Neighbours trees

Neighbours trees

Postby LeeLee » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:15 pm

I know this topic has been addressed on this site but I havent found one thats identical to my issue. Basically, I have a
very very small garden. Its triangle shaped (flat of the triangle against my house) My neighbour has 3 very large trees growing at the end of her 100 foot garden which backs onto the edge of my garden (the right side of the triangle). These trees not only cut off light to my house and garden (even on a sunny afternoon, we need to have the lights on in all rear facing rooms - including the kitchen), but the overhanging branches are hitting my roof and windows. I have noticed a massive buildup of moss on my roof under the hanging branches and my patio which was laid 6 months ago is completely green. Plus I have to clear out my guttering every month.
Two of the three trees are taller than my house by at least 30 feet and branches have started falling off and landing in my garden. I have two children, so obviously I'm concerned for their safety.
I've asked this neighbour to have her tree trimmed but she refuses saying she likes the fact that she cannot see my house from hers. These trees are 100 foot away from her house but completely engulf the rear of my house and garden.
I've even offered to pay all the fees but she refuses.

Now, I've heard that moss can cause serious damage to roof - espcially during the winter where the moss freezes and expands. I've had a quote for someone to remove the moss from my roof and its around £800. Is my neighour liable?

The two quotes I've had for cutting the trees back are £700 and £1000. I've offered to pay if she agrees to have the tree height halved - but she refuses) Even if I cut back the branches overhanging my garden it wont make a blind bit of difference to the light, branches falling off will still land in my garden and because the tree trunks are so close to my house, we'll be in exactly the same situation next summer.

I've spent £2000 knocking my living room/dining room into one just to try and get some light in the house but now my wife is seriously considering moving out.

When we moved in around 15 years ago, the trees were level with my house, now they're twice as big.

Is there ANYTHING I can do?
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby despair » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:10 pm

Sadly unless the trees are evergreen and come under the High Hedge Law theres little you can do

Without doubt your neighbour is a truly selfish and inconsiderate neighbour and thats putting it mildly
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Mattylad » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:51 pm

The OP has the right to cut back any branches that overhang the property line (unless there is a TPO on the tree) and dispose of the branches if the owner does not want them back.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:20 pm

You can't do anything, only keep trying to appeal to their good side. As Matty says, you can cut back, but that is all.

I would advise you to move, someone will buy your house who loves trees. I won't lie and say it'll be easy to sell, but there are those who love to see trees all around and think your garden is the bee’s knees.

Not ideal, probably not what you want to hear, but a solution.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Treeman » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:22 pm

Mattylad wrote:The OP has the right to cut back any branches that overhang the property line (unless there is a TPO on the tree) and dispose of the branches if the owner does not want them back.



Or it is situated in a conservation area
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Treeman » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:37 pm

I think you are asking a lot expecting the neighbour to embark on a ruinous course of pruning.


If you had taken professional advice you would be aware that topping is bad for trees and bad for people. It would create a period of uncontrolled growth with each branch end spawning dozens of new branches, within two growing seasons the tree would be darker than before, the new ( poorly attached ) branches would need removing on a cyclical basis to prevent them getting too heavy for their attachment points.

Your proposed one off payment is a drop in the ocean of money that would be needed in future years.

Some hear have said
Without doubt your neighbour is a truly selfish and inconsiderate neighbour and thats putting it mildly
but that (excessively judgemental opinion ) could equally be applied to you.

Speak to your neighbour about crown lifting and thinning the tree, it will give you the best relief available without damaging the tree too much and will maintin the neighbours privacy
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby hzatph » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:43 pm

Investment in moss removal is unlikely to be worthwhile; don't bother.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Mattylad » Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:49 pm

Treeman wrote:Or it is situated in a conservation area


My mistake, that too.

Moss removal? its an insulator :)
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby LeeLee » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:01 am

Well thanks for the replies people. By the sound of thing, theres nothing I can do. Its getting to the point where I'm thinking of just cutting the damned things down and then just dealing with the consequences. Does anyone know what kind of fine/prison sentence Im looking at? (I'm being serious - I cant even open my upstairs office window FFS!)

I dont live in a conservation area and the trees are not evergreens. In the past she's agreed to have the trees cut back (at my expense) only to refuse the tree surgeon access on the day. She's a pensioner who live on her own and has a house full of cats - you get the idea.

