the only local tree surgeons who has refused to touch it due to the cables.

Oh and so its not a total hijack op I'm sure you've figured out that yabu now. If you can't afford to pay for all if them to be removed why not apologise to your neighbour and ask if one at a time could be done so you can pay for one then after saving up do the others.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 11-May-13 21:44:00

Pay half, or failing that I'll swap neighbours with you! I have a 30 foot leylandii hedge less than 10 feet from my living room window. I get almost no natural light at all.

We asked neighbour to cut the hedge back, plus offered to make a contribution towards the cost. He's still "thinking about it" 4 ,months after we asked. I don't want to go down the route of complaining to the council unless absolutely necessary -I'd like to move at some point and do want a dispute to declare.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 11-May-13 21:47:41

Do NOT want a dispute to declare!

IrritatingInfinity Sat 11-May-13 23:41:51


That sounds like a perfect situation for the High Hedge Legislation. Remember the trees are only ever going to get bigger! I wouldn't have offered to help pay for their removal. You have to ask yourself if you are prepared to keep paying every few years when the trees regrow.

If action is taken under the high hedge legislation the owners can be ordered to keep the hedge at a particular height in future.

Here is a link to the UK Gov High Hedge Leaflet

The information in the leaflet is clear and easy to follow. You should try to deal with it informally with your neighbour first but if that is unsuccessful then you should approach the council. It is an informal process.

As for your worries about having to declare a neighbour dispute I would imagine that the fact you have a wall of leylandii so close would put off far more potential purchases than any nieghbour dispute. confused. Also, If they are that close to your house the roots may be doing some damage (although they are not the most destructive type of tree root)

Any chance of posting a few photos of the trees on your profile.

You should try and deal with this sooner rather than later.

IrritatingInfinity Sat 11-May-13 23:47:27

I think that councils usually maintain trees in tenants gardens, I know our local council do. They don't do it for shade problems though.
The best bet is to take a few photos and send an email to your friends local council. I would highlight the problem with the telephone wires.

Good luck.

Collaborate Sun 12-May-13 07:36:23

I'm pleased with the responses here. We bought a house 2.5 years ago and inherited a large tree (higher than the house) at the rear of our garden, the top 2/3rds of which overhangs the garden at the rear. It also blocks their sunlight in the afternoon.

They indicated when we first spoke to them around a year/year and a half ago that they would like the tree removing, and we got a couple of quotes the cheapest of which was £1300. I went round to speak to him and told him that we simply couldn't afford to spend this much (we could, but we'd rather spend it on other things). I didn't want to be so cheeky as to ask outright that he pays half, though had they offered we would have paid the other half.

He made no offer to contribute to the cost. We have now decided that as it would only be cut down to benefit them (we wouldn't be bothered one way or the other), and they don't think it's worth paying even half the cost, why should we contribute a penny? So our view now is that if they want it down they can pay to have it cut down themselves. Otherwise it's staying.

GreenShadow Sun 12-May-13 16:17:37

That's exactly what we did Collaborate.
Our tree wasn't as big as yours presumably was and didn't bother us one way or another if it stayed or went, so told the neighbours they were welcome to arrange for it to be removed. Twas only a bog standard conifer - nothing special and there are loads of other trees, so didn't feel too guilty about removing a healthy tree.

Delayingtactic Sun 12-May-13 16:54:52

OP what are you going to do now?

I think you may have to go to your neighbour with cap in hand and apologise profusely. Tbh you may have a difficult time convincing him to pay anything now. I would be extremely miffed at someone telling me in no uncertain terms that my offer was ridiculous and would now probably refuse to pay anything at all. Perhaps you can ask the other neighbour to split the costs with you and in that way at least you're not completely worse off.

Whatever you do, don't mention the fact that they are professionals with no children - you have no idea of their situation! They may be desperate for children and saving for IVF or saving for something else which is none of your business. You might make the situation worse!

(My friend was told rather crassly that she should foot the bill for sorting out a shared wall as she didn't have children to pay for - it broke her heart as she had had her third failed IVF cycle).

You really already have your answer.
Regardless of what we think should be fair
the fact is he can grow his tree as high as he likes and you have no rights.

I would go see him as soon as possible and apologise, grovel even. Make excuses for your rude bad behaviour to get his sympathy.
Or he may refuse to have them cut EVEN if you offer to pay the whole for the whole job.

