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My beautiful Copper Beech

(27 Posts)
Ponyphysio Mon 10-Mar-14 00:17:26

has been cut down by a neighbour. They asked could they remove some branches on their side of the fence (as they have in the past) and this was agreed. However they have chainsawed through a 70 yr old tree at fence height. They must also have entered my property to do so. What can I do? I'm really upset as a: it was a beautiful tree, and b: I plan to sell the property and now from my upstairs rooms I have a clear view of their dog-shit and scrap metal-strewn 'garden'. Does anyone on here have any words of wisdom?

prh47bridge Mon 10-Mar-14 00:48:57

You could report them to the police - this is criminal damage. You can also take them to the small claims court for the cost of removing the remains of the tree and replacing it (assuming they refuse to pay voluntarily). You are entitled to a like for like replacement, just as you would be if they had taken a chainsaw to your car. There are a number of businesses selling mature trees in the UK.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 10-Mar-14 00:51:10

Have they said anything shock

Was it a mistake? Any chance they were reaching for a branch and fell over and cut it?

Ponyphysio Mon 10-Mar-14 01:04:48

It was a mature tree, the trunk diameter is approx 30cm - its been done wilfully while everyone was out. They have said previously that they would like a conservatory but 'all your leaves would fall on the roof of it'. To which I smiled and told them to remove any branches on their side of the fence. There were also many song birds which nested in it sad I've been so upset by it all weekend. Prh - do you think the police would actually listen? Thanks for your advice

LaurieFairyCake Mon 10-Mar-14 01:19:40

Even if the police didn't do anything I would pursue them in a small claims court.

That's shocking, I'd be furious.

ZenNudist Mon 10-Mar-14 01:27:00

How would you actually get a like for like replacement in this case?

Sorry this has happened. Seek legal redress. What a nightmare.

Ponyphysio Mon 10-Mar-14 08:52:51

I know. It sounds stupid saying that it's stressing me out when there are so many much worse things that happen in life, but it has proper upset me. Also, if I go down the legal route is there not something you have to fill in now when selling a property to declare if you've ever had disputes with a neighbour? I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place sad

Sillybillybob Mon 10-Mar-14 09:01:04

pony yes you do have to state if there have been any disputes with neighbours.

I really feel for you. We accidentally did this to our neighbours once (not an old tree, but still). They'd agreed to us trimming the top branches as they interfered with our tv reception. We had some men doing work on our trees and they agreed we could trim their tree at the same time, then they went out. The buggers only hAlved the tree in size. I could have cried. Well, I did. Thank fuck they were placated with a pre-emptive bottle of wine on the doorstep.

Have you spoken to your neighbours and asked what they were playing at? Tbh I think it's worth at least speaking to the Police and find out what they say. You just can't do that to people's property!

prh47bridge Mon 10-Mar-14 09:26:51

The police response to this kind of thing varies. Sometimes they say it is a civil matter (wrong - it is criminal damage), sometimes they will get involved. By the way, if they have taken away the part of the tree they removed that is also theft.

Yes you have to declare disputes with neighbours if you sell the house in future. You have to weigh that against the cost of removing the remains of the current tree and replacing it which will be a four figure sum if you go for the largest mature tree you can get.

ZenNudist - No you can't, as far as I am aware, get a direct replacement for a 70-year old tree. My searches on the internet suggest the largest you can get is around half the size of this one.

MrsFlorrick Mon 10-Mar-14 09:46:28

And once you've reported them to police for criminal damage etc
Then plant loads of large arrow bamboo all along the boundary.

Arrow bamboo are massive and shed leaves like there is no tomorrow. grin

And they can easily grow from 6foot to 20foot in a year so if your neighbour wants them pruned at your behest then he will have to come cap in hand all the time.

Your neighbour has done this maliciously. To his own end to get a conservatory without leaves falling on it hmm

Very nasty. And I would fight back with arrow bamboo and police report for criminal damage.

Ponyphysio Mon 10-Mar-14 13:34:40

I'm liking the idea of bamboo. I had thought of Leylandii, but wasnt sure I could find it in myself. Thanks for all your support

Slapperati Mon 10-Mar-14 13:36:39

I understand why you are upset, I would be too. Police, solicitor I think.

MrsFlorrick Mon 10-Mar-14 15:18:58

Arrow bamboo is so much faster and messier than leylandii. Arrow bamboo will be annoying and massively tall and shedding in less than 3 months.

Leylandii is the long game wink years before you see results.

Or go for a "sheddier" bamboo such as phyllostaccos negra. I've had those. Not that tall and much slower growing than arrow but oh the shedding.

fromparistoberlin73 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:27:30

according to this website its criminal damage

www.ealing.gov.uk/info/505/trees/786/overhanging_vegetation

i know how you feel, its really upsetting OP

Pootles2010 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:32:38

Threaten them with criminal damage, say you won't follow through if they clear their damn garden up.

You don't want a dispute through police and solicitor if you're looking to sell, as you'll have to disclose it.

EnlightenedOwl Sun 27-Apr-14 07:19:57

I've got a copper beech, I would be gutted.

BikeRunSki Sun 27-Apr-14 07:24:43

Were there birds nesting in it? Because it is illegal to disturb nesting birds too.

Rosa Sun 27-Apr-14 07:27:52

What about trespassing on your property ???? Yes you said they could take down the branches overhanging into their garden but did you give permission to come into your garden to do it?
Have they said anything at all?
Don't leave it just as you want to sell ... What they have done is wrong and they should 'pay' whether it be financally or other.
I imagine they will be popping off to conservatory place to put in order today...so you pop out as well and get that bamboo.....

DelGirl Sun 27-Apr-14 07:36:36

I would also speak to your local council as I'm sure there are rules in place wrt cutting down trees. Bastards, I know how you feel as the same thing happened to me last year. I called the local police, I'm not in the uk though.

doziedoozie Sun 27-Apr-14 18:11:10

I would check with the local council, whatever dept it is, it would be environment and planning here.

Was just talking to someone up the road from me and it is apparently illegal to cut any tree down, over a decent size, which yours would have been, new regulations. This is in Scotland and I am talking about in the countryside 8 miles from the nearest town!!!!! So I would say it's even more likely they have broken planning regs in a town.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Apr-14 18:14:10

You wouldn't happen to know if there was a tree preservation order on it?

I'm really, really sorry sad I second (or third) contacting the police. It wasn't on their property. I'd plant some very fast growing conifers.

doziedoozie Sun 27-Apr-14 18:23:12

I think I have my facts wrong and it is only trees with a preservation order.

Although there is a restriction on how much woodland can be cut down without permission. But that is in the countryside.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Apr-14 18:42:28

I imagine it would be trespass and criminal damage. Trespass isn't a police matter though, but criminal damage is.

www.mwrlaw.com/can-i-chop-down-my-neighbours-tree/

"What if the tree is on my neighbour’s land?
Entering onto a neighbour’s property to chop down a tree on his/her land is illegal and can amount to trespass and criminal damage. It is therefore advisable to liaise with your neighbour and seek professional guidance if they do not adhere to your requests.
If the tree is causing damage, injury or loss of the reasonable use and enjoyment of your own property, then you may have grounds to apply to the Court for an Abatement Notice. Such Notice, if granted, will order your neighbour to take action to resolve the problems."

BikeRunSki Sun 27-Apr-14 19:14:20

Highly likely there was a TPO if the girth was more than 1m.

LadySybilLikesCake Sun 27-Apr-14 19:32:40

sad

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