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Problems With Neighbouring Trees: Action Guide

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 17 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Neighbours Trees Neighbour Branches

If your property shares a boundary with a neighbour's property, there are a few aspects of the law (and good neighbourliness) that you need to bear in mind when growing trees/hedges. This guide covers what you need to know and also what you can do if you are having problems with your neighbour's trees.

Cutting back trees

You have a common law right to cut back tree branches that overhang onto your property. It is however always best to discuss with your neighbour about any trees / hedges you wish to cut back before doing so.
  • The law states that any branches cut off belong to the person on whose land the tree originally grew, so you should ask your neighbour if they want them back, or if they are happy for you to dispose of them.
  • Do not just throw trimmings back over the boundary - this could constitute 'fly tipping'. Ask your neighbour whether they would like any trimmings back.
  • Equally any fruit on trees, even if they are growing on branches which overhang your property, still belongs to your neighbour. You are therefore stealing if you pick these for yourself without your neighbours' permission.

Neighbour cut my trees right back

My neighbour recently contacted me to say she was going to get the overhanging branches from the large tree in my garden removed and that some branches may end up in my garden. I said I didn't have a problem with her removing any overhanging branches.

I got up this morning to find that my trees had been basically chopped down. The overhanging branches were indeed removed but right down to the tree trunk! I now have a line of bare tree on my side. I understand that they have a right to cut back to the boundary line but these trees are not on the boundary line - do I have any rights regarding this situation?

  • If you are pruning a neighbours' tree, be careful that you do not damage the tree further back than your boundary.
  • If you damage the tree on their side, they may claim against you for the replacement cost of the tree.
  • Be careful to check if any trees are subject to a preservation order - your local authority will be able to tell you this. If you cut down a tree with a preservation order, you will be guilty of an offence under section 210 or 211 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Can we invoice neighbour for tree cutting?

There is a 20 metre long fence between us and our neighbour with a wall of fir trees growing on the neighbour's side of the fence. We hired a gardener to trim the fir tree branches back to the border of the fence. Can we send the Invoice received from the gardener to the neighbour?

If you choose to cut down overhanging branches, or trim trees, you will have to pay for the cost of doing so yourself. Try speaking to your neighbour however as you may be able to reach some sort of agreement in relation to any gardening work required, though they are not obliged to contribute to this cost. Note that you are not entitled to access to your neighbour's property to enable you trim the branches on your side of the boundary without their permission.

Ownership of trees

Sometimes you may be unsure who owns the trees causing you concerns or the trees may be part of a shared boundary and you are unsure who is responsible for their maintenance:

Trees that do not belong to anyone?

We have several very large trees surrounding our garden who we have been told do not belong to any one we want them cut down just a small amount who can we get to do this. We have phoned the council but they've not been much help.

Trees that form part of a boundary

The boundary line between our house and our neighbour's is clear and undisputed. It presently consists of a wire fence. However, there are some very tall cedar trees planted many years ago on our neighbour's side of the boundary, but close to it.

These trees are essentially on our neighbour's land so we do not feel we have a responsibility to maintain them. Our neighbour, however, feels they are our responsibility as they form part of the "hedge" line to the left our property when viewed from the front. Who is right?

A tree belongs to whoever owns the property upon which the tree trunk originally grows, even if the branches or roots have begun to spread onto another property. The owner has a duty to maintain this tree so that it does not cause a hazard. Therefore if branches are broken and hanging precariously, the owner should remove these.

If a tree is planted on the border line between properties, you should check your Property Title Documents to see if these give ownership to one property. If not, you both share the duty to maintain the trees, and these should not be cut down without prior consent from both owners. To check your title deeds visit the land registry website or call them on 0844 892 1111.

  • There is no such thing as 'no man's land'. All land and therefore all trees are owned by somebody.
  • If you can't decide by looking at the original Property Deeds who owns a tree, a court will be able to decide for you. However this is an expensive resolution and so it may be better to simply agree ownership between you and your neighbour.

Damage caused by overhanging trees

Council owned trees damaging my property

Adjacent to my house is some green belt land owned by local council. On this land there are some large trees, 3 of which run adjacent to my property. Last year the council agreed to prune back the lower branches of the trees but only up to 20 ft in height. As a result, the branches at the higher level have continued to grow and some of the branches now virtually touch my property.

