Want to remove neighbour's tree without being rude

(23 Posts)
Saku Mon 29-Jun-20 23:24:35

sorry for long story.
We bought our this first semi detached house 1 year back. Our neighbour is an old man who lives alone he doesn't talk to any one much.. doesn't open his door for anyone. I have just met him on the road 2-3 times and said hello to him..... he tried to ignore all the time, but I introduced him myself as his neighbour he talked politely but looked self conscious. We invited him our house warming but he said No Thanks.
His house look wreck. Same with his front and back garden is like jungles so many big trees foxes birds and what not is in there.
Problem starts here...... he has a sycamore tree at the end of his garden. which produces millions of seeds, two of the seeds have germinated just next to the back wall of our house where our and his wall meets; but on his side of the fence. One tree is little far on his wall but one is just under our wall.. the tree is already reaching to our upstairs bedroom window. obviously we can chop the branches off on our side but I am worried about the roots getting thick and crack the wall, floor or other damages in our house. I think he has not stepped out in garden may be 5-6 or more years ......... that tree will damage his house too but he looks least bothered..
I know he is old he has nobody and with money also may be weak.
But we can't ignore our hose too.
We are not able to contact him as he doesn't come out...... he doesn't have any phone. Knocking his door is worthless. We can overhear him behind the wall playing piano sometimes in evening.
Dont know what options we have??? to save our house.
Any advice??confused

OP’s posts: |
Salome61 Mon 29-Jun-20 23:38:59

Write him a letter and ask him to write back confirming he agrees to you removing it. Sycamores are huge trees, it can't be left.

Mamette Mon 29-Jun-20 23:43:14

Write him a note or a letter?

bluebell34567 Mon 29-Jun-20 23:59:06

he wont answer the letter.

bluebell34567 Tue 30-Jun-20 00:00:05

but you can send it recorded so you will have proof that you sent it. and then maybe you can take some action.

Saku Tue 30-Jun-20 02:13:53

Some times I have seen him going out for bringing food(long back) from my front window and I could see his front door was not opening full because his hallway floor was full of letters and other papers .... it was sooo full that there was no space to put legs ....... he was standing over them sad..
I want to know what actions we can take ........ where I can take aur draw this issue.
Should we write to the council ?
OR we should ask to our house insurance company ?.......... we dont have the knowledge about this "where to go?" Or any other particular office which we dont know there we can resolve the issue.

OP’s posts: |
Hellbentwellwent Tue 30-Jun-20 02:21:17

Speak to him op! Next time you see him leave the house approach him and let him know that you’re concerned about eh tree and the damage it may cause. Be very clear that you don’t want to cause him any inconvenience or expense but that you’d like is permission to cut the tree down. If he refuses, then you’ll just have to wait and re approach him


alexdgr8 Tue 30-Jun-20 02:44:27

might need a solicitor's letter. could be expensive. and still not resolve it.
some solicitor's will give a half hour outline advice. try that first.
also local councillor.
maybe environmental health for the state of the garden generally, but that could antagonise him. it is tricky. sorry. no easy answer.
do you have legal advice on any insurances.
cast your net wide.
do you like music/ play piano. maybe you could try build bridges, common interest. ask if he played professionally. how sad that one rarely hears pianos being played at home now, whereas when you were young...
this is a long shot. if he is a serious recluse, nothing will work.

chancechancechance Tue 30-Jun-20 05:53:16

If he is a person who doesn't want to talk, it would probably be best to stop trying to engage him in small talk, as it will cause stress.

I would write a clear, friendly, brief note saying I am worried the tree will damage both of our houses and I will pay to cut it down. And ask him to write back.

Also agree you should check your insurance situation so you know where you are.

I am not certain how close the tree is to your house - do you mean it is against your house wall?

FiveGensOfLove Tue 30-Jun-20 08:51:46

Did your survey (before you bought the house) highlight the tree as a potential problem?

Normally you also have to declare any mature trees within a certain distance of your house to your insurers, too. If it’s starting to look problematic and it hasn’t been declared to your insurers you may find it’s invalid if you do end up having a problem with cracks etc.
Try to ask him about it in person first, then if that doesn’t work send a letter. If that still doesn’t get you anywhere take legal advice.