Last time I offered her money to let me pay for the trees to be trimmed. She replied, "You people come over to my country and try and take everything that doesnt belong to you" Haha, maybe its because I'm black that she wont let be trim the trees, but when my neighbours wife asked (who's white) she got called a "slag"

Ive got a feeling I'm going to end up in jail...
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby despair » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:06 am

Oh dear

Seems the moral of all this is do not buy a house next to an eccentric old lady with a house full of cats and a garden full of trees
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:42 am

LeeLee wrote:Well thanks for the replies people. By the sound of thing, theres nothing I can do. Its getting to the point where I'm thinking of just cutting the damned things down and then just dealing with the consequences. Does anyone know what kind of fine/prison sentence Im looking at? (I'm being serious - I cant even open my upstairs office window FFS!)

I dont live in a conservation area and the trees are not evergreens. In the past she's agreed to have the trees cut back (at my expense) only to refuse the tree surgeon access on the day. She's a pensioner who live on her own and has a house full of cats - you get the idea.

Last time I offered her money to let me pay for the trees to be trimmed. She replied, "You people come over to my country and try and take everything that doesnt belong to you" Haha, maybe its because I'm black that she wont let be trim the trees, but when my neighbours wife asked (who's white) she got called a "slag"

Ive got a feeling I'm going to end up in jail...


Good god, move away! You don't have, nor will ever have a good neighbourly relationship with someone who feels like that towards you. If you would go to prison, get large fines, a criminal record to 'fight back' you are just another person who doesn't respect life, doesn't respect their own family and throws it all away in tantrum.

She is not worth it! Let her end up as tea for her cats and get on with your life. I definitely do sympathise with you, she sound horrid. But please, get this into some perspective, you want to throw your life down the drain over trees??? Come on, sell your house to someone who loves the trees, buy one with no trees and hope that the next neighbour won't plant one or half a dozen and this starts all over again.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Treeman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:10 pm

LeeLee wrote:Well thanks for the replies people. By the sound of thing, theres nothing I can do. Its getting to the point where I'm thinking of just cutting the damned things down and then just dealing with the consequences. Does anyone know what kind of fine/prison sentence Im looking at? (I'm being serious - I cant even open my upstairs office window FFS!)

I dont live in a conservation area and the trees are not evergreens. In the past she's agreed to have the trees cut back (at my expense) only to refuse the tree surgeon access on the day. She's a pensioner who live on her own and has a house full of cats - you get the idea.

Last time I offered her money to let me pay for the trees to be trimmed. She replied, "You people come over to my country and try and take everything that doesnt belong to you" Haha, maybe its because I'm black that she wont let be trim the trees, but when my neighbours wife asked (who's white) she got called a "slag"

Ive got a feeling I'm going to end up in jail...


I do trees for a living, and I see quite a lot of our senior population, (it seems they are ammong the few that own good sized gardens) and their tree problems.

They do tend to be entrenched in thier ways and persuading them otherwise is often a hopeless task but you can prune back to the boundary, a good contractor shoudnt need access to the other property although it often makes things a bit easier. Any minor tresspass isn't going to cause problems.

I do think asking them to butcher the trees is a big ask though. Long term it will cause more problems than it solves.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby despair » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:02 pm

I do agree that some elderly with large gardens and big trees are entrenched in their views about the effect on their neighbours

equally theres elderly who are very upset that much younger folk ignore the problem their trees create

With no disrespect to any tree surgeon i think some of the problem is trees are fairly cheap to buy but blasted expensive to cut back or fell when they get too big

Obviously given the last 3 years of low interest rates many elderly people are in dire straits because they have no option but to rely on pension or savings income and that has nose dived by around 40%

Pride prevents them saying "i cant afford it " instead they make excuses
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby Treeman » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:03 pm

despair wrote:I do agree that some elderly with large gardens and big trees are entrenched in their views about the effect on their neighbours

equally theres elderly who are very upset that much younger folk ignore the problem their trees create

With no disrespect to any tree surgeon i think some of the problem is trees are fairly cheap to buy but blasted expensive to cut back or fell when they get too big

Obviously given the last 3 years of low interest rates many elderly people are in dire straits because they have no option but to rely on pension or savings income and that has nose dived by around 40%

Pride prevents them saying "i cant afford it " instead they make excuses



I didnt say about trees, just entrenched in general. Most of them are from a generation where the young, as they were then, we're taught to have respect for society and it rules. Most of the elderly I encounter can't understand why current generations don't abide to the same standards.
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Re: Neighbours trees

Postby despair » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:33 pm

For once i agree with you Treeman
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