There are a large number of leaves coming off these trees and causing blockage to guttering etc. I am also concerned about the potential damage if one of these trees fell in the high winds. What legal position do I have?

You cannot force your neighbour to remove overhanging branches or fallen leaves on your property. However if these cause excessive damage, you can sue them for the cost of repair. It is however always better to try to amicably resolve any disputes with your neighbours before resorting to the courts, which is often a long and potentially expensive process - remember you still have to live next to this person, so an amicable solution will often lead to a more comfortable living environment.

If any damage was caused by a tree from your neighbours' property but this was due to 'an Act of God', such as a thunderstorm, any damage was not foreseeable. Your neighbour will not therefore be responsible for this. If any damage caused to your property is severe, you may wish to contact your Buildings Insurance company about this.

  • Falling leaves, fruit, flowers, and pollen are annoying, but you cannot legally ask your neighbour to prevent this or remove any fallen debris.
  • Liability to remove any fallen leaves etc lies with the owner of the Property affected (or the Tenants if they have maintenance obligations which include gardening).
  • Whilst falling leaves etc are annoying, they are not legally a 'nuisance', which has a very specific meaning.

Right to Light

Neighbouring trees blocking our light

A property we are thinking of purchasing has quite a few trees in the back garden which completely block any sunlight. Some could possibly have preservation orders on them. Is there any way we can have these thinned or removed. Does our right to sunlight override that of a preservation order?

The Rights of Light Act 1959 states that if a Property has received daylight for the last 20 years (the minimum prescribed period), they may be entitled to continue to receive that light. This means that if your neighbour builds a large fence or there are large trees which restrict the daylight your Property receives (for example by blocking daylight reaching a window), you may be able to apply to the courts for your daylight to be restored, or for any injunction to prevent a proposed fence being built.

If trees have a Preservation Order, this suggests that the Property does not have a Right to Light, as it will not have had a continuous period of daylight for at least 20 years. Usually the only way you can prune a tree with a Preservation Order is if it has become dangerous.

  • There is no right to direct sunlight, only daylight.
  • Even if you have a right to light, the amount of light is restricted to approximately equivalent to one foot of candlelight - more than most people receive anyway.
  • You do not have any right to a view which is obscured by trees. Equally you have no right to not have a view if trees previously covered an undesirable feature such as a brick wall.

Dangerous Trees

If you are concerned that a tree is diseased or damaged and poses a danger due to having fallen, or being at risk of falling, you should contact the owner of the land on which the tree is growing. If the land belongs to the local council, contact them to request that the tree is cut down or pruned.

If you are unable to contact the land owner or they refuse to take action, contact your local council's Environmental Health Office. The owner is not under any legal duty to take action, but will be liable if a tree they knew to be damaged caused damage to Property or injury to a person.

As prevention is often better than waiting for damage or injury to occur however, the Environmental Health Office may be able to invoke the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 if the tree poses an immediate risk to Property or people. This allows them to serve notice on the land owner to make the tree safe. If they fail to do so, the Environmental Health Office may undertake this work themselves. The land owner would then usually be charged for any gardening required.

More of interest

Sometimes you might need to access a neighbour's property to do essential maintenance on your own...what's allowed and what's not? Read Your rights to access neighbouring land.

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[Add a Comment]
northuk - Your Question:
I have a slow growing evergreen clematis draped over a small (6ft) dead tree in my back garden near the 6ft boundary fence. The clematis was 5-6 years old and a type of limited growth, so not one that grows mad and never stops. It had just begun to trail slightly along the top of the fence, which actually looked nice. Then the neighbour decided to spray weedkiller on it and the entire clematis is now dead and I'm very upset as I have severe chronic illness and very much enjoyed seeing the sparrows using it. I probably won't be here in 6 years when a replacement has grown that size again. I don't understand why people would be so mean and cruel to do such a thing. It would have been very simple to snip off the growth, or ask me to trim it off. Am I wrong? I could maybe understand if the plant was invasive to their side, but it really wasn't at all; just a few little strands.

