Damage to Cherry tree roots

Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby Maggiepie123 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:21 pm

I'm looking for advice with regard to my Neighbour and our Cherry trees.

I'll try and be brief... the boundary fence separating our land is lined with mature Laurels and Cherry Trees on our side of the fence. The trees were planted by the previous owners of the house and are about 20 years old. They offer a precious natural screen against a recent Mill development undertaken within very close proximity to our property. The neighbour owns the land in between ourselves and the Mill, to the right and front of our house, and he is currently converting a workshop situated on his land into 2 dwellings.

The problem is that he has removed half of the root systems on his side of the fence and we are extremely worried about possible damage to our trees and shrubs. I have spoken with a tree surgeon over the phone who advised me that it is unlikely they could survive that level of damage. We appreciate he is entitled to do what he likes on his land but never the less I am worried that the trees will not survive and we will lose the privacy that we hold so precious. His reason for removing the roots is that he wants to put a shed on the outer edge of his land and he needed to excavate down in order to do this. He has removed a couple of metres of earth along the entire length of our boundary fence effecting 10 Lauren bushes and 3 trees. As the tree roots were nowhere near his property is this acceptable in terms of the law? i.e. the trees were not causing any nuisance or damage nor likely to in the future? Can we ask him to replace the trees if he has caused the damage? It's also worth noting that he doesn't like trees in gardens and jokingly threatened to poison them last year.

I'd greatly appreciate any advise on this matter.
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Re: Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby Treeman » Mon Jan 09, 2012 6:27 pm

Maggiepie123 wrote:I'm looking for advice with regard to my Neighbour and our Cherry trees.

I'll try and be brief... the boundary fence separating our land is lined with mature Laurels and Cherry Trees on our side of the fence. The trees were planted by the previous owners of the house and are about 20 years old. They offer a precious natural screen against a recent Mill development undertaken within very close proximity to our property. The neighbour owns the land in between ourselves and the Mill, to the right and front of our house, and he is currently converting a workshop situated on his land into 2 dwellings.

The problem is that he has removed half of the root systems on his side of the fence and we are extremely worried about possible damage to our trees and shrubs. I have spoken with a tree surgeon over the phone who advised me that it is unlikely they could survive that level of damage. We appreciate he is entitled to do what he likes on his land but never the less I am worried that the trees will not survive and we will lose the privacy that we hold so precious. His reason for removing the roots is that he wants to put a shed on the outer edge of his land and he needed to excavate down in order to do this. He has removed a couple of metres of earth along the entire length of our boundary fence effecting 10 Lauren bushes and 3 trees. As the tree roots were nowhere near his property is this acceptable in terms of the law? i.e. the trees were not causing any nuisance or damage nor likely to in the future? Can we ask him to replace the trees if he has caused the damage? It's also worth noting that he doesn't like trees in gardens and jokingly threatened to poison them last year.

I'd greatly appreciate any advise on this matter.


Yes to the first question

No to the second question
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Re: Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby Steve Hancox » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:18 pm

Hi Maggipie.
The basic law is that the roots of your trees are encroaching on his land and he is entitled to cut them up to the boundary line. It might be worthwhile trying to discuss the issue with your neighbour. Even though, as Treeman says, he does not have to pay for replacement trees, he may not want a row of dying trees along the boundary when he tries to sell the new houses. If you could agree on the planting of something attractive, he may be willing to make a contribution.
Steve
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Re: Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby Maggiepie123 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:15 pm

Thanks for your response Steve. I tried to speak to him about my concerns, however he isn't the reasonable type and basically does as he pleases. I'm just going to have to accept what's happened and fork out the money to replant mature shrubs and trees. :(
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Re: Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby span » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:14 pm

Maggiepie123 wrote:Thanks for your response Steve. I tried to speak to him about my concerns, however he isn't the reasonable type and basically does as he pleases. I'm just going to have to accept what's happened and fork out the money to replant mature shrubs and trees. :(


Know what I'd do? I'd plant evergreen trees, then kind that don't grow back green when pruned. Then I'd have lovely luxuriant green foliage on my side, and he'd be looking at brown deadwood on his.

Nice bit of lyelandi or cypress, that's the ticket.
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Re: Damage to Cherry tree roots

Postby Whomping Willow » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:16 pm

Maggiepie123 wrote: Can we ask him to replace the trees if he has caused the damage?


Tree man is not quite right as clearly you can ask him; the issue is whether you can get a Court judgment on the matter. The trees belong to you and whilst your neighbour has a right to cut roots and branches he has no right to damage, destabilise and kill your property, even though it is trespassing on his land. You could claim for the loss that you incur but I expect the legal costs will far outweigh the costs of removing any dead and damaged vegetation and replanting. The practical approach is thus preferable to the theoretical use of the law. Your screen may need to be replaced, renewed or patched.

it seems it is too late to seek an injunction to stop him and I think you would be most unlikely to get an injunction as your neighbour has a right to cut.
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