Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby yackymak » Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:45 pm

A portion of the fence (wooden post, toprail, stock mesh) fence between myself and my neighbour was in bad repair and leaning substantially into my garden.
So I decided to replace it, in much the same way as I already had done, at the neighbours request, for the panels of a more substantial portion built with slotted concrete posts/gravel boards.
My belief was, following a couple of conversations, that they would be OK with this. That the replacement section would continue in slotted posts was also okayed.

There is a level change between the two gardens, over a foot higher on the neighbours side, and two or three courses of loose brick on his side retaining some but not all of the difference. Over the years, with the fence leaning and the level of his side rising and overspilling (these could well be connected) he seems to believe that the boundary has moved.
My contention is that, since the posts were still in place, that the boundary lies at the base of the posts as they were when upright. Surely the boundary line is the base of the fence and extends vertically?

A further complication is that some thirty years ago he planted a tree very close to the fence. As it has grown the base of the tree has expanded and now extends over what I see as the boundary line. There is a brick, from the retaining courses, embedded roughly center of the tree trunk which has grown around it. I want to treat that brick as a the boundary marker and build the fence up to the tree on each side. My neighbour is adamant that, since the fence being replaced ran behind the tree so should the new one. Despite the fact that it could only take that route because it was canted over thirty degrees or so and the stock mesh had distorted to accomodate it at the base. Not so the brick which the tree seems to have encountered laterally and failed to move due to a large mass of concrete behind it.

However, were I to build a vertical fence (and who would do otherwise) behind his tree, that would mean deviating from the boundary which I am reluctant to do as it just makes the boundary less clear for the future, and the new fence liable to further requests to accomodate the growing tree. Creating a 'gap' in the fence for the tree to occupy would leave me able to accomodate its growth in the future by simply cutting the fence panel back. I don't intend to fix the fence to his tree.

Are there precedents, conventions, points of law... relevant here which would make a determination as to which of us is right? Can he impose his request for an off boundary fence line upon me?
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Re: Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby Collaborate » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:38 pm

Your neighbour is an idiot. Just do as you know to be correct. The boundary hasn't moved. Protect it by marking it securely.

You're probably not supposed to do this, but I'd also cut in to the tree on your side.
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Re: Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby arborlad » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:43 pm

yackymak wrote: Surely the boundary line is the base of the fence and extends vertically?




You are correct.



As it has grown the base of the tree has expanded and now extends over what I see as the boundary line. My neighbour is adamant that, since the fence being replaced ran behind the tree so should the new one.[/b]




Your neighbour is not correct - a tree cannot 'claim' land on behalf of it's owner, whether it is roots, branches or trunk.
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smile...it confuses people
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Re: Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby despair » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:38 pm

you could quite legally cut the stupid tree vertically at the boundary line
tree hugging neighbours are a total bunch of prats
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Re: Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby yackymak » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:58 pm

Thanks for your comments folks, meeting him again this weekend, so it's good to have my viewpoint supported.
Not that I'll quote anyone, it just helps to have that extra confidence.
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Re: Leaning fence, raised land and a 'boundary' tree.

Postby arborlad » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:23 pm

yackymak wrote:There is a level change between the two gardens, over a foot higher on the neighbours side, and two or three courses of loose brick on his side retaining some but not all of the difference. Over the years, with the fence leaning and the level of his side rising and overspilling (these could well be connected) he seems to believe that the boundary has moved.




Provided you didn't lower any of your land, it's worth pointing out that you are not obligated to retain your neighbours raised land, you can do - but really the neighbour should be doing it.
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smile...it confuses people
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