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Tree problems in a neighbour's garden

Tree

We do not deal with tree problems in a neighbour's garden. This is the responsibility of the landowner.

Types of tree problems

Below are common types of tree problems in a neighbour's garden and advice on how to deal with them.

Please note: You cannot carry out work on a tree without our consent if it is protected with a tree preservation orders (TPOs) or a tree in a conservation area.

Dangerous trees

A tree in your neighbour's garden is considered dangerous if it is at risk of falling down.

How to deal with it

Talk to your neighbour

Try to discuss the problem with your neighbour first.

If you're worried about talking to them, you could write a letter explaining the problem.

If the problem affects other neighbours, involve them too. It can be easier to sort if the problem comes from a number of people.

Overhanging branches

If your neighbour's tree branches are growing into your garden, you may cut them back to your boundary without the tree owners consent.

When cutting back branches, don't cross the boundary line, as this could be seen as trespass.

Cut branches should be politely offered back to your neighbour. They don't have to accept the cuttings and you may have to get rid of them yourself.

Please note: If the work does not follow good arboricultural practices by a qualified and insured tree surgeon, you risk the tree getting health problems and becoming a danger.

For a list of qualified tree surgeons visit The Arboricultural Association - ARB approved contractors.

Tree roots damaging drains

If your neighbour's tree roots are growing into your garden and causing damage to your drains, we recommend that you contact your home insurer for guidance.

If the tree is subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) or within a tree conservation area, you must apply for consent to carry out work on the protected tree.

Your application must include investigations from a structural or drainage engineer and an independent arboricultural consultant to prove that the roots are damaging your drains. We will then carry out a site inspection and decide whether to grant consent.

Please note: tree roots rarely break drains. They usually grow in drains that already have a crack. Therefore, the repair or replacement of the drain should fix the problem without needing to remove the tree.

Tree too big or tall

The height of a tree can only be reduced with the tree owners permission.

If the height of the tree is seen as a safety issue, you must contact the tree owner and carry out a health and safety inspection to identify any appropriate safety works.

For a list of qualified tree surgeons visit The Arboricultural Association - ARB approved contractors.

Tree blocking out sunlight to property

There is no 'right to light' relating to gardens and sunlight. This only applies to building and light.

Therefore, you cannot argue that a tree owner prunes or removes their tree because of this issue.

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