The neighbour B of my friend and neighbour A
has cut down branches of shrubs
planted in A's garden but growing on B's side of the wall,
and has thrown the material (quite a large amount) over the wall.
What is the legal position about trees and shrubs
growing from one property over a neighbour's property?
I assume the neighbour is entitled to cut down the material
on his side of the wall,
but who is responsible for disposing of this material?
Any advice gratefully received.
Yes because the branches have now become waste and it is an offence to
dispose of waste this way.
We have this a lot when I help my friend who runs an arboricultural
The trees from one property have encroached on another and become a
nuisance. The owner of the trees can be asked to abate the nuisance and
remove the branches. The person suffering from the nuisance can avoid messy
legal problems by doing the work himself. In practice I have not heard of
anyone succeeding in recovering the cost of this work but I suspect if it
were tested in court and proper representations had been made then the
costs would be awarded.
Note also in some circumstances Part 8 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003
will apply but this also looks like an expensive way to do things compared
with talking it over with the neighbour.
When the 1987 storm blew trees into roads the highway authority had the
right to reclaim the clearance costs but in practice seldom did.
I agree entirely.
The legal requirements are basically explained in this thread.
A moot point is that any cuttings should be offered back.
Trouble is that this kind of action can result in tit-for-tat retaliation
which can lead to further bad feeling and more retaliation.
If unchecked this can feed the legal eagles which is absolutely and utterly
For the lack of communication one might have a sworn enemy rather than a
friend and neighbour.
It's good to talk.
Just my tuppence worth.
On Sat, 06 Dec 2008 16:16:39 +0000, Andrew Gabriel wrote:
Agreed. In a non-rural environment it seems that B is on a good deal.
In a rural setting, where the cuttings might be a valuable source of fire
wood (say), it all makes a lot more sense.
However jaw jaw better than law law which is better than war war.
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
The FAQ for uk.diy is at http://www.diyfaq.org.uk
Neighbour B has the legal right to cut all branches and roots of shrubs,
trees etc upto the boundary of his property - but these must be returned to
neighbour A. If neighbour B disposes of the 'cuttings' without the
permission of A, then that could be construed as theft of property - see:
http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/ for more and better detailed information.
"Branches that grow so as to overhang your neighbours' land are
trespassing on his air space. The neighbour can chop the branches back
to the boundary but he has to return the lopped branches to the owner of
the tree together with any fruit that might have been on them. If he
lops beyond his boundary then it is a trespass. It is always best to ask
your neighbour first although you do not need his permission to lop
overhanging branches so long as they are returned.
You could sue the owner of the tree or shrubs for trespass; nuisance
and/or negligence (in this case if they become dangerous)."
Yet almost immediately the trespass of the branches growing comes back
across the boundary. Chopping some distance beyond the boundary ought
to be 'more legal' but it isn't, I'd ban all hedges within 6 feet of
a boundary, they are a complete pain in the arse!
If vegetation encroaches onto your property you are allowed to cut it
back to your boundary but as this belongs to the owner it should be
returned. i.e. if you pick apples from a branch that overhangs your
property it would be considered theft to keep them without permission
from the owner.
I used to cut branches from a neighbours tree that overhung my side
until he had it cut down, wanting to stay within the law I deposited
them back onto his side
"I don't like it up me"
Actually the neighbour who owns the tree is responsible for stopping it
doing anything to upset his neighbours 'quiet enjoyment' - a legal term!
So all is kosher, except if I were him I would bag up the rubbish,
apologise to the neighbour, and discuss what might be done to prevent
such obvious ill feeling arising again.
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