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How can I make my neighbour trim her bush?

(60 Posts)
sizeofalentil Fri 27-May-16 12:26:28

I’ve asked my neighbour to trim her bush, and I’m afraid it hasn’t gone down well: she is point blank refusing. Her bush backs on to our garden, so she is our backside neighbour.

Her bush has grown so massive that it’s blocking out the light from half our garden. Because the houses are built on a slope her garden is about 30ft (however big a house is?) above ours. Her bush hangs over her back fence and reaches the bottom of our garden! I’ve managed to trim about 8ft of bush, but it keeps growing back and it can only properly be trimmed from her side.

She’s under the impression that because it has grown so big that it’s technically ours, as it has grown over her property. The roots are on her side and we can’t actually reach to cut it because of the 30ft drop. Also, even if we did trim her bush ourselves, it would just grow back.

It’s not only blocking out our light but it’s stopping wildlife from visiting our garden - because the birds can’t see the artfully placed birdtables and because our cats are now hiding in the bush to pounce on birds if they do try. When we did cut a massive slice of the bush off a load of birds descended down.

We’ve called in two tree surgeons who have said not only is it a massive bush, it’s in danger of pulling down the wall and toppling everything down in to our garden. We’ve presented her with four quotes - £350 from a specialist bush trimmer, £250 from a guy who just likes to trim bushes, £100 from a bloke who won’t do the most perfect job but can scalp it - but she is ignoring us. She says she prefers the natural look (she won’t even cut it herself).

One of the tree surgeons is trying to get a council order (or something) to make her trim her bush - so she’ll have to pay £350-£400 if this goes through. I can’t afford to pay, also, it will make a mess dragging all the rubbish through the house. Last time I trimmed it herself I had to pay for someone to take away the rubbish. Also, also - it’s her damned bush. It’s her responsibility to make sure her foliage doesn’t inflict itself on her neighbours!

Going to go round there again tonight and speak to her boyfriend to see if he will be more reasonable. Going to argue that if he trims it the birds will love it, and if nothing else, it’ll make his deck look bigger.

Anything else I can say to make my neighbour trim her bush?

sizeofalentil Fri 27-May-16 12:28:17

Picture of the bush taken last summer. It's now bigger than that.

The buddleia is ours and I have trimmed it.

suitsyousir79 Fri 27-May-16 12:30:47

If its overhanginh into your garden youcan trim it yourself without her permission. I had a similar issue (although i am very good friends with my neighbours) and i took a hedge trimmer and scalped it. I told my neighbour and he shrugged and said "well its in your garden, do what you like with your side of it".

howtorebuild Fri 27-May-16 12:33:53

There are laws protecting nesting birds.

TheNotoriousPMT Fri 27-May-16 12:42:59

I can't be the only person who got their hopes up at the thread title?

Kidnapped Fri 27-May-16 12:48:09

You will have to either do it yourself (and have her permission to enter her garden to do it) or you pay someone to do it. And again you'd need her permission for someone to enter her garden.

If someone told me that I had to pay to improve the look of their own garden, I'm afraid I would not be much pleased about it. If it offers her privacy then she is not going to be wanting to cut it down too much.

That said, I would try to be accommodating about it and take maybe half of it down. You can't offer to go halves of the £100 bloke?

And take advice about nesting birds. I'd be raging if someone was chopping down my tree/bush without permission and birds' nests were disturbed.

sizeofalentil Fri 27-May-16 12:48:27

There's no birds nesting in it - yet. Tbh, one of the reasons I want it gone is to stop birds from nesting there. Our cats will devour them if they do sad

suitsyousir79 - I can't reach it though. Even with the tallest decorating ladder we own, I can't get to the top of it. We'd have to hire a ladder - one that doesn't need to be lent against anything because it can't lean on the back wall - then I'd have to pay to have all the branches etc taken away. Plus, I'd have to drag them through the house which would make a mess. Because it's so wide that if we hack bits off from our side it wouldn't make much difference. It needs to be cut from their garden as it goes over the fence. sad

Floppityflop Fri 27-May-16 12:50:53

Is it me or is there quite a bit of innuendo in that OP?! wink. Makes his deck look bigger, hmmm....

Floppityflop Fri 27-May-16 12:51:32

The birds will love it... Oh dear, dirt mind I suppose!

howtorebuild Fri 27-May-16 12:55:15

CamembertQueen Fri 27-May-16 12:55:26

Sniggers immaturely at thread title grin

howtorebuild Fri 27-May-16 12:56:17

newtscamander Fri 27-May-16 12:56:40

I’ve asked my neighbour to trim her bush, and I’m afraid it hasn’t gone down well: she is point blank refusing. Her bush backs on to our garden, so she is our backside neighbour. Her bush has grown so massive that it’s blocking out the light from half our garden.

Arf grin

Kidnapped Fri 27-May-16 13:01:12

I agree that it needs to be done properly from her side. Which is why you need her on board. At the moment, there is nothing in it for her. You want her to give up her privacy and pay hundreds of quid for the privilege. It is lose/lose for her.

OP, I honestly think your best bet is to get the £100 bloke, tell your you'll pay for it, and hope she agrees. I know you've said you can't afford to pay but if it gives you the benefits that you say then it is worth saving up for.

Otherwise you could ask a friend if they would do it for free. To reduce that by half doesn't look too complicated to do.

DoloresVanCartier Fri 27-May-16 13:08:00

PMT gringringrinme too I'm so juvenile

SpidersFromMars Fri 27-May-16 14:18:09

If it genuinely is unsafe, in danger of toppling your wall, can you get that officially in writing. She can't just be allowed to damage your property, surely.

shovetheholly Fri 27-May-16 14:25:31


If it were just a matter of trimming a few overhanging bits, that would be your responsibility - but in this case, it's more serious because it sounds like the plant is undermining the wall. Even if you chop off the pieces that are encroaching into your space, it won't necessarily do anything about this bigger issue.

Contact your council and see what can be done. That's a high wall and there are obvious safety implications.

TheNotoriousPMT Fri 27-May-16 14:44:54

£350 from a specialist bush trimmer
£250 from a guy who just likes to trim bushes
£100 from a bloke who won’t do the most perfect job but can scalp it

She says she prefers the natural look

At those prices so would I.

OhNoNotMyBaby Fri 27-May-16 14:51:32

It's all a matter of personal preference really isn't it? Some people like big bushes, others don't. Some like to trim them, others to scalp them.

And whilst I can see it would make his deck bigger, maybe he prefers to navigate through the undergrowth?

[sorry, just couldn't resist wink]

Peebles1 Fri 27-May-16 15:01:12

gringringrinSniggering too. It's the only reason I opened the thread.

theredjellybean Fri 27-May-16 15:03:22

much inappropriate sniggering here too

theredjellybean Fri 27-May-16 15:04:16

£350 quid for a specialist bush trimmer...blimey i wonder what you get for that ?

JinRamen Fri 27-May-16 15:04:31

The Ionia worded a little...oddly.

Anyway I would just do my side and throw it back over. I do think thee rid any way you can make her do it.

JinRamen Fri 27-May-16 15:04:45

*there is

purplefox Fri 27-May-16 15:07:24

I don't see why she should pay £100-350 to keep you happy. If its trimmed are you going to be able to see into her garden?

Will she let you go into her garden to cut it yourself?

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