Clarification of overhanging branches...

Clarification of overhanging branches...

Postby rowantree87 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:56 am

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if someone could clarify the do's and don'ts of trimming overhanging branches. My neighbour has recently decimated an ancient hawthorn and partially ruined an equally old holly bush without my permission.

I live with my parents and they have had previous disputes about pruning vs destroying the various trees that line our fence and his back garden, but we have mostly been quite amicable and forgiving when he has gotten a bit carried away with the clippers in the past (he uses a contractor mostly). We do our bit to reduce the height and 'bushiness' of the trees in this area and we have bitten our tongues previously when we feel he has gone too far - but now he really has.

In mid January my parents went on holiday for a fortnight and my neighbour came round asking to speak to one of them. I told him they were away, when they would be back and asked if there was anything I could help with. He said no, it didn't matter, and that he would come back when they were. I thought nothing of it and shut the door.

When my parents came back they were horrified to see that the ancient hawthorn tree/bush had been reduced from 20ft x 10ft to a single 20ft TRUNK with about three pathetic 2ft branches at the top. It now resembles a telegraph pole and we have a direct view into his property. What was worse was that the branches had been removed from the trunk ON OUR SIDE and the contractor has obviously used telescopic secetures or had leaned over into our garden to remove them. The holly tree/bush was also damaged but not nearly as severely as the other.
What I would like to know is the rules about trimming - am I right in thinking that you are only free to remove branches that overhang onto your property AT THE POINT THAT THEY OVERHANG? I.e at the very point that they encroach the boundary/border/fence? If so, this is not what he has done, and I'd really appreciate any advice about our rights, what course of action to take and the do's and don'ts of planting replacement trees that will block the sparse area again.
He is actually away himself at the moment so as of yet we have been unable to speak to him about this.
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Re: Clarification of overhanging branches...

Postby TO » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:16 pm


rowantree87 wrote:am I right in thinking that you are only free to remove branches that overhang onto your property AT THE POINT THAT THEY OVERHANG? I.e at the very point that they encroach the boundary

What course of action you take is down to you, but your options are limited, I would say, to; agree a resolution with the neighbour/tree lopper; try and involve the Police on the basis that the works constitute ciminal damage or; forget about it.

It's up to you again to decide if you do want to plant the gap up, or don't. If you're concerned about the loss of screening then something quite fast growing, and large to start with would help.

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Re: Clarification of overhanging branches...

Postby Morgan Sweet » Mon Mar 28, 2016 10:59 am

Yes, you should only cut back to the point at which the branches overhang. The complication is that in doing so the hedge/tree may often spring back when the overhanging branch weight is removed giving the appearance it was cut back too far.
Morgan Sweet
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Re: Clarification of overhanging branches...

Postby mr sheen » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:07 am

What is supposed to can cut back right to the boundary without any notice.
What often happens....people get so fed up of neighbours using their land to effectively extend their garden by having plants encroaching into their space that they 'hack' it back to wherever they feel the boundary is.
What can one do about it....not a lot other than prevent encroachment into other people's land by growing plants within your boundary and no further and then they will have no excuse to hack back.
mr sheen
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Re: Clarification of overhanging branches...

Postby despair » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:50 am

The one thing they cannot do is reduce the height so if he has reduced the height of a tree that is well within your boundary he is liable for criminal damage

whether you can persuade the police to take action is another matter
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