You are entitled to cut down over hanging branches.

If I read it correctly it is not a High Hedge.
They are trees on his side of the boundary - completely different.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sun 12-May-13 17:39:06

I'm keeping the high hedge legislation up my sleeve, as I'm working on the basis that it will cost me to male the referral to the council, so I've offered this towards the cost of cutting the hedge instead. Ideally I'd like to stay on good terms with them and I'd rather contribute to the hedge trimming than give it to the council!

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 18:03:23

That is very generous of you but you really don't have to contribute anything confused. It is their hedge and their responsibility. I can see that it is nicer to give the money direct o your nieghbour but if ou do that ou have no gaurentee as to what they will do in the future. The fact that they let the leylandii get to the size they did doesn't make me think they are the best of nieghbours.
I would, possible, make a small contribution but I would subtly make it clear that I was aware of the high hedge legislation.
Perhaps, rather than give them any money you could offer to help them clear up.
If you do decide to go ahead and contribute make sure you get to have a say in how high they cut to. (It would be best if they were totally removed) At the very least it would be good if they were cut to a height where it is possible for your nieghbour to access the top of the trees and be able to maintain their height.

Normal leylandii can grow 3 feet a year shock

SugarPasteGreyhound Sun 12-May-13 18:19:59

Sorry wasn't clear. I told them about high hedge legislation and that I will go to council if they don't do anything. However as that would cost me then I'm happy to contribute that cost to them, if we can do it without involving the council.

I'm not chasing them at the moment as it can't be cut now anyway, there are birds nesting in it and the next "slot" would be Sept/Oct. The plan is to leave it until the end of this month then chase them up about it. If I don't get any joy then I'll involve the council.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 12-May-13 19:15:24

With sugarpastes neighbours won't the high hedge thing not count as its only one tree? I always thought it had to be two or more to qualify.

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 19:22:00

SugarPasteGreyhound has a 30 foot leylandii hedge less than 10 feet from my living room window. shock He also has my sympathies grin

It sounds like you have it under control. It does make sense to give a little of the money to your neighbour.
It is nice of you. smile

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 19:23:39

Sorry for all my typos in my posts blush

Debs75 Sun 12-May-13 21:06:03

iiiiiiii they are the dreaded leylandi
digerd the houses are council, his ex council and built of wood. Mums was being re-clad, the walls have gone from being about 10cm wide to about 45cm. Anyway the company couldn't get to the walls safely due to the trees so they asked him if they could cut one tree right back. I am wondering if they quoted some health and safety rule about safe working spaces to him as he was happyish to let them deal with one tree but point blank refused to having the rest of them done.
It is really annoying for mum as he doesn't even live there and hasn't for about 50 years. He bought it for his mum who always hated the trees.

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 21:24:22


Oh, I name changed for another thread but I am iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii smile.

It sounds like your Mums nieghbours trees may come under the High Hedge Legislation. How close to the house are they? Have you had a read of the UK.Gov leaflet that I referred to earlier. It is not a complicated process and the mere talk of it my be enough to encourage your nieghbour to do something. It's a real common sense bit of legislation as to what is reaonable.

Can you post any photos?

Debs75 Sun 12-May-13 21:31:06

The hedges separate the two gardens so are a side hedge not a back hedge. They are as tall as a two storey house with a large attic so bloody huge. The nearest tree stump is probably about 3-4 feet away from the house but they are so tall and so overgrown that the branches touched mums house. About ten years ago they were tapping against her bedroom window so they are definitely close to the house.
We are hoping that the council will do a compulsory purchase order on his house. Little village with about 10 council houses left for renting. They have already bought out 3 home owners who couldn't sell already. If they do buy then mum is praying they will chop them down.

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 21:54:38

Oh dear, that is really, really close sad.

The following are examples of the type of things that may determine whether the high hedge laws can be used:

Does your Mum have windows along the side of her house that are badly effected by loss of light.

Does debris from the trees block your mothers gutters?

Do the trees make her garden unusable in places?

The fact that the trees may be causing subsidence or damage to the drains etc is NOT covered by the High Hedge Laws.

You could contact the citizens advice bureau for more info, especially with regard to how to show that you have tried your best to sort this out amicably.