Our Response:
Yes this is very wrong. A neighbour is entitled to clip back any growth on their own side of the boundary. To kill your plant deliberately is criminal damage. You could if you wanted, take action to get the neighbour to pay compensation so you can get a new, well established plant to put in its place.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Aug-17 @ 12:39 PM
Hi, Along the boundary of my property (just on my neighbour’s side) is a tree of unknown species. It's almost reached the size of my two-storey house and some of the branches are touching my chimney, which is just one storey high as it's built on a small single storey extension which is a purpose-built original feature of the house. We use the chimney in the autumn/winter as it's attached to a log-burner. The roots of the tree are also visibly sticking out of the earth within 5 cm of my house (and are at least a few cm wide so are likely to be touching my property under the ground as the exposed roots head that way, but I can't see this). I have spoken to my neighbours and they have declined to do anything about the tree, i.e. either the overhanging branches touching my chimney (which blocks the movement of the surrounding air making my fire harder to start, slower to burn and more likely to 'blow-back' smoke into my house) or the roots. I've previously trimmed back some of the overhanging branches but as the boundary between our properties is close to my house, they quickly grow back and I've been unable to do anything about the roots, although I'm very concerned about this. This tree was identified as a potential risk to my property on the survey when I originally purchased it (owing to the roots) and it was advised that the tree should be managed accordingly, i.e. ideally not allowed to get any larger. This hasn’t happened and I've also been refused access to my neighbour's property to trim back any overhanging branches on my side, which makes any trimming back on my side minimal, so the tree grows back quickly. In an ideal world I would like to reduce the size of the tree so it’s not encroaching on to my chimney and maintain it such, by limiting its size, that the roots don’t get any larger and damage my property. My neighbours have made it clear that they will not cooperate with me so what can I do legally, if anything? Thanks.
Freddie - 17-Aug-17 @ 9:34 AM
I have a slow growing evergreen clematis draped over a small (6ft) dead tree in my back garden near the 6ft boundary fence. The clematis was 5-6 years old and a type of limited growth, so not one that grows mad and never stops. It had just begun to trail slightly along the top of the fence, which actually looked nice. Then the neighbour decided to spray weedkiller on it and the entire clematis is now dead and I'm very upset as I have severe chronic illness and very much enjoyed seeing the sparrows using it. I probably won't be here in 6 years when a replacement has grown that size again. I don't understand why people would be so mean and cruel to do such a thing. It would have been very simple to snip off the growth, or ask me to trim it off. Am I wrong? I could maybe understand if the plant was invasive to their side, but it really wasn't at all; just a few little strands.
northuk - 15-Aug-17 @ 6:05 PM
Auset - Your Question:
Hi, I have three pine trees in my garden. When we bought the house they were already in the garden. Two pine trees are on one side of the fence and the one is on the other side of the fence (one tree alone is on her side of the fence but in my garden). My neighbour has asked me to cut down the one tree on her side, as the leaves fall on her side. She is also asking to cut the other two tall ones as all of them block sunlight to her garden. I am not happy to cut all of them down but asked her to trim the roots and the branches upto the boundary if she isn't happy. She suggests that she can go to the court. The trees were already there before I bought the house and also before she bought. The surveyor mentioned about my trees being a problem to her house in the future. I completely understand her point of view and at the same time I am not happy to cut down my trees. The tree surgeon has said it can be a problem as the roots are quite shallow of pine trees. He suggested to cut down all of the trees. Please do advice as to what my rights are and what measures can I can take in the mean while to prevent all the problem? It will be much appreciated.King regards