Daisydoesnt Tue 30-Jun-20 08:55:44

It’s no help to the OP but this is why I’d never buy a house where the house and gardens next door are not well maintained!

RedRed9 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:58:52

How close, in metres, is the tree to both your houses?

EmergencyPractitioner Tue 30-Jun-20 09:21:35

It may have a tree preservation order on it. We live in a conservation area and even have to get council permission to get trees trimmed

Mamette Tue 30-Jun-20 10:17:18


It may have a tree preservation order on it. We live in a conservation area and even have to get council permission to get trees trimmed

It’s saplings that have grown up from seeds shed by the main tree that the op wants to remove. They won’t have preservation orders on them.

RedRed9 Tue 30-Jun-20 10:35:38

It’s saplings that have grown up from seeds shed by the main tree that the op wants to remove.

Ooooohhhhhhhhh. That makes more sense.

Saku Tue 30-Jun-20 14:55:05

Thanks for the suggestions. I am attaching pics for better understanding of the problem. Both the trees are same age and had same height. we have to just keep chopping it as it hangs in our garden and in front of our window and garden door. I have chopped it 15 days before. Because of chopping it has got multiple branches and got thick root.
when we bought the house we could not see these coming because they were small plants as the whole garden looks. Thats why we have not discussed it to the solicitor or insurance company.
I will try my best to catch him when he will come out of the house .. but it seems impossible as in this pandemic one person go out for shopping once in 2 weeks, and it seems he also doing the same ....... Therefore to choose a day when we both will be out on the road same day is looks quite rare.

One more thing will it be fine If we discuss or not to discuss this to our home insurance company to see what they say... or it can affect our mortgage/instalment in any way.

OP’s posts: |
Saku Tue 30-Jun-20 14:56:00


OP’s posts: |
HappyHammy Tue 30-Jun-20 15:02:37

Gosh his garden looks very overgrown and there are massive trees by those garages at the back.

areallthenamesusedup Tue 30-Jun-20 15:02:50

Check local council regs. if you do get permission to remove by neighbour.

You may need council permission even if a specific tree does not have a TPO. In certain areas all trees with a trunk size above a certain measurement are under order which means you need council permission to trim. It is nothing to do with how it got there (planted v self seeded).

You will get council permission but check first.

catsarebetterthandogs9 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:19:27

Sorry not really tree related but could you find out the number for adult social care in your area and call them?

I'm thinking if he has letters piled that high at his doorway, and a garden like that, I doubt the rest of his house is any tidier and that could be very dangerous for him if there were a fire or he collapsed etc.. it sounds like he needs some help.

Rollercoaster1920 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:18:33

Those aren't likely to be causing any issues yet. Too small. It looks like you are leaning over into his garden and cutting back his trees. You are not allowed to do that.

GlamGiraffe Tue 30-Jun-20 19:40:15

Those are too small to be doing any damage. They will need to be removed at dome stage but I wouldnt be overly concerned at the moment.
I'm not sure how you are curating branches back unless you are leaning over the fence which you arent allowed to do. You can only cut off anything that hands over the fence on your side without potentially getting into trouble.
This means garden us obviously not desirable but you cant change that. It sounds as though if the inside of the mans house is completely cluttered he will be completely unconcerned (and i suspect won't welcome discussion). Ir sounds like he might be vulnerable and it might be a good idea to contact adult social care about the man's welfare though.

Saku Tue 30-Jun-20 20:04:06

@Rollercoaster1920 yes I agree I was standing on step ladder to cut those as far as I could reach because these branches keep coming again and again over our window and doors. They are looking like they are short after I have prune them. I will not be bothered if he would have taken care of.
His front garden also we share same hedge which we take care of and cut the ivy keeps coming from his side to our side which we need to tackle.. those ivy all climbed over his front window and covered half .......... I remove them also for him. Once he came when I was removing them and I tried to explain and say to him ...... "look I am removing them its coming all over our joint wall and on your window"... but he just ignored me and went straight inside and gave me an expression with his shoulders "do whatever you want who cares" (not in a bad way but literally he just shrugged off)...
It seems he doesn't feel like these things are any worth for or to invest his time, mind and money on them.
He is a polite man we dont have any problem with him, he looks like he is in his own world we want to respect that we dont want to interfere in his social and material space, until it is affecting us or our house.

OP’s posts: |

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