You local Council may offer a reduction in the High Hedge Legislation Application if your Mum is on a low wage etc

REMEMBER. The leylandii will only get bigger! The problem will continue to get worse. confused

Good luck.

IrritatingInfinity Sun 12-May-13 22:03:10

This is an informative website on The High Hedge Laws It lists other things, such as the hedge being dangerous for you to maintain, that you can consider when thinking of applying to the council with aview for them to enforce the High Hedge Legislation.

quoteunquote Sun 12-May-13 22:42:58
MusicalEndorphins Mon 13-May-13 09:36:28

OP, that is a reasonable price, if I were you, I would do it.

cumfy Mon 13-May-13 20:12:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

cumfy Tue 14-May-13 13:57:59

So how and why is the image taken not from your garden ?

Looking at the image it is clear that were an image to have been taken from the adjacent property (ie yours, apparently) exactly the same situation would have been captured.

Why then would you go to to the bother of travelling to the property that you say is at the end of your garden, and would involve you travelling up your street and down the parallel street to gain access ?

And why does the image look like the trees are along the side not end of the adjacent house ? (Note orientation of houses to left)

Just curious.

MummytoMog Tue 14-May-13 14:17:17

When our neighbours asked us to remove a tree that was blocking their sunlight, we paid for it. I never even thought of asking them to help pay for it. Having read this thread, I really wish I had now...

However the tree in question was a total PIA and my brother took it down for half the quoted cost of the tree surgeon (and chopped it into logs for our woodburner) and I wouldn't have felt comfortable asking them to pay for half his costs. There's a tree very similar to the OP's picture, just the other side of my garden fence, which I think MAY be on my property (not entirely clear from deeds or fencing). Is there a way to find out for sure so I can cut the MoFo down before it dies completely and falls on my chicken run?

MummytoMog Tue 14-May-13 14:18:46

It's next to the back ginnel behind our row of houses, in between my new fence and an old knackered fence.

Debs75 Thu 16-May-13 22:25:32

iiiiii I have put two pics of my mums hedge on my profile. The garden shot shows just how near the trees are planted to the house, about 12-18" away. They bush out about 4 feet into mums garden.
I know there is no right to light but mum doesn't open her living room curtains as all you can see is tree. I have more pics if you want to see but it was so sunny they aren't the best quality

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Thu 16-May-13 23:54:39

Those trees are really overbearing and UGLY. I am NOT professionally qualified but I would think your mother would have a good chance of getting something done about them under the a high Hedge Legislation.

Firstly, are you sure the hedge is planted wholly on your mothers nieghbours land?

Are you in England?

Your mother needs to take 'resonable steps' to sort this out herself. She could send a polite letter to the neighbour. (She should refer to any previous requests for the neighbour to reduce the height of the trees). She should send it recorded delivery and She should keep a copy.
She should mention how it is affecting her 'reasonable enjoyment' of her home AND garden. Including loss of light etc etc.

The citizens Advice bureau may be able to help with this stage of the process.

It's likely that the owner of the house knows that he has to do something about the trees and is just waiting for his hand to be forced. Hopefully, he will cut the trees to a reasonable size at this stage.

If the neighbour doesn't do anything then your mother can approach her council. If she goes in person, armed with lots of photos she may be able to get some indication as to whether an application under the High Hedge Legislation is likely to be effective. (She has to hope to speak to a sympathetic person confused).

She then needs to submit her application. This is easy, the council will give her the forms and tell her what to do. If your mum is on a low incomes he may not have to pay the full fee for the application. The fees vary a lot from council to council.

I have cut and pasted the following statement from the official Government Guidelines given to local Authorities on the High Hedge Legislation (they are easy to follow even though they are not intended for members of the public).

The role of the Council is to act as an independent and impartial third party. They do not negotiate or mediate between individuals but will adjudicate on whether the hedge is adversely affecting the reasonable enjoyment of the complainant’s property

The high hedge legislation relates just to the height of the hedge (obviously smile.). The roots and the width of the hedge are not considered. The fact that the height of the trees make the house dark and enclosed is considered. It is an informal process and not comparable with going to court.

Sorry, I have rambled on a bit smile. The thing to remember is that the trees are only going to get BIGGER so your mum should seriously think about doing something about them as they are not going to go away on their own.

I would be interested to know what you plan to do.

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