Our Response:
In general, you are under no obligation to remove or trim back trees in this kind of situation. However, as these are evergreen and there are three of them, they may be regarded as "high hedges" (part of antisocial behaviour legislation). Take a look at our Guide Here before deciding on your next course of action. This allows the council to decide (your neighbour must initiate the complaint and pay the fee) how much of a problem exists and if necessary to issue a remedial notice. A remedial notice cannot insist that the trees are removed entirely or reduced below 2 metres in height.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Aug-17 @ 10:25 AM
Hi, I have three pine trees in my garden. When we bought the house they were already in the garden. Two pine trees are on one side of the fence and the one is on the other side of the fence (one tree alone is on her side of the fence but in my garden). My neighbour has asked me to cut down the one tree on her side, as the leaves fall on her side. She is also asking to cut the other two tall ones as all of them block sunlight to her garden. I am not happy to cut all of them down but asked her to trim the roots and the branches upto the boundary if she isn't happy. She suggests that she can go to the court. The trees were already there before I bought the house and also before she bought. The surveyor mentioned about my trees being a problem to her house in the future. I completely understand her point of view and at the same time I am not happy to cut down my trees. The tree surgeon has said it can be a problem as the roots are quite shallow of pine trees. He suggested to cut down all of the trees. Please do advice as to what my rights are and what measures can I can take in the mean while to prevent all the problem? It will be much appreciated. King regards
Auset - 12-Aug-17 @ 6:00 PM
Debs - Your Question:
Our neighbour planted what was at the time a small tree (approx.15* yrs.ago) it is now 40ft high with a trunk that's approximately 30inch in circumference. This tree is probably 10ft away from our kitchen window & the side of our house. we share joint access of a path, them to their front door, us to our back gate. It's uppermost branches are above our roof & the branches effect our t.v. aerial. Over the years he has pruned it so it has a canopy effect like something out of the Brazilian Rainforest!!! Now it is far too tall for him to do anything. Can we insist that he prunes it or removes it as we are extremely worried it is affecting the foundations of our house? It's already "lifting" the shared parking area?

Our Response:
There is not much you can do about this really. If you are worried about your foundations, you should ask a surveyor to take a look. If it transpires that there is some foundation (pardon the pun) to your fears, you should show the evidence to your neighbour and ask that he rectifies it. If that doesn't work, seek legal advice.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Aug-17 @ 2:32 PM
Joy - Your Question:
Our sycamore tree overhangs neighbour's garden approx 20 metres away from house. It is at the very end of the garden. Overhanging branches are approx 10 metres above the ground and the neighbour's newly installed (last few weeks) decking (and also glass conservatory type lean-to which has been there for some years). Neighbours have asked that we vigorously cut back overhanging branches because the pigeons that land on those branches drop their guano (using posh word for poo as am online) onto their new decking. By neighbours own admission "he never gave a thought to the pigeons". Asked for advice/quote from tree surgeon. He said job was unnecessary and felt we were being asked to do something we are not obliged to do and is unreasonable. He believes tree in good health and shape. Neighbours extremely unresponsive and say that as its our tree, we have to pay for everything and we must have it cut back as the overhanging branches are our responsibility. If they employ someone to do the job for their benefit, we will receive the bill. We said that we would agree to pruning back a little by a professional but would not be prepared to pay for this work in its entirety. Nor do we want the trees pruned back to the extent they are looking for.The overhanging branches in question are of a height that means they cannot be reached by anyone other than a tree surgeon and we do not want the tree to be cut back at all especially if it is in a healthy condition.We would appreciate any feedback, please. Thank you in advance.

Our Response:
No, you do not have to trim back branches that overhang your neighbours' garden. If your neighbours are offended by the branches, they can cut them back as far as the boundary, you do not have to pay for this either.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Aug-17 @ 12:47 PM
Our neighbour planted what was at the time a small tree (approx..15* yrs.ago) it is now 40ft high with a trunk that's approximately 30inch in circumference. This tree is probably 10ft away from our kitchen window & the side of our house.... we share joint access of a path, them to their front door, us to our back gate. It's uppermost branches are above our roof & the branches effect our t.v. aerial. Over the years he has pruned it so it has a canopy effect like something out of the Brazilian Rainforest!!! Now it is far too tall for him to do anything. Can we insist that he prunes it or removes it as we are extremely worried it is affecting the foundations of our house? It's already "lifting" the shared parking area?
Debs - 6-Aug-17 @ 6:03 PM
Honesty - Your Question:
I have a tall bamboo plant. When the wind blows it 'waves' over a neighbours garden. I have noticed that they have been cutting this. I removed much of the bamboo close to the fence hoping this would prevent them cutting it. But NO, today I noticed they'd been cutting again. When there is no wind it doesn't 'wave' across to their property. Am I right in saying that legally they cannot cut the bamboo as it doesn't 'hang' over their side of the fence - unless there is a higher wind?Thanks,

