Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:30 pm

I have an Excelsum Superbum which has been in my garden for approx 20 years. I have been the owner for 8 years and I have maintained the tree every year, I have it cut so it have never grown larger than 4 meters. The tree was this height when I moved in.

I have had the same neighbour since I moved in. The neigbour in question asked me to cut my tree down to half it size which would leave it without a shred of foliage, just bare wood and I believe it would kill the tree. The tree surgeon has advised me, even if it did not kill it, it would never grow back into the shape which has taken me 4 years to achieve.

I offered to cut the tree down to the min height I could without losing foliage the next time it was cut which I guess would make it 3/3.5 tall, but he said this was not enough. Incidently he did not make any request to cut the tree shorter a few weeks ago when he the tree guys were here cutting it, and he gave them access to cut any overhangs on his side as they have done every year since I have maintained it.

The problem I may have is that the tree although looks like one, it actually has two trunks. They were planted 1 meter apart so they have intergrown as one. Under the Hedge Law would my tree fall into the 2 or more evergreen policy?

My tree surgeon said he would be amazed if the council considered the tree to be a nuisance, but I would be grateful if anyone could advise me on the two trunk situtation. I know the council cannot ask you to remove the tree, but if I was forced to cut it to the size the neighbour is asking it would kill it anyway.
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby span » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:52 pm

Get a TPO put on it.
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:53 pm

The legislation on high hedges (if that is what you were thinking of) would apply to your two trees, though if a council rep would think it one tree you would be clear. Have a look at this: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-resolve-neigh ... boundaries

You're under no obligation to cut it down. He can cut it back to the boundary, but not beyond.
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:28 pm

Many thanks for the responses.

I do not think I can put a TPO on the tree as it is purely for my pleasure? Will look into it more though.

The two trees are completely on on my property. His main reason for wanting them cut is that he has a narrow garden and they restrict the amount of sun he gets in the morning. However to comply with his request, the tree would be cut in half leaving no foliage at all. I appreciate that he can nor the council can request for the tree to be entirely cut down. But can I be forced to cut in to the 2 metre hedge law height? This will kill the tree, or at the very least, if it survives it will be a very ugly tree for a very long time.

Many Thanks
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:45 pm

He has to pay I think £80 to have the LA look at it. Just because he has reduced sun light doesn't mean the LA would agree with him. Anyway, if he thinks there's only one tree they're not going to accept his application under the ASBA 2003.

Have a look at this government information on the subject. He has to jump through some hoops before he can refer it to the LA.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... aining.pdf
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:12 pm

Many Thanks Collaborate, I have just been onto my LA and spoken to the enforcement duty officer about my problem. They have informed me that it will cost him £330.00 to look at the case which is non refundable whatever the outcome.The duty officer said the same as you, there are lots of procedures he has to follow in order to for them to even consider taking the case, and even if they take the case, its not a done deal the tree will be ordered to be cut. Fingers crossed it stays, the wild birds would really miss it!
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:13 pm

Hi,

'Excelsum Superbum' - could be Latin for 'analyst dude' :D (apologies for veering O/T)

in theory your neighbour could initiate a 'high hedges' case with the local authorities, but they'll charge a fee of a few hundred pounds.

in theory your neighbour could provide compelling evidence that the trees are having a adverse affect on his right to the reasonable enjoyment of his property - but he'll struggle to do so IMHO if it can be shown that for years he's been providing access to keep the trees in their current state, and that the shading affect does not stop him enjoying his property at all.

maybe it's the overhang that is the issue - e.g. if you're only getting it sorted once a year once it's causing maximum annoyance...

does he know he can cut this off at will?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:00 pm

Hi MacadamB53.

There is absolutely no overhangs, the trees are not on the boundary so the once a year cut keeps in well within my property, I always let him know they are coming, and they always check his property to ensure its cut back enough. He never said a word before now, not even when it was cut a few weeks ago and he was in his garden.

Not that it is relevant, but a few weeks ago he informed me that he wants to extend his property. I honestly believe this is the reason he has suddenly decided he wants to tree gone. But the tree was there first!
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:48 pm

Hi CrystalB,

There is absolutely no overhangs...

....the once a year cut keeps in well within my property...

....they [the tree surgeon] always check his [the neighbour's] property to ensure its cut back enough


if there are no overhanging branches then why is your tree surgeon cutting some overhanging branches once a year? or have I misunderstood?

is your neighbour aware he can cut back any overhanging branches/roots to the boundary?

I honestly believe this is the reason he has suddenly decided he wants to tree gone.

but he hasn't asked you to fell the tree has he...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:59 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi CrystalB,

There is absolutely no overhangs...

....the once a year cut keeps in well within my property...

....they [the tree surgeon] always check his [the neighbour's] property to ensure its cut back enough


if there are no overhanging branches then why is your tree surgeon cutting some overhanging branches once a year? or have I misunderstood?

They ensure to cut it way back to allow for regrowth during the year to keep it within my boundary
.

is your neighbour aware he can cut back any overhanging branches/roots to the boundary?

I honestly believe this is the reason he has suddenly decided he wants to tree gone.

but he hasn't asked you to fell the tree has he...

....[color=#0000BF]as good as, asking me to cut it in half is as good as killing it to me.[/color]



Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:12 pm

Thank you for all your advice. Seems the situation has now been resolved!

My neighbour has just knocked on my door and said " on reflection, your offer of reducing the height as much as I can whilst keeping the foliage was very fair and he now accepts"!

Maybe he just found out it is not free to ask the council to intervene :D

Thanks again, your time was much appreciated
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby Collaborate » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:21 pm

CrystalB wrote:Thank you for all your advice. Seems the situation has now been resolved!

My neighbour has just knocked on my door and said " on reflection, your offer of reducing the height as much as I can whilst keeping the foliage was very fair and he now accepts"!

Maybe he just found out it is not free to ask the council to intervene :D

Thanks again, your time was much appreciated


Now he tells you, after the tree surgeon has been and gone. Presumably it would have been cheaper to get the job done while they were there doing other things anyway.
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby CrystalB » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:39 pm

Collabarate......he has also now agreed to wait until the next time they come back. I said I was not prepared to pay them again as I only paid them to cut it 3 weeks ago, I pointed out he said nought when they were here. I did say I had no problem if he wanted to pay for them to come back befoehand....he declined.
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Re: Tree with two trunks. Classed one tree or two?

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:13 pm

Hi CrystalB,

asking me to cut it in half is as good as killing it to me

my point was - regardless of your subjective opinion about what might happen if the tree was reduced to 2m, you alleged he wants the tree gone, but if that were so then is that not what he would have asked for?

anyhow, it's a moot point now.

All the best, Mac
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