Postby pottypanda » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:55 pm

I'd like to help clairfy things for the genuine people using this forum. Garden law is very vague in areas but after contacting a solicitor who uses a mediator to neutralise these situations I'm a little wiser.

His advice was as follows (please keep in mind that this advice was given to me and maybe different in your area, so please don't shoot the messenger !)

If the tree has a preservation order or you think it may have one or it is in a conservation area you MUST contact the local council for permission first, anything else can be cut back to the boundary line, they must not be cut beyond this line, i.e within your neighbours property even by a small amount no matter how tempting.

You have no say over the height of a tree if it is not causing damage to your property, not blocking light to your house or outbuildings, is not dead, dying or diseased, and does not breach any height limit set in your area, no matter how much you hate it. Although talking to the owner may be helpful if they are amicable.

The arisings should be offered back to the tree owner, as you are choosing to remove them the tree owner can refuse to take them, however, if you dispose of the branches or fruit without asking the tree owners permission it is stealing, although no reasonable person would sue you.

If you choose not to speak to the tree owner and just throw the arisings over the boundary you have to keep in mind the following: you can not legally do this if it is a public right of way, you would be causing a hazard that could result in personal injury of any kind, you would be blocking access to the neighbours property including any outbuilds causing a fire hazard.

From a mediators point of view it is good manners to talk to the tree owner before work starts, they may want to help if they are able to and it gives them a chance to clear away any branches as you work. Basically if the tree owner is approachable be considerate it avoids violent arguments, police and costly solicitor involvment.

If the tree is blocking light to your GARDEN ONLY and has been for more than 20yrs you do not have the right to force the owner to remove or reduce that tree in height as you have no reasonable expectation of light in your garden, however, this does not apply to your house or your outbuilding.

Please don't do what my neighbours have done to us and say you are happy with the trees or say anything that indicates you have no problem/opinion and then go to council and report it/them as a nuisance, it's a rotten thing to do and causes trouble. One of my neighbours chose to wait 2 yrs before saying anything and this was after our landlord had already cut them to their specification. Another neighbour, we asked her every year for 14yrs if she wanted the height of our conifers reducing for any reason, she said no please leave them, every time then she reported us to our landlord, removal/pruning cost came to £2,759 and my mother, the tenant is a pensioner. Write to your neighbour if you feel you can't apporach them in person don't stab them in the back.

Unfortunately the law isn't on the side of the tree owner and from what I've seen on here neither is anyone else, but just think about how you would feel and how your quality of life would be effected if someone set the legal dogs on you. Not all tree owners are bad, think before you get angry, is this person able to carry out the work themselves and is it safe for them to do so, are they aware that their tree/s offends me, is someone else responsible for the maintenance of the tree and how much it is really bothering me. With so many people living closer and closer together I think we should show a little more tollerence for our neighbours and their property and some respect for older people in particular. I understand there are cases where serious damage is being caused and maybe a calmer approach isn't suitable but please give people a chance, your action can ruin someones life and over a tree.

Thank you for reading, I hope you didn't fall asleep half way through!
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Re: Useful info PLEASE READ THIS

Postby despair » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:08 pm

All of that is actually offered as advice on this forum

However to suggest the law does not benefit the tree owner is totally wrong

Theres many many people and posters on this forum who would dearly love the law to benefit the victims of badly planted /tall trees and high hedges but it truly does not

The High Hedge Law only works in certain instances when light to habitable rooms is very seriously afected and sometimes if a garden is severaly affected but certainly not in a lot of cases where its needed

As for tall trees the victims are lumbered with the costs of employing tree surgeons to cut back to the boundary but they can do nothing about the height
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Re: Useful info PLEASE READ THIS

Postby WILL*REMAIN*STRONG » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:35 pm

All good info, which is usually the advice most people give on this forum. I tend to have some sympathy for both sides where trees are involved, as long as people are being calm and reasonable when seeking a solution.

It wouldn't do to have total control, one way or another, there has to be a balance.

I feel for those who face overbearing trees/hedge and the constant work or bill for cutting back, especially when there is little help from the tree/hedge owner.

I also feel for the person with trees who love them dearly and have a neighbour who can't/or won't communicate or see sense in compromise.

Nice if people can meet half way and see things from both sides of the fence, but many don't.
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