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To want to chop my neighbours tree down?

(19 Posts)
Gentleness Wed 03-Aug-11 22:58:49

Or at least part of it.

It is a eucalyptus which is beautiful in many locations, but NOT in a back garden of a narrow terraced house, right beside our border (privet hedge - his). The garden is only about 25ft wide.

The whole lawn gets covered in leaves which drop ALL year round, don't decompose and get sharp when they dry out - not great for toddlers in bare feet. And now there are great curls of bark the wretched thing is shedding. And part branches with bud things on - big and heavy enough to at least scare ds if they fell directly on his head. We came back from 10 days away and the lawn is about 30% covered by the various gumtree sheddings. Raking doesn't seem to make much of a difference.

Plus it is taller than the house and only maybe 30ft away from it. About 1/3 overhangs our garden.

Ok, we saw the tree when we bought the house, but we didn't know exactly how much effect it would have on the garden.

My neighbour is grumpy and seems to go for the extreme wildlife effect in his garden. Bindweed. Dandelions. Nettles. Brambles. Rowan. He is not going to like any attempts we make to alter his tree.

Argh. It doesn't feel like over-reacting. Maybe I just needed to moan. But I wouldn't mind being told I am right ;).

CleanSheetsAndSmoothLegs Wed 03-Aug-11 23:00:10

You are legally able to cut back to the boundary any branches that overhang it. Unless he has a tree preservation order on it, I suppose.

scurryfunge Wed 03-Aug-11 23:00:20

Just cut it right back if it over hangs.

FabbyChic Wed 03-Aug-11 23:00:25

You can legally cut anything that overhangs your garden, you have to ask him if he wants it though as it is his.

pineapple70 Wed 03-Aug-11 23:02:11

only about 25ft wide
only??!!!!

LadyThumb Wed 03-Aug-11 23:02:43

You are right - and it will grow even taller, I think. They do get quite big!

mymumdom Wed 03-Aug-11 23:04:03

We have a huge laburnum in our neighbours garden that shades the entire bottom half of our garden. We had some of our trees trimmed and offered to pay to have this one trimmed as well, but they refused.
I've been told that 30 copper nails hammered into the tree would kill it and admit to wondering if there is a nailgun invented that would cover the distance between our fence, and the tree...

catpark Wed 03-Aug-11 23:07:17

You can cut it back to the boundry providing you give the branches back to him.
The garden that backs onto the bottom of my garden has a huge purple flowering bush that once it gets to around 6 foot (The height of my fence) it starts to droop over it and hangs into my garden. This thing attracts loads of bees and wasps etc. Since I have 2 young children I don't want it in my garden. So I chop it and throw the branches back over. The owner doesn't give a toss about his garden, all his bushes etc. have grown wild.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 03-Aug-11 23:29:54

I love eucalyptus but they are among the fastest growing and tallest trees in the world - some species can reach 60m. They are unsuitable for the average domestic garden as they are water suckers.

If it's in your neighbour's garden there's not a lot you can do if he won't agree to have the tree cut back to a manageable size.

Unless your local council provides a free collection service for garden waste, lop off any overhanging branches and chuck them, together with bagged lawn rakings, into your neighbour's garden - it would, of course, be politic to give him advance notice of your intentions.

Gentleness Fri 05-Aug-11 00:08:55

I would love to at least cut it back to the boundary but that would effectively halve the tree - several branches would be cut right back to the trunk. Dh isn't happy to do that as it will look ugly and upset an already delicate relationship. (However dh isn't the one clearing the lawn!)

The only answer is for it to go. Ah well - I can dream...

(Oh and my converting m to ft got a bit wonky - not 25ft wide at all. 12.5ft. blush )

ragged Fri 05-Aug-11 05:32:41

My mother paid to have her neighbour's tree cut down (that was a giant Eucalyptus, too). My mother moved in to her new home knowing that she would try hard to persuade the neighbour to have it cut down; because she knew the tree removal would improve her view terrifically. She might have paid a bit extra as a sweetener, though.

sunnydelight Fri 05-Aug-11 06:34:59

I think you need to talk to him. There is nothing worse than neighbour disputes so it is always best to try and reach an amicable agreement, but the bottom line is you are quite within your rights to cut off anything that overhangs your garden.

Our neighbour came round the day after we moved in and asked if we would consider chopping down a huge tree that overhung her house and shed on her roof. The tree was gorgeous and gave shade (essential in an Aussie garden) so we kind of fobbed her off with " can we live with it for a while and see but of course we"ll chop anything that overhangs you if we decide to keep it". After a year of the sodding thing shedding four different kinds of seeds/fronds/ leaves we were happy to chop it. Your trouble seems to be that the mess doesn't directly impact the tree's owner so you'll need to try and get him to see your point of view.

LordOfTheFlies Fri 05-Aug-11 15:37:51

In your shoes (with potential neighbour issues) I would get a tree surgeon in.
They would know about the law regarding trees and how much to cut without killing the tree.
If my understanding is correct you can cut back whatever is in your garden without permission, but you have to offer the branches back to the owner.

My neighbours have a large willow tree and every couple of years they get a tree surgeon to lop it back.(My neighbours are fine BTW)
When I had my extension done, the surveyor adviced them not to kill it off because the root channels create a vacuum and the earth would subside.
Luckily we have a clay soil as they are thirsty blighters

heleninahandcart Fri 05-Aug-11 18:01:48

YANBU I would attack it with something. But then I have form hmm

AandK Fri 05-Aug-11 19:14:33

You can cut it back to the boundary but I would inform him of your intentions first and ask him if would like the chopped branches. If he says no put it in your compost or garden waste bin.

A neighbours willow has huge branches that grow over my garden but I have used it to my advantage and put my sons tyre swing in it. (the neighbours know and don't mind) grin

valiumredhead Fri 05-Aug-11 19:17:57

You can chop back the bit that overhangs your property but legally you have to offer him back the cuttings, or throw them back over the fence (my mother has a neighbour who does this to her as she has a tree that is only shoulder height and mum comes home to a minute pile of blossom and twigs!)

ElsieMc Fri 05-Aug-11 19:23:18

Just be a bit careful here. You can cut back but you can't "unbalance" the tree making it dangerous in any way. You don't want them saying it is criminal damage.

Our neighbours whinge about our tree, but it was here before their houses were converted. We do cut it back regularly but it does screen a car park so benefits us.

Perhaps offering to pay may do it, I would appreciate it if they offered to make a payment.

DontAskMeSums Fri 05-Aug-11 19:29:19

You are not allowed to just throw the stuff you cut back over the fence. Technically, you should offer it but if they refuse, you have to dispose of it yourself. I had a 'discussion' with my neighbour, who threw cut branches over my fence and damaged several shrubs and plant that I had paid a lot of money for because they didn't look before they chucked. If they had only bothered to ask, I would have cut the branches back for them.

If it is Eucalyptus gunii, you could point out that by chopping it back, the leaves would revert to the circular ones which florists use - they are much prettier. The tree will withstand a great deal of chopping - you'd have your work cut out to kill one of those!

MadameLupino Fri 05-Aug-11 19:39:20

I have a mega, mega pine next door at the front. It is massive and the roots are so close to the surface that half my lawn is moss growing directly on the roots. It it just in my neighbours garden but may as well be in mine.

I'm crap at heights but it's half as tall again as the large Rectory opposite.

Anyway, I sympathise grin. Stump killer poured on at night?

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