Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Confused/Gloucester » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:40 pm

Hi,

I have just read through this discussion in the hope that I would be able to cut & paste the definitive answer with regard to who is responsible for getting rid of branches. Yesterday I returned home to find that my new neighbours had cut off overhanging branches and put them back over the fence into my garden. There are a lot of them(!) and they are currently blocking my access into my shed. I work full time and somehow will have to find time to cut them up into manageable pieces & dispose of them. I do have a small garden shredder but some of the branches may be too thick to go into it. I don't mind that the neighbours cut the branches off - the Hazel tree has grown very tall and it was a very hot sunny day yesterday and they presumably wanted full sun on their garden. However, they did it whilst we were out and did not come round once we were home to tell us. I feel I should say something to them but I want to know that what I say is correct. I have read conflicting information on the internet and if I quote one version to them they could quote the other back to me! I don't want to fall out with them and therefore I will have to get rid of the branches. However, I do want to mention it and say that I would have appreciated if they could have spoken to us about it - as I now have a lot of work to do which I had not planned on doing. Below are the two conflicting statements taken from the internet:

Your common law rights allow you to remove any of your neighbours' branches that cross your boundary without the need to seek your neighbours' permission, although you may wish to notify your neighbour of your intentions. You should not cross the boundary or dispose of the branches or other material from the tree into your neighbours' property, but first ask if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they do not want it, it will be your responsibility to arrange disposal.

If the branches of a neighbour’s tree start to grow over to your side, you can cut them back to the boundary point between you and your neighbour’s property, as long as the tree is not under a tree preservation order. If it is, you’ll need to seek further clarification. However, the branches and any fruit on them which you may have cut down on your side still belong to the tree owner so they can ask you to return them. Alternatively, you can return them and ask your neighbour to dispose of them themselves should you wish to do so. What might seem a bit of a strange anomaly, however, is that even though any leaves from your neighbour’s tree may fall into your garden in autumn, you have no right to ask them to come around and sweep them up.

Does anyone know which version is actually correct?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Mattylad » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:45 pm

They both are, the first is a statement that the person cutting them off has to dispose of them while the second suggests that you can return them but you have to ask first.

If they say no then its back to the first.

Your neighbour has dumped them.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Conveyancer » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:33 pm

I refer to my post of 1st May.

I think the problem here is that people are taking "you must offer the arisings to the owner of the tree" as meaning "you must give the arisings to the owner of the tree" and going from there to assuming you can throw the arisings over the garden fence. It cannot possibly be right that the law allows someone to be put to the inconvenience that Confused/Gloucester has been put.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby katee » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:51 pm

Conveyancer wrote:I think the problem here is that people are taking "you must offer the arisings to the owner of the tree" as meaning "you must give the arisings to the owner of the tree"


Correct.

I will quote myself here (because I can ! :wink: )

katee wrote:There seems to be confusion with the words OFFER and RETURN.

To OFFER: to make available, to present for acceptance.

To RETURN : to give back to the owner, to send back.

Therefore all cuttings should be OFFERED back.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Sudynim » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:23 pm

Confused/Gloucester wrote:Your common law rights allow you to remove any of your neighbours' branches that cross your boundary without the need to seek your neighbours' permission, although you may wish to notify your neighbour of your intentions. You should not cross the boundary or dispose of the branches or other material from the tree into your neighbours' property, but first ask if they wish to have the material returned to them. If they do not want it, it will be your responsibility to arrange disposal.

Does anyone know which version is actually correct?


This one.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby JohnP1950 » Thu May 09, 2013 1:17 am

Conveyancer wrote:I refer to my post of 1st May.

I think the problem here is that people are taking "you must offer the arisings to the owner of the tree" as meaning "you must give the arisings to the owner of the tree" and going from there to assuming you can throw the arisings over the garden fence. It cannot possibly be right that the law allows someone to be put to the inconvenience that Confused/Gloucester has been put.