Our Response:
We're not sure about this one. Does it really "wave" over their garden for long enough for them to cut it?We can't help but giggle at the idea of someone jumping up with the shears to snip off some branches when a gust of wind arrives.
ProblemNeighbours - 3-Aug-17 @ 1:53 PM
I have a tall bamboo plant. When the wind blows it 'waves' over a neighbours garden. I have noticed that they have been cutting this. I removed much of the bamboo close to the fence hoping this would prevent them cutting it.But NO, today I noticed they'd been cutting again. When there is no wind it doesn't 'wave' across to their property.Am I right in saying that legally they cannot cut the bamboo as it doesn't 'hang' over their side of the fence - unless there is a higher wind? Thanks,
Honesty - 1-Aug-17 @ 12:29 AM
a tree which stands in a public park adjacent to my property, shed a large branch which damaged my roof and fence. the council have said that the tree is healthy and have dismissed my claim
ferdyfree - 14-Jul-17 @ 1:55 PM
Our sycamore tree overhangs neighbour's garden approx 20 metres away from house.It is at the very end of the garden.Overhanging branches are approx 10 metres above the ground and the neighbour's newly installed (last few weeks) decking (and also glass conservatory type lean-to which has been there for some years). Neighbours have asked that we vigorously cut back overhanging branches because the pigeons that land on those branches drop their guano (using posh word for poo as am online) onto their new decking.By neighbours own admission "he never gave a thought to the pigeons". Asked for advice/quote from tree surgeon.He said job was unnecessary and felt we were being asked to do something we are not obliged to do and is unreasonable.He believes tree in good health and shape.Neighbours extremely unresponsive and say that as its our tree, we have to pay for everything and we must have it cut back as the overhanging branches are our responsibility.If they employ someone to do the job for their benefit, we will receive the bill.We said that we would agree to pruning back a little by a professional but would not be prepared to pay for this work in its entirety.Nor do we want the trees pruned back to the extent they are looking for. The overhanging branches in question are of a height that means they cannot be reached by anyone other than a tree surgeon and we do not want the tree to be cut back at all especially if it is in a healthy condition. We would appreciate any feedback, please.Thank you in advance.
Joy - 12-Jul-17 @ 10:48 PM
i live adjacent to a huge oak tree it is a nuscience and encrouching my property and is overhanging its boundary i have just recieved a lettersaying it now has a tpo on iti believe that the right to cut back treaspassing branches should still apply even with tpos especialy on a housing estate . i also thinktrees like oak and other huge trees should not be planted so close to boundary fences .
rossi - 12-Jul-17 @ 7:52 PM
I've recently moved into a house where the previous owners allowed the neighbours Wisteria to grow wild over the garage and completely took over the Chestnut tree on our side.Although Wisteria is beautiful it has caused damage to the garage and I have had to have the roof repaired after removing the vast coverage.It has since started growing back and I have noticed it is now growing through my garage roof and I am worried it is going to choke the tree.I know I am able to cut back from my side but this doesn't help much as the problems are occurring from their side and I believe they have actually attached it to the garage on their side of the garden.I'm not sure what I can do, its incredibly dangerous to keep climbing on a rotten wooden roof just to cut back what will grow back immediately anyway. Might be a stupid question but is there a product that can repel the growth from my roof?
Wisteria issues - 12-Jul-17 @ 2:21 PM
hi unsure what to do the landlord lives next door to me with other people he owns many property,s around cov , my problem is ive spoken to him and wrote a nice letter saying sorry many times ,the garden is really bad ,i,ve had no t.v since last xmasbecause the tree is blocking my signal to the house,also the garden has never been touched they cannot get out the back door for weed,s brambles and blackberry bushes, we are now having rats and mice running across our garden to the other neighbour garden . ive let them know ,but again the people living in the over grown property has said he,shappy with the way the garden is what can be done as im so unhappy and help please
