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Neighbours tree causing nuisance/threat to our home

(12 Posts)
Mermaidmad Wed 08-Jun-11 16:48:36

We moved here 6 years ago and there was a large-ish tree in the neighbours back garden. At the time it was a reasonable height and was not overhanging our fence. Fast forward to now and he has done nothing with the tree. It is absolutely enormous. If you look on google earth aerial view is is larger than our home and his home combined (we are semi-detatched to him). It towers above our home, throws tree litter into our garden, cuts out natural light, rain and the birds nesting it are causing a nightmare with droppings landing on our washing etc. Our garden is small. His is large.

We have asked him several times to get it cut but he replies that it isn't his responsibility as it was there when he bought the house hmm We called the council in and as expected said there wasn't alot we could do except cut it back ourselves. Yes we could do that but apart from the fact that we don't see why we should shell out ££££'s on this, its the simple fact that this tree threatens our home and usin it if it falls. IF it falls we are gone, simple. The subsidence threat is growing and we simply cant stop this by trimming the branches back over the fence.

Is there anything we can do to take this to court or to get him to see sense that this is not simply a case of 'nuisance'.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

jade80 Wed 08-Jun-11 16:53:02

Trees in good health rarely just 'fall over'. You mention subsidence, what is this from? I do think you are being a bit ott- ''tree litter''?! If it's really an issue, just cut it back where it overhangs, as you are entitled to do. I'm not sure what you expect your neighbour to do- pay to have it pruned for you? It's down to you as over your garden.

3littlefrogs Wed 08-Jun-11 16:53:12

Contact your insurers. We had this with a neighbour's tree - it caused £12K damage. I do sympathise - it is incredibly stressful. If you can prove it is damaging your property he will have to deal with it.

Are there any cracks in the fabric of your house?

pooka Wed 08-Jun-11 16:55:24

If it's that big I'm surprised it isn't protected in some way by tpo.

anice Wed 08-Jun-11 16:56:32

its up to your neighbour to prevent his tree from growing over your garden but if he won't then you will have to. Alternatively there is always the lemon juice on the roots approach!

Tree roots can do cause structural damage

MadameCastafiore Wed 08-Jun-11 16:57:54

We have had this issue with a neighbours tree pushing up our driveway and stopping our electric gates from opening and closing properly.

Fast forward 4 years after asking him to deal with it and he is ready to cut it back because it has pushed over the garden wall - although he is not moving as fast as we would like him to!

Eventually we have a specialist surveyor round and they put together a report stating that if the tree damages anything he will be liable - we have kept copies of letters we have sent to him asking him to deal with the tree as apparently it means that if he hasn;t acted and there is damage his insurance company can claim back the damages from him for not acting when asked to.

Other than that all that can happen is you trim it back - right to the boundary a tree surgeon - get an aborialculturaist as they are properly qualified - and get it done right right back as far as you can - that may make him act if it looks so shocking.

Mermaidmad Wed 08-Jun-11 17:35:01

Thanks everyone, yes it is very stressful. As for tree litter, its an evergreen so it throws down all sorts of crap all year round and has bunged up all our guttering many times causing all sorts of hassle. Our lawn is constantly covered in it, washing comes in with bits all over it and the kids trampoline is carpeted in it. We have a small flower bed that runs alongside the fence under the tree and because it gets no rain we cannot grow anything in it without watering it every day even during the rainy months.

We are trying to prevent a problem before it happens iykwim. There is no way in hell we are going to be able to ever sell this house if we wanted to with this tree next door. If nothing else I feel it would be helpful to have some sort of comeback should cracks start appearing in our brickwork etc. Right now I feel our one and only asset is at his mercy and there's bugger all we can do about it. Cutting it back over the boundary is possible yes, but that's not going to stop it growing and possibly causing subsidence in the future.

I am just so stressed over it all and losing sleep at times wondering how to get him to cut it properly (ie to a sensible height). I think he would be fine if WE paid for it to be cut back to the trunk on our side so it didn't come over again but again that's just rearranging the tree not fixing the height issue or long term problem.

Just feel better for venting on here and knowing other people can relate. Thanks sad

jade80 Wed 08-Jun-11 20:04:13

Can i ask if you know what type of evergreen? I can't think of any that spread as wide as you describe!

So are you saying there aren't any subsidence problems yet? Just possibly in future? How far away is the tree from your house in metres?

If it isn't actually damaging anything as it stands, except dropping leaves, I don't think there is much you can do other than cut it back, sorry.

sneezecakesmum Wed 08-Jun-11 21:49:57

Is it a leylandii, these are conifers that grow massively high very quickly and could cause the problems you describe. As it is not a hedge it is not covered by legislation forcing your N to cut it down. It is very unlikely to have a tree protection order on it if it is a conifer. Luckily conifers tend to have small shallow roots so structural damage is unlikely. Unfortunately as the roots are shallow they are more likely to fall down than a deciduous tree.

Contact your insurance company and someone there will discuss the implications and give you some options as you may have to claim on your insurance if it damaged your property. It also needs to be declared to your insurers. If it did do damage your insurers would pay out and chase the neighbours insurers for compensation. Inform your neighbours of the consequences for them in the house insurance area and it may concentrate their minds in resolving the problem.

Have you had a quote for its removal. I wouldnt bother with cutting it back unless your N is willing to keep it trimmed. It would soon be a monstrous headache for you again.

Fizzylemonade Thu 09-Jun-11 14:32:34

MN is great but have a look on they have a forum and one of the topics is trees.

We moved into a house with a huge silver birch tree. It was at least 50 ft tall and right next to the fence with our neighbour. We knew from where the sun was that this tree would be casting a shadow over their garden for pretty much the whole day.

We called a tree surgeon, he came and took it down. Neighbour thanked us grin Cost a few hundred pounds. Better than paying for a new drive and garage for the neighbour which the tree was very close to.

Prune his tree hard back to the boundary line, get a tree surgeon in as they can climb the tree and cut off lots of branches. Whilst the tree surgeon is there ask him how much it would be to remove the tree. Talk to your neighbour offer to go halves (I'd pay full whack just to get it gone)

sneezecakesmum Fri 10-Jun-11 19:02:39

I'd agree with fizzy about getting rid of this monstrosity!

Mermaidmad Mon 13-Jun-11 17:23:34

Thanks everyone, sorry I haven't been back but things went a bit mad here! Neighbours gazebo took off and crash landed onto our conservatory roof and then ended up in the garden of the neighbour with the EVIL tree lol! It gave us a good opportunity to ask him again what he intended to do. He said it "was nature" to which hubby replied with some choice words! Anyway! To cut a long story short he did agree that he would get some quotes to look at getting them cut down grin Am trying soooo hard not to get my hopes up but I have just witnessed a tree surgeon leave his house so he is definately getting quotes! Am praying so hard that this will get sorted. As for the conservatory roof....its got 2 holes in it so am now negotiating with the other neighbour to get them to pay for it!!! OMG I need to live in a rural area with NO NEIGHBOURS!!! grin

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