Yet, unfortunately, it seems that the law allows someone to be put to the inconvenience of having to trim their neighbour's 40-foot-high leylandii back to the boundary every year as well as having to dispose of a large skip-load of cuttings. It costs me over £1200 each year to maintain my neighbour's property (or else I lose the enjoyment of my own small garden). I have tried looking at this from every conceivable angle, but I just can't see how being held to ransom by my neighbour can be considered fair under the law. I didn't choose to plant the leylandiis six inches from my fence (I had no say in the matter), so why does my neighbour make me to pay for the maintenance of his trees? Answer: because the law allows him to. Combine Leylandiis with English law and you have a truly fearsome weapon with which to batter your neighbour.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby despair » Thu May 09, 2013 8:34 am

Without a shadow of doubt the Law in relation to trees and cutting back and disposal of arisings is utterly and totally wrong but of course it was designed /written long long before Leylandi were planted as a weapon and when neighbours respected each other and helped each other
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Thu May 09, 2013 9:09 am

despair wrote:Without a shadow of doubt the Law in relation to trees and cutting back and disposal of arisings is utterly and totally wrong but of course it was designed /written long long before Leylandi were planted as a weapon and when neighbours respected each other and helped each other



You have that all wrong, the law certainly wasn't designed nor was it written per se

Most of the law regarding overhanging branches is a distillation of common law precedents often conflicting each other to some degree or other.

Common law is precedent based on judgement in cases from higher courts.

The assertion that people helped each other before leylandii is bunk, many of the judgements that gave us the precedents that established the common law predate the widespread planting of leylandii, if not the very origin of this inter specific hybrid. This clearly demonstrates that people were "at it" before the advent of leylandii. Leylandii are just the new tool they use.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby JohnP1950 » Thu May 09, 2013 6:55 pm

However, in view of their rapid growth rate and very dense foliage, Leylandii do make for a more effective and widespread weapon. Perhaps other provisions in the law are needed to protect against the unfair situation I outlined above. Or maybe it already exists and Is not well known: does anyone know of specific case law that might help people blighted by giant overhanging leylandii?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby despair » Thu May 09, 2013 8:06 pm

Sadly the only law is the High Hedge Law and the outcome of that is by no means cheap or certain since any order cannot reduce the trees by more than 1/3rd and must not kill them
There was the very odd case on hedgeline years ago whereby the costs of removing overhang were gained but again no certainty
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Clifford Pope » Tue May 14, 2013 8:41 am

"Offer" doesn't mean give away for nothing.

If you cut back a lot of useful logs from your neighbour's overhanging branches, can you offer them back at £100 a ton, and keep them if he refuses to pay?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Tue May 14, 2013 1:18 pm

Clifford Pope wrote:"Offer" doesn't mean give away for nothing.

If you cut back a lot of useful logs from your neighbour's overhanging branches, can you offer them back at £100 a ton, and keep them if he refuses to pay?



Errr NO.

The entire point of the returning of arisings is that the courts decided that the owner of the tree was entitled to the benefits of the tree so any material belongs to them if they want it.

The original judgement was about some branches cut off where the other party sold the apples that were on the branches.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby syl2 » Tue May 14, 2013 7:11 pm

Erect something (including, if you like, yourself) on your side of the boundary which bends the overhang back whence it came (except for a centimetre or so). Cut the centimetre which still overhangs - the branch will now drop on the tree owners properly.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Clifford Pope » Thu May 16, 2013 9:00 am

Treeman wrote:
Clifford Pope wrote:"Offer" doesn't mean give away for nothing.

If you cut back a lot of useful logs from your neighbour's overhanging branches, can you offer them back at £100 a ton, and keep them if he refuses to pay?



Errr NO.

The entire point of the returning of arisings is that the courts decided that the owner of the tree was entitled to the benefits of the tree so any material belongs to them if they want it.




Yes, I guessed that really, I was just struck by the persistent and curious use of the word "offer".
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby hzatph » Thu May 23, 2013 8:35 am

Just found this thread - can it be made a sticky as it is the one sensible and referenced discussion I have seen on this difficult topic.
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