Tree proximity & Overhanging branches

Tree proximity & Overhanging branches

Postby gopi » Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:10 am

Hello,

I own a property whereby my side fence is the back fence of 4 properties, one of which has 4-5 large and long trees (please excuse my ignorance in not knowing the names of the trees in question). The trees are right at the end of their garden and within 3-4 metres of my house.

I have verbally requested my neighbour to cut down the trees on several occassions as it now seems to be causing damage to the paving on my land. The paving is just about 1-2 metres away from the trees and i feel that the roots are responsible for the unevenness caused to the paving in the last 2 years. The branches are overhanging into my property by almost 2-3 metres and at a height of approx 1-1.5 metres off the ground level.

I have owned this property for 3 years now and the trees are causing a nuisance. The last time i went round to the neighbours house to discuss this matter, he was quite brash and very clearly told me he had not planned to do anything either now or in the near future.

What options do i now have? Can i sue him for damages? what eveidence would i require to prove my case?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Gopal
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Postby Cytania » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:53 pm

Hi Gopi, is this paving part of your house? If so it just might be covered by your buildings insurance.

If the trees are not part of a hedge then I'm afraid there's little you can do other than politely discuss the matter with your neighbour.

I would not advise you to go to law proper unless you have huge reserves of money, time and temper. It is possible you could use the small claims court but I'm not an expert at it.
They cut down all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum and charged all the people just to see 'em
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Postby Alan Harris » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:11 am

Dear Gopi

You need to prove the soil to be clay, that it has shrunk beneath your foundations and that you have suffered damage. Sounds as though all of these have not yet happened.
You need to find out the species of tree because if it is a fast grower you may have imminent problems if the soil is clayey. Let us know.!
The paths to the house are not covered by your insurance unless the house suffers from the insured risk (usually at the same time).
When the time is right you may need to submit a claim to insurers but in the meantime please reply to the above

Regards


Alan Harris
Alan is a consulting engineer specialising in subsidence, tree roots, soils and party wall surveying.
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Postby gopi » Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:57 am

Thank you both for your input and advise. As you have suggested Alan, i first need to establish some facts before i pursue the matter of damages.

However, since my post, i have talked to my local council who have advised that i can actually cut of the branches and roots that encroach my property and give them to my neighbour and also suggested that i write to him about my concerns regarding the potential damages the trees could cause. I was also advised to take some photos and if possible a video as well in the event the matter is not sorted out amicably and i need to take further action.

Any suggestion how i can find out the names and nature of the trees? Is there any website that has photos and descriptions of trees?

Thanks and will keep you posted on any developments.

Gopal
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Postby Alan Harris » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:46 pm

Dear Gopi

Try buying the Alan Mitchell "Guide to trees of Britain and Northern Europe" with pictures of all relevant trees and their leaves and habits. Spring will provide you with sample leaves to compare. Measure the girth of the trees at about shoulder height and follow Alan Mitchell's information on age of specimen.

Its easy to follow and costs less than £20.00

Regards


Alan Harris
Alan is a consulting engineer specialising in subsidence, tree roots, soils and party wall surveying.
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Postby Treeman » Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:55 pm

You can’t pursue your neighbour for damages unless they ignore clear evidence that the trees are causing damage. You also can’t claim for damages that have happened without their knowledge so to date you do not have a claim for damages.

You can cut the branches but only at the boundary. You may not enter your neighbours land to do the works without their consent. The owner of the tree is entitled to the benefits form it but if they don’t want the branches they are yours to dispose of so you should offer the branches but be prepared to dispose of them yourself.

Cutting branches is relatively problem free but in all but the smallest trees it is best left to professionals. While you are entitled to cut the roots, if your actions cause the tree to fail you could be held responsible for your actions so go careful with that one.

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