Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Greenthumb » Wed May 29, 2013 10:47 am

Hi,

Sorry for my ignorance, I seem to be missing something. Where is it specifically stated in law that the person who cuts the tree has to offer the cuttings to the owner and then, if they don't want them, is required to dispose of the cuttings themselves? Or is it just being interpreted that way?

I can't find that anywhere. I've spoken to the council and they have advised me i can't take my neighbours cuttings, but don't concur that I am responsible for the cuttings if my neighbour doesn't want them. If anything, they just don't know and don't seem to want to confirm or deny either way.

Assuming im not causing any damage to my neighbours garden surely im simply returning their property. Yes, its unneighbourly, but that doesn't make it illegal.

Is anyone aware of anyone who has returned the branches of an overhanging tree to an neighbour and fell foul of the law because of it?
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Wed May 29, 2013 5:27 pm

Greenthumb wrote:Hi,

Sorry for my ignorance, I seem to be missing something. Where is it specifically stated in law that the person who cuts the tree has to offer the cuttings to the owner and then, if they don't want them, is required to dispose of the cuttings themselves? Or is it just being interpreted that way?

I can't find that anywhere. I've spoken to the council and they have advised me i can't take my neighbours cuttings, but don't concur that I am responsible for the cuttings if my neighbour doesn't want them. If anything, they just don't know and don't seem to want to confirm or deny either way.

Assuming im not causing any damage to my neighbours garden surely im simply returning their property. Yes, its unneighbourly, but that doesn't make it illegal.

Is anyone aware of anyone who has returned the branches of an overhanging tree to an neighbour and fell foul of the law because of it?



Its case law, the precedent is that the owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits, the case is an old one and involved the sale of apples from overhanging branches that were cut off. The court held that they were still the property of the tree owner
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby despair » Wed May 29, 2013 5:33 pm

If the neighbour has requested in writing that you do not return their arisings but dispose of them yourself what then is case law IYHE
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Wed May 29, 2013 5:52 pm

despair wrote:If the neighbour has requested in writing that you do not return their arisings but dispose of them yourself what then is case law IYHE



Case law is a precedent set by a decision made by a higher court.

what's IYHE????
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby despair » Wed May 29, 2013 7:20 pm

In your humble experience
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Wed May 29, 2013 8:02 pm

despair wrote:In your humble experience



I think you will find that's "IMHO" (in my humble opinion)

Experience it what it is and cant be humble.

Your original question makes no sense case law is what it is, you would need to do some research to find a case with relevant parallels
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Greenthumb » Thu May 30, 2013 2:03 pm

"Its case law, the precedent is that the owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits, the case is an old one and involved the sale of apples from overhanging branches that were cut off. The court held that they were still the property of the tree owner"

Thanks for the reply.

Ok, i understand that part. So the court established the apples belonged to the owner of the tree and it would be theft to retain them and they should be offered back to the owner. Where does it go on to state that the owner's neighbour has to dispose of the apples, or arisings, if the owner decides he does not wish to have them returned.

Its that specific part where there seems to be the assumption that the owner has the option to opt out of ownership if he deems it inconvenient; and that ownership, or responsibility for disposal, then moves to the neighbour.

Any legal precedent for that? Don't seem to be able to find any policy on it at all and my local council can't say definitively either.

Thanks
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Thu May 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Greenthumb wrote:"Its case law, the precedent is that the owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits, the case is an old one and involved the sale of apples from overhanging branches that were cut off. The court held that they were still the property of the tree owner"

Thanks for the reply.

Ok, i understand that part. So the court established the apples belonged to the owner of the tree and it would be theft to retain them and they should be offered back to the owner. Where does it go on to state that the owner's neighbour has to dispose of the apples, or arisings, if the owner decides he does not wish to have them returned.

Its that specific part where there seems to be the assumption that the owner has the option to opt out of ownership if he deems it inconvenient; and that ownership, or responsibility for disposal, then moves to the neighbour.

Any legal precedent for that? Don't seem to be able to find any policy on it at all and my local council can't say definitively either.

