Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:17 pm

Hi All

I am new to the forum and there seems to be so many conflicting advice online I hope someone can help.

We moved in to our home 3+ years ago and at that time tried to engage with our neighbour regarding the height of his lengthy beech tree/hedge. Although it's lovely, it is also huge and I mean HUGE! It is approx. 30 metres long by 7 metres tall and taller than our upstairs bedroom windows. The previous owner of our house was an elderly resident and there were no known issues that we were made aware of regarding this tree when we bought the house so had no reason to suspect we'd have a problem with the neighbour despite it being quite tall then. Despite efforts on the part of my husband and several letters, our neighbour refuses to engage positively or discuss reducing the height of the tree/hedge. It continues to grow year on year without maintenance on behalf of the neighbour or even any discussion about him having someone to come on to our land to undertake work.

Now we are at the point where this tree is pushing our fence panels out of their concrete posts and the roots are pushing the base concrete post out in a "V" shape back on to our land. Our boundary line is now quite "wiggly" due to this big tree. We are under constant pressure to trim back all the over-hanging branches but it is so tall that I am seriously worried about the health and safety implications on my husband trying to get the odd scrap of light. We are gathering so much garden waste that the local tip think my husband is using it as gardening/business waste. It is also adjoining a larger holm oak and conifer three tree "hedge" of equally problematic proportions - we have to have the lights on in the downstairs rooms because light is all but blocked on that side. Our plants on that side of the house don't grow and our grassy areas are very mossy. We also have to chase the odd scrap of sun round the garden from 5pm it just disappears.

Our local council have visited and quoted us £500 to consider the issue of the evergreen hedge but I just don't know where to go with this problem now. Mediation doesn't appear to be an option either. We have no desire to impact on his privacy (or ours) but the situation has become quite depressing! We just want to be good neighbours but this is virtually impossible!!! :cry:

Any tips or advice anyone? Thanks in advance.
troubledhoneybee
 
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:21 pm

Hi thb,

it is not very clear, to me anyway, whether you're describing a single beech tree or a line of them?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:26 pm

Sorry, have just checked with the husband and we think it must be two.
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby Treeman » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:31 pm

Confused

On the one hand you speak of a Beech tree (or two?) and then you speak of a fee and an evergreen hedge

This is presumably a fee for the HH legislation but that wont cover the trees?

The fact that the outgoing resident said nothing about the trees means nothing and in and of itself is no reason to assume anything
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:40 pm

Thanks Treeman for response. To clarify, there is a long beech tree (or two) forming a hedge that runs in to holm oak/conifer three tree "high hedge" so part of this refers to a high hedge issue with the Council, the beech tree we are suffering but are not able to progress a sensible conversation with our neighbour. Will there ever be a point where the beech tree(s) growth is actually considered an issue?

I think like most home owners, you go into the experience expecting your new neighbours to be sensible adults who can converse and behave in a neighbourly manner otherwise nobody would ever move if they expected punch up city!

I'm sorry if I'm not articulating these two issues clearly, will take photos and post in the morning to assist understanding. :(
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby arsie » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:09 am

I am not a tree expert but isn't beech a deciduous tree? Its leaves turn golden brown over winter and hang on tenaciously.

And the high hedge legislation (a) applies to conifer hedges and (b) is about light in your house, not your garden.

Pictures will be interesting. You will probably find it easier to put them on a free web site and link.
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby ukmicky » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:12 am

arsie wrote:I am not a tree expert but isn't beech a deciduous tree? Its leaves turn golden brown over winter and hang on tenaciously.

And the high hedge legislation (a) applies to conifer hedges and (b) is about light in your house, not your garden.

Pictures will be interesting. You will probably find it easier to put them on a free web site and link.



Hi Arsie

Easy mistake

I think you may be thinking about right to light easements.

The act covers Domestic property and domestic property is definced in the Act as a house and a garden which is used and enjoyed in connection with the house.

If a non evergreen forms part of a evergreen the hedge it can be included or excluded in the works.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:03 am

Hello Folks

We have two issues:
(1) Long and tall Beech tree(s) which we appreciate do not come under High Hedge legislation, AND
(2) High hedge issue of two holm oak/conifer (if anyone has a spare £500 that would help enormously :wink: )

Light is a problem in the house downstairs now, lack of sunshine in the garden is another for us. We can't enjoy our garden in the summer beyond 5pm and the winter it's much worse. Our grass is heavily mossy and plants along the beech end just don't flourish as they get hardly any sunshine at all for the entire year.

