Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby katee » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:04 pm

I agree, the Basingstoke leaflet is misleading and as you pointed out earlier THIS site has an even more confusing statement!

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/trees.html
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.

Surely this needs reviewing?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby ukmicky » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:29 pm

The law you want has nothing to do with common law and has nothing to do with your common law right to cut back your neighbour plants to the boundary.

It is simply what must be done to prevent a criminal conviction for theft.

If you take and dispose of the cuttings without firstly offering them back to the owner then by your actions you have taken their property without their permision and with the intention to unlawfully and permanently deprive the owner of their property, theft.

To avoid a possible criminal charge you need to offer them back , if they refuse then your disposal will no longer be unlawful.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Mojisola » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:36 pm

ukmicky wrote:The law you want has nothing to do with common law and has nothing to do with your common law right to cut back your neighbour plants to the boundary.

It is simply what must be done to prevent a criminal conviction for theft.

If you take and dispose of the cuttings without firstly offering them back to the owner then by your actions you have taken their property without their permision and with the intention to unlawfully and permanently deprive the owner of their property, theft.

To avoid a possible criminal charge you need to offer them back , if they refuse then your disposal will no longer be unlawful.


I think this is what is behind the view many people have that you have to return everything you cut off.

I was asking where the law or ruling was that says that the person who does the pruning has to dispose of the arisings if the tree owner does not want them.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Conveyancer » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:53 pm

The answer is to be found in the law of trespass. To put something on someone's land without their consent even if it is their property is a trespass.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:17 pm

Conveyancer wrote:The answer is to be found in the law of trespass. To put something on someone's land without their consent even if it is their property is a trespass.


So they offer a suit for trespass, the respondent offers a countersuit to reclaim expenses and the lawyers get rich.

You can make a small fortune as a litigant, just start with a large fortune, the lawyers will take it off you.
:shock: :shock:
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Mojisola » Sun May 01, 2011 9:53 am

Conveyancer wrote:The answer is to be found in the law of trespass. To put something on someone's land without their consent even if it is their property is a trespass.


Thanks. That's the kind of detail I was looking for.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Mattylad » Sun May 01, 2011 10:02 am

So what we want next is the actual law ? :D
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Conveyancer » Sun May 01, 2011 11:01 am

This is what I said on the other forum:

The idea that you can return trimmings and other arisings to your neighbour without his consent or indeed that you must do so, is patently wrong. It is yet another wrong-headed notion that has been spread across the web by barrack-room lawyers.

The law of trespass applies. Trespass is not just going on to someone's land without their consent. Directly interfering with someone's land is a trespass. Returning arisings in such a way as to cause damage or serious inconvenience will certainly be actionable. Surely no one can believe that the law allows you to scatter clippings across your neighbour's lawn or flowerbeds or throw branches over the fence. The law does not allow you to leave neatly bagged clippings on your neighbour's front door step either, though the court would I am sure frown on anyone who sued for a single instance.

Is it theft if you dispose of arisings without consent? Up and down the country thousands trim their neighbours' hedges and dispose of the cuttings with the rest of their garden waste. They do not think to ask the neighbours' consent to do so. Does anyone seriously think that the police, let alone the CPS, would take an interest? Depending on the tree, I suppose large branches may have some value as timber or firewood, but again I suspect none of the powers-that-be would be interested. Intent is a necessary ingredient of most crimes. I suspect any court would hold that there could be no intent when on any reasonable, if not strictly legal, view arisings are not generally thought of as belonging to anyone any more than leaves that fall off in autumn. Fruit laden branches should be regarded differently.

It is unwise to rely on local authority sites for correct statements of the law - the fact that clearly contradictory statements are made on different sites confirms it.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Mojisola » Sun May 01, 2011 11:11 am

katee wrote:http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/trees.html
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.

Surely this needs reviewing?


This bit definitely needs changing.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby katee » Thu May 05, 2011 11:34 am

Just been watching 'Dont Get Done Get Dom' a consumer and legal advise show on ITV 1.

Giving advice on 'What are you allowed to do if your neighbours tree overhangs your garden' he gave this advice:

''If your neighbours tree is overhanging your garden you are entitled to cut the branches back but no further than your fence BUT YOU MUST RETURN THE BRANCHES'' ! :x

.....sigh :roll:
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Teckie » Fri May 06, 2011 11:05 pm

katee wrote:Just been watching 'Dont Get Done Get Dom' a consumer and legal advise show on ITV 1.

Giving advice on 'What are you allowed to do if your neighbours tree overhangs your garden' he gave this advice:

''If your neighbours tree is overhanging your garden you are entitled to cut the branches back but no further than your fence BUT YOU MUST RETURN THE BRANCHES'' ! :x

.....sigh :roll:


I saw that and I also sighed. :roll:

I've emailed the programme makers and told them that they were opening a can of worms by giving that advice. I can just see people all over the country throwing branches over their garden fences and the ensuing problems that would follow.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby katee » Fri May 06, 2011 11:49 pm

Teckie wrote:I've emailed the programme makers and told them that they were opening a can of worms by giving that advice.


Good idea Teckie, :idea: I'll do the same!
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby dmahon » Sat May 07, 2011 11:21 pm

What if the branch bends over your property and then back onto theirs? Cutting the overhang will result in either:

1) the overhang, together with everything else, falling onto their property
2) you pulling non-overhanging branches onto your own property

If the answer is to let it fall on their property, encouraging growth of the overhanging trees back onto their property (ie bending them back, or perhaps allowing the wind to do so) before pruning would appear to be the way to go if you want to avoid the fairly high disposal charges that councils now charge.

What legal (or moral) principle dictates that you should you have to pay to dispose of your neighbours property?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby despair » Sat May 07, 2011 11:56 pm

Given the charges some Councils are or propose charging to take green waste i totally agree that the law on disposing of a neighbours unwanted tree prunings needs to be urgently addressed
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby mamu » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:47 pm

seems wrong to me that people can plant trees that impact on other peoples property and their enjoyment of it without consent, especially if we can not cut overhang back and returned it to the owner without their consent. Every law seems to protect people who make other peoples lives a misery!
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