Thanks


There are those that will tell you that you cant return them without permission as this amounts to fly tipping, for myself and through long years of practice, as long as you do no damage you can return them, the basic principal of fly tipping is waste brought to a place from somewhere else.

The branches were part of the tree and as such part of the land, if they left the land momentarily during the cutting it was for logistical reasons. It cant be fly tipping if its your tree. That's just your property getting moved from one place to another
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Greenthumb » Fri May 31, 2013 10:36 am

Thanks for your reply.

I have spoken to the Environment Agency, and the Environmental Health Dept of the local council, as well as the dept that deals with nuisance, and none of them were willing to commit to advising me what to do, understandably, but in all cases they said it would be unlikely to be something they would get involved in and the individuals i spoke to in each case said they personally understood the protocol was to return the arisings, without causing damage, to the owners property. THe EA and EHD said it was unlikely to constitute fly tipping, but the EHD said if i was still concerned to seek advice from the citizens advice bureau; which i'm waiting on.

I also note that within a thread on this forum someone had spoken to a PC directly who had said in these circumstances the police dont consider it fly tipping either as the arisings belong to the owner of the land and therefore it can't be fly tipping to deposit it on the land from which it had come. Again, none of this is concrete so we'll see what CA say but it sure is frustrating trying to find out just where the law begins and ends to ensure you stay on the right side of it. So far, however, no-one has indicated that returning the arisings would constitute a breach of any law or regulation.

I'd be genuinely interested if anyone could prove the contrary.

Thanks
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby kipper » Fri May 31, 2013 1:02 pm

You need to enter the land to place the arisings there. That could be construed as trespass I suppose if the person requested you not to return the arisings, moreso if done repeatedly.

Action for criminal offences by the the relevant agencies seems unlikely from your enquiries, civil action I suspect is also unlikely as it is more hassle and expense with no definite outcome. However, as I have said before, with a stubborn neighbour there is a good chance that they will just place the arisings back on your land.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby TO » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:44 pm

Hi

Greenthumb wrote:no-one has indicated that returning the arisings would constitute a breach of any law or regulation. I'd be genuinely interested if anyone could prove the contrary.


Well I have but just to reiterate with relevant case law references and legislation included.

Forget fly-tipping, it has no legal definition, and is to all intents and purposes a red herring.

As Treeman has mentioned the tree, and all its bits belongs to the owner. However, you have the right to cut off the bits that encroach across your boundary, but the bits you cut off don't become your property, they still belong to the tree owner. See Mills v Brooker [1919]

You offer back, because to keep it would amount to theft. The owner either accepts the offer or declines it. If they decline it you have the bits to get rid of. However, the bits constitute legally controlled waste. See The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 Schedule 1.3 You must dispose of this at a licensed site. If you put the bits back onto your neighbours land you are breaching the Environment Act by dumping a controlled waste. Environmental Protection Act 1990 (Part II) s.33. You will also be trespassing.

This is the law of the land and applies equally to everyone, including the Environment Agency, Environmental Health, Police etc, if they say different they are being disingenuous.

Getting them to act is a different kettle of fish and in order to avoid doing anything they will fob you off.

TO
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby hzatph » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Treeman wrote:
Greenthumb wrote:"Its case law, the precedent is that the owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits, the case is an old one and involved the sale of apples from overhanging branches that were cut off. The court held that they were still the property of the tree owner"

Thanks for the reply.

Ok, i understand that part. So the court established the apples belonged to the owner of the tree and it would be theft to retain them and they should be offered back to the owner. Where does it go on to state that the owner's neighbour has to dispose of the apples, or arisings, if the owner decides he does not wish to have them returned.

Its that specific part where there seems to be the assumption that the owner has the option to opt out of ownership if he deems it inconvenient; and that ownership, or responsibility for disposal, then moves to the neighbour.

Any legal precedent for that? Don't seem to be able to find any policy on it at all and my local council can't say definitively either.

Thanks


There are those that will tell you that you cant return them without permission as this amounts to fly tipping, for myself and through long years of practice, as long as you do no damage you can return them, the basic principal of fly tipping is waste brought to a place from somewhere else.