babsie - 10-Jul-17 @ 10:42 PM
My Neighbours have a large oak tree on their drive, which has made my boundary wall unsafe, and caused severe disruption and damage to the adjacent paved area , I had my insurance company come and inspect it andI gave them a copy of the insurance companies report stating that it was their opinion that the treeand its roots caused the damage, several months ago . We had informed our neighbours that damage wasoccurring probably a year prior to this, and suggested that they get some advice on how to deal with it. As the tree has not actually damaged the house yet , the insurance company will not pay for the damage, if it had they would!!. my neighbours driveway adjacent to the wall is like the Himalayas , so it would be reasonable to assume they know the damage caused by the tree does not just stop at the wall, who should I contact next and are they liable for repairs??
fedup and at my wits - 10-Jul-17 @ 7:59 PM
We have trees at the back of our property which are very tall made worse by the fact that they are on the top of a hill. Our house is built into the side of the hill. We have been told that the land the trees are on belongs to a management company (Greenbelt). We are having lighting issues in the back of our property as the trees block the sunlight. They also block the signal for our Sky box especially in late spring early summer. We live in an area where we cannot get cable TV so Sky is our only option. The problem has been ongoing for a few years now and Sky have been out numerous times and raised the dish. It cannot be raised any further. All Greenbelt have told us is that we cannot cut the trees down we can only remove any branches that encroach onto our property. Can you let us know if there is anything legal we can do if the trees were to fall they would hit out house. Regards Julie Blythe
Smurf - 9-Jul-17 @ 10:40 PM
Hi I have a real big problem. My back garden is big and along the side of my fence there are three very big trees one belongs to a small car park which is used by othere neighbours. And the othere two trees are in differentgardens all three tress are hanging over my garden and the branches are over the roof of my house .the branches a thick and very high I wouldn't be able to reach to cut them back I don't haveany Sun light to my living room or to my garden i am worriedabout the branches falling .I did talk to my one of my neighbours about the problemwith the tree has one is in his garden he wasn't that bothered about it say I could cut it but when I Ask him to come and have a look he was like me or you got cut that its to high- when I said we would have to get a tree specialist in he said ok but pm not paying I said but the your the tree owner it's in your garden and then branches are over my gardenfence and half over my roof of my house.I did say well if I get the tree specialist in I would send the bill to him please help
Serina - 9-Jul-17 @ 12:43 AM
my neighbor is 84 years old and disabled, her neighbor on the other side has trimmed her fir trees (A row of so would be a hedge) on his side of the fence and the put the cutting on her property down at the bottom, from reading the other comments I believe he is entitled to do this which she has no problem with, but to put them on her property I believe is wrong, what can she do?? A friend of her has offered to put them back on the other neighbors property but I could imaging this getting difficult as he may just put them back again, again what can she do ??
surprised - 8-Jul-17 @ 3:15 PM
Subject - Your Question:
Our neighbours vast tree in their back garden have is enough light, but plenty of privacy in both of kitchen and bedroom in our suburban London flat, we considered it a benefit of the property. We just woke to the sounds of chainsaws, and found that now we have no privacy left, half the block looks into our kitchen and bedroom. The bedroom window is also a slanted one so the cost of blinds, rather than curtains, that don't hang vertically is much higher than we can afford.Do we have any doubts in this regard? I understand we have no ownership of the tree, but such a drastic change at least requires planning permission that we should have been notified of, surely?

