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Big tree next door!

(10 Posts)
noddyholder Tue 15-Mar-05 11:44:36

There is a huge tree and I mean huge in next doors garden and it is becoming a bit of a pain We rang the council but they said we had to approach the neighbours and ask them to have it trimmed The old man is not approachable but the tree is blocking a lot of light and is possibly destabilising the houses with it's roots Who is responsible for it or do we have to just put up with it?

Freckle Tue 15-Mar-05 11:53:38

If your neighbour's tree overhangs your property, this is a form of trespass. The neighbour should be asked to trim back the tree. If he doesn't, you haave the right to trim the tree back to the boundary line, although any branches and/or fruit removed belong to the tree's owner and should be returned. There is no precedent for recovering the cost of pruning the tree from a neighbour, or transporting the branches back to the owner. Before pruning a neighbour's tree, you should first check whether there is a preservation order on the tree, and, if there is, you need to approach your local authority before taking any action.

If your neighbour's tree is very tall, or blocks out light from your property, you can prune the roots or branches. However, you should not reduce the height of the tree without obtaining advice from a solicitor. If you have to enter the tree owner's property to do this, you must give reasonable notice. You may also wish to consult your own insurers, if there is a possibility that your property may be damaged by the roots. If the roots have already caused damage, the tree owner is liable to pay compensation, but it must be shown that the tree owner knew, or ought to have known, of the danger.

I know you have said that your neighbour is unapproachable, so I would suggest that all communications are in writing - either personally or via your solicitor.

Mothernature Tue 15-Mar-05 11:56:10

Sadly you are not alone

Carla Tue 15-Mar-05 12:06:21

What sort of tree is it, and how near is it to the foundation of the house? Don't get me on trees ........

SoupDragon Tue 15-Mar-05 12:52:49

You really need to ask your neighbour although, as previousl said, you do have the right to trim over hanging bits provided you offer the bits back to the "owner".

You could write a letter offering to split the cost of having it removed - he may well not be attached to the tree and may find it as much of a pain as you do. Make a big thing about possible root damage to the houses and huge structural bills etc.

We have a huuuuge beech tree at the end of our garden. It's ours and I love it. The back neighbours asked if they could cut back the parts overhanging their garden and said they would tell us when work was going to start so we could check it was Ok and we agreed to this - the tree men would have to come into our garden to do the work so we wanted to know when they'd be in. They never told us it was being done and they took more off it (some from over the boundary) than I would have agreed to. The upshot is that I would not give them permission again. So, good, polite communication is the key.

Carla Tue 15-Mar-05 13:00:56

Noddy, if you think foundations are being affected you need to know. We had this guy in: - he was fairly local to us, but he should be able to point you in the direction of someone local to you that can help.

Our neighbours were beastly about it - was it last year or the year before that several people got killed by falling trees? Anyhow, our/our neighbours foundations were not affected, our willow was not blocking their drains, but the willow did have a canker and I remember looking at it that Sunday thinking 'don't fall down'. It didn't, but we had it cut down that week

noddyholder Tue 15-Mar-05 16:14:29

thanks I have looked at various websites and it seems he can block the light all he likes!!Our living room would be so light if he cut it down i have decided that the only way is to approach him directly and so I am now asking you good people to give me ideas on hat to say....

Freckle Tue 15-Mar-05 16:22:03

The best approach is to make it appear that you are concerned for him as well as for yourself. Perhaps you could raise the issue of the roots first, indicating that they may be affecting the foundations of both houses. Talk about how bigger trees need a more extensive root network to support them and that, if the tree were pruned regularly, then the roots might not continue growing.

If you approach him on the basis that his tree is blocking your light, in the first place you will probably put him on the defensive and secondly there is no incentive for him to do anything, unless he's a very nice neighbour.

Our neighbours approached us about a self-seeded sycamore tree which was only just in our garden - 1/2 inch to the left and it would have been their side of the fence. They were concerned about the roots, which in sycamores can be far reaching as the trees can grow so tall. The roots would have affected our house as much as theirs and we were more than happy to have it chopped down.

Could you afford to offer to pay for any work to be done?

noddyholder Tue 15-Mar-05 16:50:14

Was thinking of saying that the builders who came to quote for our sunroom commented on it (true)and maybe that would open the converdation Like you said I could show concern for both our houses as this tree is so big the roots must be quite far reaching

Mirage Tue 15-Mar-05 20:07:20

Most trees have roots that spread as far as the crown (top) does.So if the tree branches are 30ft wide,then the roots will be a similar spread.

Mentioning the builders comment sounds a very good idea.Your neighbour may be more inclined to take action if a 3rd party & a 'professional' has commented on it.

Good luck

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