Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby justree » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:20 pm

My neighbours have a tall conifer around 10 metres high which initially wasn't overhanging our garden. However its grown with one large branch to one side, meaning its weight is unevenly distributed. Over time its leaned over further and further, to the point where the greater part of the crown and branches are now in our property. Whenever we get strong winds, it moves further over. The tree has damaged the boundary wall, there are twos cracks parallel to the trunk.

We've brought this up with them, and asked them nicely to get it inspected. They claim that its been inspected and its safe, making a disingenuous offer for us to trim it whilst not affecting the health of the tree, not practical given its current condition. However we don't feel it is safe - it certainly, as we have photographic evidence showing the tree has dropped down another 8 or so inches over the last 3 months, in part due to the recent heavy weather.

Normally I would just let it fall that way the neighbour isn't tempted to grow a similarly large replacement next to the wall, and let the neighbour's insurance take of things, however we have a 1 year old and I am not happy with her playing in the garden in the summer, the tree looks unstable.

I am seeking advice on options, both drastic and less drastic. We've communicated in writing so far. We don't have a great relationship with the neighbour so there is no love lost, similarly avoiding making things worse is for the better.

Thank you!
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby despair » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:16 pm

You have done the right thing by putting your concerns in writing because that means they are liable for every bit of damage that occurs after the date of the letter

trust you kept copies of your letters
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:20 am

Hi justree,

What are you wanting to happen?

If you're wanting the tree dealt with in a particular way then why not ask if they could obtain a written report from a qualified arboriculturist for both your benefit (I'd offer to contribute towards the cost and get my own copy).
Once you both review this report you'll have a much more informed appreciation of what action, if any, is required.

As a last resort if they ignore the report, you could try to get a court injunction requiring them to deal with the tree if it is considered dangerous. The content of the report would help ascertain whether the tree was dangerous.

All my non-expert, unqualified suggestion and opinion.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby Treeman » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:37 am

justree wrote:My neighbours have a tall conifer around 10 metres high which initially wasn't overhanging our garden. However its grown with one large branch to one side, meaning its weight is unevenly distributed. Over time its leaned over further and further, to the point where the greater part of the crown and branches are now in our property. Whenever we get strong winds, it moves further over. The tree has damaged the boundary wall, there are twos cracks parallel to the trunk.

We've brought this up with them, and asked them nicely to get it inspected. They claim that its been inspected and its safe, making a disingenuous offer for us to trim it whilst not affecting the health of the tree, not practical given its current condition. However we don't feel it is safe - it certainly, as we have photographic evidence showing the tree has dropped down another 8 or so inches over the last 3 months, in part due to the recent heavy weather.

Normally I would just let it fall that way the neighbour isn't tempted to grow a similarly large replacement next to the wall, and let the neighbour's insurance take of things, however we have a 1 year old and I am not happy with her playing in the garden in the summer, the tree looks unstable.

I am seeking advice on options, both drastic and less drastic. We've communicated in writing so far. We don't have a great relationship with the neighbour so there is no love lost, similarly avoiding making things worse is for the better.

Thank you!



The simple answer is to cut back any overhang. that's a common law right

If the tree is causing damage you need to present them with evidence which may or may not take the form of a third party report, and give them opportunity to rectify the situation, if they then fail to act this ends in litigation.

I have to say, I am sceptical about the movement you mention, if the structural parts of a tree move that far they usually keep moving till they get to the floor.

Beware the idea that their insurance will deal with it. Their insurance covers their property so if it drops your way damage wont be covered by their insurance.
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby arborlad » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:25 am

justree wrote:.......... The tree has damaged the boundary wall, there are twos cracks parallel to the trunk.
Thank you!



Who owns the wall?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby MacadamB53 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi justree,

Treeman wrote:I have to say, I am sceptical about the movement you mention, if the structural parts of a tree move that far they usually keep moving till they get to the floor.


I agree with Treeman. To move so far in such a short time and still be standing does seem strange - even to my far less experienced mind.

For the benefit of the thread I think you need to clarify whether the damage to the wall is a concern.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby justree » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:03 pm

First of all thank you for all of the help so far.

I've retained copies of the letters, the neighbour is contacting me via SMS, I will continue to contact them in writing.

From what I can determine, the wall is buttressing the tree, the tree is with the neighbour to the back of my property. There is a fence is on top of the wall. If the wall collapses I expect the tree will fall, given how much of its weight is to one side. I have tried to upload a picture, however there was an error message about space, and couldn't include a URL to the picture either. The tree is moving towards my garage, a decked area (no longer used as its now very dark with the tree hanging over it) and garden shed.

With respect to the ownership of the wall, I am not sure who the owner is, the wall I suspect is owned by me as there is a similar wall to the left side but not to the right of the property.

The damage to the wall is not my highest priority, the wall is only 3 feet high, its made with concrete blocks. However the damage to the garage etc is a real concern.

My ideal is for the neighbour to take responsibility and cut it back until its no longer over hanging my property. Cutting it back myself will result in the expense and inconvenience of not only cutting down but disposing of the waste, I am pretty sure they won't want the greater part of the tree returned to them, I will offer of course.

I am going to write to them again requesting the report and contact details from the arboriculturist , and also point out that the tree has fallen further (we can evidence this with photographs taken when the first letter was sent, up until this week). I will remind them of the risk, to the garage, shed and decked area.

Kind regards,

Justree
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Re: Neighbours Tree now Mainly in our Property

Postby arsie » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:25 pm

It is not clear what you put in your letter but what I would do is put them on notice:

- their tree appears to be leaning dangerously;
- they ought to have it checked by professional arborists;
- if it falls on your land and causes any damage you will hold them responsible;
- any damage further to the current position they will also be liable for. Enclose pictures.

Send this recorded signed for.
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