I've provided a link below to video footage:
http://tinyurl.com/pt37jcb and a photo of the trunk(s) - we assume this is two trees now not one. I was unsure whether it was one large trunk splitting in to two.

And a couple of pics:
http://tinyurl.com/k92y442
http://tinyurl.com/plleyqu

I hope this helps to clarify the problem. The ladder is placed there to give you an idea of scale of height.

Husband would really like to remove the Beech roots on our side of the fence but I am concerned that if he does we will be accused of vandalising the tree. I don't think it is reasonable for our neighbour to expect us to maintain his hedge, that he won't even budge an inch to reduce in height, when he (apparently) pays a professional to undertake work on his side. This will just keep growing and growing, when will it end? It's grown a fair bit since we moved in 3+ years ago. When will it be considered a risk to our home?
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby despair » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:24 am

Yikes that sure is monster Beech

TO is a tree Officer if he looks in on this thread he might be able to tell you whether that lot could be considered under the HH Law

I doubt that cutting back the roots would kill or destabilise the trees

Sadly your neighbour clearly is being totally uncooperative and I am afraid I would not have even considered buying your house with that lot in situ
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:30 am

despair wrote:Yikes that sure is monster Beech

TO is a tree Officer if he looks in on this thread he might be able to tell you whether that lot could be considered under the HH Law

I doubt that cutting back the roots would kill or destabilise the trees

Sadly your neighbour clearly is being totally uncooperative and I am afraid I would not have even considered buying your house with that lot in situ



I know. Quite depressing. Shameful that there is no scope for negotiation. As far as our neighbour is concerned he can grow what he likes and that's that.
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby arsie » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:37 am

Weird we have similar here. Our neighbour young NHS consultant wife likewise spend £thousands on their 1/3rd acre spread but won't curb his hedge on the (our south) boundary. Luckily after persistent nagging over a year or so he exasperatedly agreed I could 'have a go at trimming it' so I chopped 12' down to 8'. The hedge is over 6' wide in places. Luckily I am a fairly active person for a pensioner and with time to kill and I like buying tools for tools ...

At least this is west of you (?) not south assuming those pics were taken early this morning. His garden will be shaded a fair bit too, I would think. Personally, I would get an expert report then write to him saying his root growth appears to be causing damage blah blah and you have been advised to blah blah then go ahead and do whatever you can get away with.

Get resigned to a long war of attrition. Such people never stop being uncooperative arseholes :(
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby despair » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:37 am

You also need to put him on notice that all damage sustained to your fence from today becomes his full liability
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby troubledhoneybee » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:17 pm

arsie wrote:Weird we have similar here. Our neighbour young NHS consultant wife likewise spend £thousands on their 1/3rd acre spread but won't curb his hedge on the (our south) boundary. Luckily after persistent nagging over a year or so he exasperatedly agreed I could 'have a go at trimming it' so I chopped 12' down to 8'. The hedge is over 6' wide in places. Luckily I am a fairly active person for a pensioner and with time to kill and I like buying tools for tools ...

Neighbour has said we can cut back to the boundary only.

At least this is west of you (?) not south assuming those pics were taken early this morning. His garden will be shaded a fair bit too, I would think. Personally, I would get an expert report then write to him saying his root growth appears to be causing damage blah blah and you have been advised to blah blah then go ahead and do whatever you can get away with.

Yes it is. We have tried that conversation - he says he likes it as it is and is not open to the idea that it will make a difference to us.

Get resigned to a long war of attrition. Such people never stop being uncooperative arseholes :(


Have responded to some of your points in bold above but I am getting worn down with it all. It's stressful worrying what it will be like when we eventually want to move house. With our own elderly parents it might need to be sooner rather than later so this is an added and unwelcome burden to be dealing with on top of work, kids etc.
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:44 pm

Hi thb,

As far as our neighbour is concerned he can grow what he likes and that's that.

sounds like he has a good grasps of his rights - and I suspect you do too.

unless his trees/hedge are causing damage to your property there is nothing more you can do that you're not already aware of.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Beech tree damaging our fence and other issues

Postby ukmicky » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:56 pm

Your only option is a High hedge complaint.

As I said previously a heigh hedge complaint can be made if the hedge impacts on your garden and they can include non evergreens in the order of works under the right circumstances, It maybe worth the gamble for £500.

I would also send him a letter with pictures informing him of the damage that the trees are causing to the fence and warn him that the law allows him a reasonable period of time to take action to remove the nuisance before it becomes actionable in a court of law.

If he fails to act you can then if need be sue him for damages and gain an injunction forcing him to take action.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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