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How to approach neighbour re cutting down tree?

(7 Posts)
AncientCrone Thu 16-May-13 22:59:30

Would appreciate views on this. Our neighbour has a tree which is probably about ten feet from our house at present. We are planning an extension which will mean it is much closer, probably within about six feet. It's a large, mature tree and we are concerned that it might affect the digging of foundations etc also it drops annoying sticks all over our garden.

When we first moved in here a couple of years ago, the neighbour introduced himself to DH through the fence and said we could cut bits off it if we wanted.

There are quite a few large trees on his land, so we're not taking his only one, and the layout of the two houses means that it's actually in a field at the back of his house rather than in his garden - his house is set much further forward than ours and tbh there's a chance he can't even see it from his house so it won't spoil his view if it goes.

We would like to ask if we can cut it down but not sure the best way to proceed - stick a note through his door, go round and knock, wait until we see him through the fence again and pounce? We are happy to pay though would like to keep the wood (not sure if that's an unreasonable thing to ask?).

We don't know the neighbour, haven't had any contact with him other than his chat with DH nearly two years ago!


AvrilPoisson Thu 16-May-13 23:03:36

I think you need to go round and ask- take the plans and show him the extent of the building work.
If he says no, you could go ahead, and he could oppose at the planning stage.
I don't think you have any recourse though, as it is his tree, his land, and tbh he/they were there when you bought yours.

Selba Thu 16-May-13 23:55:39

This is tricky because you don't know him.
All you can do is ask very nicely. He might just say yes.
I'd do it in person.

I would also offer , as to suggested, to pay for the tree surgeon. Not so sure about keeping the wood. If your neighbour has storage space and a wood burner I think he should get first refusal.

Will your extension affect him in any way? Has he been informed / seen the plans/ been given an opportunity to object ?

I have a big garden with several very mature trees.
A neighbour who is also a friend asked me to cut down one which shaded his garden. The tree is hundreds of years old. I said no!

How big is the tree you want it cut down?

Selbytobe Fri 17-May-13 09:26:10

I'd go round to discuss and offer to pay.

And I really really wouldn't ask to keep the wood. That would tip me from wanting to help you out to thinking 'seriously?!'

Selba Sat 18-May-13 00:39:34

Yes, there has to be something in it for the neighbour, not just doing a kind thing for a person he does not know

holidaysarenice Sat 18-May-13 00:50:03

Tbh if u offered to pay I'd let you, I hate my trees. But tree removal is incredibly expensive. Its tough love tho if u build and then complain.

I wudnt mention the wood, if he agree to it, you can get the tree cutterd to keep u the wood. Least said...idea

AncientCrone Sat 25-May-13 22:54:28


Thanks for the views. I decided to wait until we got quotes from builders etc who would have an idea of how much it would affect the work we were having done, and just mention the wood issue to the tree surgeon if/when it came to that.

Today he spoke to DH through the fence and said he'd received notification of our planned building work (sent a copy by the council as he's a neighbour) and will take the tree down. Result smile It's an ash and he thinks it's diseased anyway.

To answer a few questions, it's probably about 30 feet tall. I don't think it's particularly old.

FWIW a neighbour asked us to cut down a tree we had in our garden in SW London. They claimed it was causing subsidence (which unfortunately predated the tree by a good few years, but hey ho) and sent a letter via their solicitors. We cut down the tree immediately, and paid for it (it was a nice tree too sad). So my understanding was that if you own a tree that's causing damage to someone else's property then you're liable for that damage. Might be wrong though.

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