The branches were part of the tree and as such part of the land, if they left the land momentarily during the cutting it was for logistical reasons. It cant be fly tipping if its your tree. That's just your property getting moved from one place to another.


I am with TO here. Fly tipping is a colloquial term for the illegal dumping of waste - there is no need to move it somewhere else. The concept of ownership has nothing to do with it, nor does it belong to the land.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:08 pm

hzatph wrote:
Treeman wrote:
Greenthumb wrote:"Its case law, the precedent is that the owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits, the case is an old one and involved the sale of apples from overhanging branches that were cut off. The court held that they were still the property of the tree owner"

Thanks for the reply.

Ok, i understand that part. So the court established the apples belonged to the owner of the tree and it would be theft to retain them and they should be offered back to the owner. Where does it go on to state that the owner's neighbour has to dispose of the apples, or arisings, if the owner decides he does not wish to have them returned.

Its that specific part where there seems to be the assumption that the owner has the option to opt out of ownership if he deems it inconvenient; and that ownership, or responsibility for disposal, then moves to the neighbour.

Any legal precedent for that? Don't seem to be able to find any policy on it at all and my local council can't say definitively either.

Thanks


There are those that will tell you that you cant return them without permission as this amounts to fly tipping, for myself and through long years of practice, as long as you do no damage you can return them, the basic principal of fly tipping is waste brought to a place from somewhere else.

The branches were part of the tree and as such part of the land, if they left the land momentarily during the cutting it was for logistical reasons. It cant be fly tipping if its your tree. That's just your property getting moved from one place to another.


I am with TO here. Fly tipping is a colloquial term for the illegal dumping of waste - there is no need to move it somewhere else. The concept of ownership has nothing to do with it, nor does it belong to the land.



How does this work then, in this day and age customers keep chip and logs because its expensive to cart away and it has a monetary value, that means every second job the client is breaking the law, or are they???????

Were you aware that the environment agency regard tree waste as exempt from the waste transfer licencing system????

The EA says its not waste, good luck getting anyone interested and if you manage that getting a conviction.
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby TO » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:21 am

hi
treeman wrote:How does this work then, in this day and age customers keep chip and logs because its expensive to cart away and it has a monetary value, that means every second job the client is breaking the law, or are they???????
Were you aware that the environment agency regard tree waste as exempt from the waste transfer licencing system????
The EA says its not waste, good luck getting anyone interested and if you manage that getting a conviction.


It is the intention of the owner to dispose of the stuff that makes it waste. You then throw into the mix the intended use of the stuff, and the various bits of legislation and it all becomes as clear as mud and best described as Errr, well yes but no but well its a fairly grey area.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/st ... d_v3.0.pdf

The moral of the story is don't move leaves.
Section 3 is also interesting.

And it is all change again in January 2014. So check to see if you consider you are still exempt.

TO
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Re: Returning/not returning trimmings to neighbour

Postby Treeman » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:21 pm

TO wrote:hi
treeman wrote:How does this work then, in this day and age customers keep chip and logs because its expensive to cart away and it has a monetary value, that means every second job the client is breaking the law, or are they???????
Were you aware that the environment agency regard tree waste as exempt from the waste transfer licencing system????
The EA says its not waste, good luck getting anyone interested and if you manage that getting a conviction.


It is the intention of the owner to dispose of the stuff that makes it waste. You then throw into the mix the intended use of the stuff, and the various bits of legislation and it all becomes as clear as mud and best described as Errr, well yes but no but well its a fairly grey area.

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/st ... d_v3.0.pdf

The moral of the story is don't move leaves.
Section 3 is also interesting.


And it is all change again in January 2014. So check to see if you consider you are still exempt.

TO


Well if its the intent of the owner that makes it waste then we are well out of that since the courts have decided that the owner of the tree is the owner of the arising's.

The EA change is a housekeeping exercise, rather than have an exemption for the roadside checks to get their heads around they are issuing free licences for the exempt.
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