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Laws regarding neighbour's trees?

(12 Posts)
nilequeen Tue 16-Aug-11 18:16:38

Hi - the title of the thread is rather mis-leading as they're my trees and it's my neighbour with the complaint. I live in a B-listed house and have a lovely high wall around the perimeter of my garden. One of my neighbours is complaining because a tree in the garden is damaging our shared wall. The wall is old and has lots of ivy etc crawling over/through it. I fear it's the tree he hates, not the damage it's doing to the wall. He's keen for me to cut it down - do I have to?

belledechocchipcookie Tue 16-Aug-11 18:37:02

Do you know whether the tree has a tree preservation order slapped on it? It's worthwhile getting someone out to check the wall (a surveyer), the last thing you want is for it to fall down. How close is the tree to the wall? You don't have to cut it down but if it's making the wall unsafe then it needs sorting.

nilequeen Tue 16-Aug-11 18:45:53

Yes it has a tree preservation order. The wall is in no danger of falling down and it appears to be safe. The tree is about a foot from the wall, but it's the roots causing the problems. Is there any way I could sort the roots/wall without removing the tree?

belledechocchipcookie Tue 16-Aug-11 18:58:34

You can't cut it down, (or even touch it for that matter) there's a fine. Have you contacted a tree surgeon?? You need to check what you can/can't do to the tree before you even look at the wall.

Lilymaid Tue 16-Aug-11 19:01:50

There's a very useful forum called Garden Law covering this topic with input from solicitors and those who have these problems before!

thisisyesterday Tue 16-Aug-11 19:08:55

if it has a preservation order you can't do anything to it surely??

i would get someone out to have a look at it.

you could always replace the wall iwth a hedge???

nilequeen Sat 20-Aug-11 21:54:38

My wall is also protected under the terms of the listing - my house is 200+ years old. I imagine the tree is even older. I've checked Garden Law - thanks Lilymaid.

My neighbour has found a tree surgeon that's on first name terms with the relevant planning people at the council and is willing to recommend the tree be cut down.

I feel for anyone who has a genuine problem with their neighbour's trees, but can't help feeling picked on; my neighbour's garden is huge and borders with about three other houses, some of which are divided by ramshackle fences. I believe it's the leaves that annoy him, but he's using the fact that a tiny root is poking through the wall to try to get it cut down.

I'm willing to clean up the leaves in his garden and pay for any damage to the wall - so long as my tree stays.

thisisyesterday Sat 20-Aug-11 22:06:35

perhaps you could speak to this tree surgeon yourself? explain that you really would love to keep the tree, and ask if it could maybe just be cut back instead?

ElsieMc Sun 21-Aug-11 14:18:35

I don't understand why you feel you have to chop this tree down. You could have it cut back if you want to, but if he is so very keen why can't he contribute?

Some neighbours get hung up about trees for various reasons; my neighbour told my husband the tree in our garden, which protects our privacy, was a weed and she wanted it cut down. I should add the tree was there before her house was converted and I think she just did not like it and picked on us as new owners after the house was empty for some time.

I had a tree surgeon come out and the tree was a goat willow, not a weed at all. I agreed to cut it back but warned her that it was a fast grower and would soon be back to full height and we would not be cutting it down every year.

The work cost us a lot of money, she never even thanked us and is now on at us over other issues relating to the garden.

You may need to think carefully before you agree to anything and make it clear you will not be a pushover.

SoupDragon Sun 21-Aug-11 14:24:09

I wouldn't speak to the same tree surgeon, I would find one of your own.

You can do work on trees with TPOs but you need to get permission for the work from the Tree Department at the council (smile)

nilequeen Mon 22-Aug-11 21:17:14

Unfortunately I am a push over...have taken to running in and out of my house quickly so as not to bump into the neighbours! However, since becoming a mum I am trying to exert my authority and stand up to folk, if only to set a good example to my kids. Wish me luck...

dreamingofsun Tue 23-Aug-11 16:39:50

before you do anything else you need to speak to the local council about this. its not your decision or your neighbours ref chopping it - its the councils. they will tell you whats best and i think they may have a list of recommended/council approved surgeons. we have a couple of trees with preservation orders in our back garden and had similar problem with our neighbour.

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