Our Response:
No, a tree owner can do anything they like with their own tree, unless it's subject to a Tree Preservation Order.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:38 AM
Our neighbours vast tree in their back garden have is enough light, but plenty of privacy in both of kitchen and bedroom in our suburban London flat, we considered it a benefit of the property. We just woke to the sounds of chainsaws, and found that now we have no privacy left, half the block looks into our kitchen and bedroom.The bedroom window is also a slanted one so the cost of blinds, rather than curtains, that don't hang vertically is much higher than we can afford. Do we have any doubts in this regard? I understand we have no ownership of the tree, but such a drasticchange at least requires planning permission that we should have been notified of, surely?
Subject - 3-Jul-17 @ 12:15 PM
Elsie - Your Question:
Hello We have a problem with an overgrown tree which is now blocking light and even our sky dish signal.we have moved the dish higher but the tree is now so high and big it's affecting the signal once again. I have spoken to the neighbours who are renting the property but they have said they haven't got the landlords number. What can we do?

Our Response:
There's really not much you can do about this. A tree owner does not have an obligation to cut down a tree because it is blocking a neighbour's tv signal. You could try contacting the landlord to see if they are willing to remove it anyway. You may be able to find the landlord's contact details via the council's register of landlords or the Land Registry.
ProblemNeighbours - 30-Jun-17 @ 11:50 AM
schnorbitz - Your Question:
Neighbour has 4/5 trees their side of the border, I think Leylandii? and one other - all well over 50 ft. The roots are now damaging our drive (as confirmed by a tree surgeon), and our dividing wall (their wall). We would like to get our drive sorted - mainly due to the ridge we have now gained through the root damage, but our neighbour is relucant to do anything about it. I have spoken to them twice about this and still nothing has been done. I was going to have one more word with them with the advice of the tree surgeon but believe they will still choose to do nothing. Advice please on the best way to get this resolved would be appreciated. Thanks.

Our Response:
As there are more than two of these trees and they are evergreen you may be abel to act under the High hedges legislation see our guide here . You are entitled to cut back any roots and branches that extend over your side of the boundary (as long as this doesn't endanger the trees).
ProblemNeighbours - 29-Jun-17 @ 1:55 PM
Hello We have a problem with an overgrown tree which is now blocking light and even our sky dish signal..we have moved the dish higher but the tree is now so high and big it's affecting the signal once again.I have spoken to the neighbours who are renting the property but they have said they haven't got the landlords number. What can we do?
Elsie - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:13 PM
Neighbour has 4/5 trees their side of the border, i think Leylandii?and one other - all well over 50 ft. The roots are now damaging our drive (as confirmed by a tree surgeon), and our dividing wall (their wall). We would like to get our drive sorted - mainly due to the ridge we have now gained through the root damage, but our neighbour is relucant to do anything about it. I have spoken to them twice about this and still nothing has been done. I was going to have one more word with them with the advice of the tree surgeon but believe they will still choose to do nothing. Advice please on the best way to get this resolved would be appreciated. Thanks.
schnorbitz - 28-Jun-17 @ 6:16 PM
Dave - Your Question:
I live on a mobile home site my next door neighbours have a conifer 20 / 25ft branches over hanging my garden and blocking out light to bedroom /bathroom, is the site owner reasonable to cut the tree or me the neighbours are from hell and wont do anything , cannot even talk to them, its a fire hazard will the council do anything to help me,

Our Response:
The site owner should be able to do something about this, especially if it's a safety hazard. Do you have anything in your leasehold deeds that mentions trees/ restrictive covenants etc?
ProblemNeighbours - 27-Jun-17 @ 1:50 PM
I live on a mobile home site my next door neighbours have a conifer 20 / 25ftbranches over hanging my garden andblocking out lightto bedroom/bathroom,is the site owner reasonable to cut the tree or me the neighbours are from hell and wont do anything , cannot even talk to them,its a fire hazard will the council do anything to help me,
Dave - 25-Jun-17 @ 9:40 PM
Lulu - Your Question:
My neighbour has a row of for trees which have grown outwards and upwards over our boundary. Can I trim them all the way upwards to our boundary and do I have to give the cut ones back?

Our Response:
You can trim back anything that overhangs the boundary. You can offer back the branches but your neighbour is not obliged to accept.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jun-17 @ 2:47 PM
My neighbour has a row of for trees which have grown outwards and upwards over our boundary. Can I trim them all the way upwards to our boundary and do I have to give the cut ones back?
Lulu - 22-Jun-17 @ 6:07 PM
Griff - Your Question:
Hi, My neighbour planted a'Torbay Palm' tree 2' from my garden wall. It is now 12' tall and growing. I have an artificial lawn on the other side of the wall. I have asked for the new growth,about 3', to be pruned o as hopefully restrict further root growth. I was met with abuse. When I pointed out the risk of damage to both the wall and my lawn she said she didn't care. The front of her house faces my back garden. There is a tarmac area between her house front and my rear wall. Planning restrictions state that no resident can plant trees in front of their properties building line. Can I legally get her to cut the trees before any damage occurs?ThanksViv Griffiths

Our Response:
In general you cannot force a tree owner to cut down or cut back a tree. If your neighbour has breached planning conditions, you can report them to the council and they will take action as necessary. Until any damage is actually done, you can't be sure it will actually do the damage...so there will be nothing in law that can force its removal from that point of view.
ProblemNeighbours - 22-Jun-17 @ 2:23 PM
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