tree pushing fencepost restricting access

tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby lex2000 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Hi,

a bit of background there is an ash tree in the neighbours garden approx 1m from my house wall.
( Their back garden backs onto the side of my house )

Over the years the ash tree has obviously grown and has pushed out the fence gravel boards by approx 1ft,
however the concrete post has been pushed so it leans approx a further 1ft . The concrete path is also cracked
across its width by the tree trunk.
This means the passageway down the side of my house although not blocked has restricted access at this point ( since it is a narrow passageway anyway ! )

I have spoken to the neighbors and they have been friendly and accommodating to a point. They did actually cut one root which looked as though it could have been pushing the post over. Unfortunately this made no difference and the post is stuck solid at an angle.

I'm not bothered about a slight restriction, but what concerns me is this can only get worse.

Reading the threads on this forum leads me to believe that unless there is actual property damage there is nothing that can be done about a tree that is too close to the property, since depending on soil types / foundation depth etc .... it may not damage the house.

However, does anyone know where i stand with this post that is restricting access ? ( with the view that it can only get worse )

thanks in advance.
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby COGGY » Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:50 pm

If you have any legal expenses cover then contact them for advice. It would be wise to write to the neighbour, setting out the position clearly, stating that legally he is responsible for any damage caused by his tree. Send the letter recorded delivery. Keep a copy of the delivery note, which will appear on line. If you are friendly with him then explain to him what you are doing is what you need to do in order to protect your property. Could you take him for a drink to discuss it?
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby despair » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:01 pm

The tree is already causing damage both to the fence ,the concrete post and the path
So you cannot pussy foot around it
It seems Ash trees are notorious for undermining foundations from the problems encountered by several friends with trees much further away than coggys neighbours

Hence i agree with previous post. Write a letter clearly detailing all the current problems and that the only solution is removal of the tree so you can re instate matters
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby lex2000 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:44 pm

thanks for replies guys, i shall have a look if i have legal expenses cover - and if so will give them a call.

I agree a friendly drink with the neighbor is the best way to solve these things, i think so far we have got on ok - just not reached any conclusions, and i feel to go any further will involve other parties and legalities.

Prob doesnt change things much, but the fence post / gravel boards is actually on the neighbors side so technically its
not fence damage from my point, there tree is just shifting their fence further away.

I do want to work out my options before i put anything in writing, since obviously that would then become a disclosable issue on a house sale.

For example, at the moment yes i can say its obvious the tree has cracked the footpath BUT in order to PROVE this - i'm guessing you would need to dig up the concrete path and show that its actually the roots have done the damage ....

A quick call regarding a tree survey looked like they varied from £300+vat upwards ( ie to use as my expert witness ) might this then be like a house survey where everything is covered by caveats, so it has limited use ?

Or is it a structural engineer i need a comment from ?
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby COGGY » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:33 pm

As I understand, from reading posts on this site, the neighbours are only liable from the time you make them aware of the problem. You have spoken to them, but they could "forget" this. A friendly approach is surely worth a try before taking things further. Once they are made aware that they are liable it may force them to take action. Troubles with neighbours are extremely stressful. If you can solve it over a drink that would be favourite. They may not understand the implications of the problem. Most of us are sometimes guilty of "putting things off" until forced to face the difficulties. You could tell them that your insurance have told you to send a letter by recorded delivery. They are not to know that this is bluff on your part. :wink:
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby Geometer » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:47 pm

lex2000 wrote: there is an ash tree in the neighbours garden approx 1m from my house wall.

I'm not bothered about a slight restriction, but what concerns me is this can only get worse.

Give it ten years and it'll probably die:
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara
Does it look healthy now?
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby Treeman » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:13 pm

despair wrote:The tree is already causing damage both to the fence ,the concrete post and the path
So you cannot pussy foot around it
It seems Ash trees are notorious for undermining foundations from the problems encountered by several friends with trees much further away than coggys neighbours

Hence i agree with previous post. Write a letter clearly detailing all the current problems and that the only solution is removal of the tree so you can re instate matters



That's utter nonsense, with absolutely no scientific basis.

For the record trees don't undermine anything, under mining is the removal of material such as coal or gold (if you are lucky).

Trees can damage lightly loaded structures by direct contact and heavier structures by desiccating the ground causing shrinkage.

There is no scientific evidence that Ash trees are excessively implicated in damage
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby despair » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:43 pm

Well the evidence of subsidence presented to the local council of the damage done by a council owned Ash tree 40ft away sure got prompt action for a friend of mine and that's really unusual for their local council
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby Treeman » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:52 pm

despair wrote:Well the evidence of subsidence presented to the local council of the damage done by a council owned Ash tree 40ft away sure got prompt action for a friend of mine and that's really unusual for their local council



And did the evidence presented say undermined?

Do you even know what the evidence said?

How many incidences of ash tree related subsidence under that authorities care do you know about to say that this occasion was prompt?

Do you see what I am getting at? Your original post gives an impression that's completely skewed and scientifically wrong. Have a care what you post, people might believe it
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby hzatph » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:16 am

People get worked up if you say things like they are liable for this or that. Tread carefully or that friendly drink may end badly. Could you talk about a common problem .... "We both have a problem with this ash tree. What are we going to do about it ....?"
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby lex2000 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:47 pm

Agreed, people can easily get worked up with words like liable and when backing them into a corner which requires expenditure or work on their part.

For the guys who have suggested the friendly drink option, what else would you ask them ? Since I have already seem them and discussed this amicably , but the end result was if I wanted to call a structural engineer and his opinion is that it would damage my property then they would remove the tree. However they seem to treat the leaning post as a non issue.

As mentioned calling an expert in can be v expensive and potentially full of caveats which leaves me no further forward.
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby kipper » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:42 pm

Strictly speaking the posts is trespassing by leaning over your land and restricting your access. Some would say you have a right to abate the trespass by carefully removing the post and returning it undamaged to your neighbour. They are then free to reinstate the post correctly.
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby lex2000 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:29 pm

kipper wrote:Strictly speaking the posts is trespassing by leaning over your land and restricting your access. Some would say you have a right to abate the trespass by carefully removing the post and returning it undamaged to your neighbour. They are then free to reinstate the post correctly.


Thanks for that, very interesting. So in fact you think I could treat the fencepost like tree roots/overhanging branches and have the right to remove and offer them back.?

Although its not going to win neighbour of the year award ! It does now give me an option.
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby despair » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:05 pm

The trunk has already caused damage................your path is damaged
I would lift the slabs and expose the roots and then ask them what more proof they need

you can legally cut back every root and branch that crosses the boundary and yes you could do the same to the fence post
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Re: tree pushing fencepost restricting access

Postby despair » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:05 pm

The trunk has already caused damage................your path is damaged
I would lift the slabs and expose the roots and then ask them what more proof they need

you can legally cut back every root and branch that crosses the boundary and yes you could do the same to the fence post
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