Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby kappa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:06 am

Hi to all,

I have come across a very strange issue today. Our house has 2 fruit trees, both of which with fantastic and yummy crop each year. Our neighbour has a garden shed in their garden and when they bought the house several years ago, one of the fruit trees was always in their airspace, now and again when windy, hitting the roof of the garden shed. Neighbour never addressed this issue with a previous neighbour, but for some reason, decided to cut down this branch in the past month. It is effectively a third of the tree gone (as it's a small tree). It could have been forced to our side, if we had put down a metal post and tied the branch to it. It was a matter of a few centimetres of the tree branch being in our neighbour's airspace.

What I don't get about this, is that the neighbour didn't discuss their plans with us, and went ahead, and did this behind our back. Secondly, presumably they were thinking we are not going to notice it.

I have not yet raised this issue with neighbour, but obviously I am not happy, as this is not a very neighbourly thing to do. It hasn't been a problem for several years, then suddenly it becomes a problem and action is taken without consideration of any other solution and discussion and agreement with us.
kappa
 
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby despair » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:26 am

Sadly some neighbours are like this and refuse to do the correct thing and ask you to cut back the offending branch

whilst they are legally entitled to cut back strictly to the boundary they must also offer back the arisings which you can reject

if they have cut beyond the boundary then technically its criminal damage but the Police wriggle out of dealing with that

all you can do is remonstrate with the neighbour and insist they only ever cut back strictly to the boundary and no furthur
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:47 am

Hi kappa,

It hasn't been a problem for several years

You mean it hasn't been a big enough problem until now.

They could have told you the tree was now an issue for them.
They chose not to - nobody on Garden Law will know why.
They have done nothing wrong though (unless you've omitted details).

I'm confused by:

one of the fruit trees was always in their airspace
a few centimetres of the tree branch being in our neighbour's airspace
It is effectively a third of the tree gone


How close to the boundary does the tree stand?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby kappa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:27 am

Hi Mac,

The tree has 3 main branches, it is a fairly small tree but with an impressive crop of fruit, that is also very nice to eat.

The tree trunk is currently held by a metal pole, that is at a distance of 5-10cm from our fence.

The 'offending branch' was multidirectional, largely growing in our space, only in a couple of places bent towards neighbour's airspace.
There was no way to cut the part of the branch only in our neighbour's airspace, given the shape of the branch.

However after a concern raised from a neighbour last year, when they noted that it has been like this for several years, and that they wanted something to be done about it, at some point, I have discussed with a gardener and a family member and they both agreed that the best way to address this is to place a metal pole, and force the entire branch into our airspace. They noted that the tree was growing in this way since they moved into the property. To be honest, this topic never came up again and we forgot about it really.

Tying the branch on our side would of course not fully solve wind and branches moving (as neighbour's roof of the shed ends where the fence starts), but it would mean, that the 'offending' branch would not be in any part in neighbour's airspace.

The main issue is that significant portion of the tree was cut down, without prior warning.
In fact, when I look at the photos of the tree taken a month ago (random snap of the garden), I can see that this branch was the longest, and had the most small branches coming from it, growing along our fence, and upwards, with only minor airspace 'infringement' of our neighbour's airspace.
kappa
 
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:37 am

Hi kappa,

So, if I've understood correctly, a concern was raised, you were asked if you would do something to resolve it, you said yes but did nothing. Now you're wondering why they've taken remedial action themselves and think they should have raised the concern again.

Why don't you lift and resite the tree?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby kappa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:45 am

Hi Mac,

It's a very old tree (20 plus years) and relocating such a mature tree didn't occur to any of us.

Thank you for your suggestion.

Best regards.
kappa
 
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Re: Fruit tree branch cut off by neighbour

Postby Treeman » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:07 am

So in a nutshell you were asked to sort the problem out and agreed to do so. Having given that undertaking you failed to act and now you are upset that the neighbour sorted the problem for you???


For the record the neighbour has acted lawfully and had no obligation to inform you.

As far as managing trees by pulling branches with ropes and metal poles goes, plant it in a sustainable location.
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