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Neighbouring trees

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CAPP0

Original Poster:

9,736 posts

105 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
Not sure whether this is SPL or Homes & Gardens, but.....our garden backs onto a field which is owned by the local primary school (and therefore ultimately I guess by the LEA). There's a tree on the boundary which seems to grow at a fair old rate. This year, it's *just* starting to get to a height where it will cause shade at certain times of the day; by the same token, it's limiting light into the garden.

I asked the school to prune it and their response was that their annual tree survey had deemed it safe, and therefore they could not justify the cost of pruning it but I was welcome to have it topped at my own expense.

Not looking for a barney here (I've had two real live ones today already!) but just a steer - what does the relevant law state, and is their position reasonable and I should pay, or should I insist that they do?

Ta.

richyb

4,615 posts

112 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
The law states you can cut back to your boundary line so effectively anything that overhangs can be cut off. You are required to do so in a manner sympathetic to the tree and as a LA they may ask that it is done by a properly insured/qualified contractor. They are not required to do or pay for anything. It is going to be out of your pocket I'm afraid.

5705

1,165 posts

54 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
IMHO, the school is being very reasonable with the topping permission.

Won't be cheap, of course, because the school won't let just any chancer with a chainsaw up there.

CAPP0

Original Poster:

9,736 posts

105 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
Thanks - yes, they were quite specific that I could pay for THEIR contractor to do the work.

5705

1,165 posts

54 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
FWIW, there is a relevant law. It came out of the Leylandii nonsense, but I don't know if it would apply to a single and specific tree. ISTR that 4m was the important height.

ETA: some fairly balanced info here: http://www.medway.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/co...

Edited by 5705 on Friday 15th June 17:33

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Mr GrimNasty

5,993 posts

72 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
5705 said:
FWIW, there is a relevant law. It came out of the Leylandii nonsense, but I don't know if it would apply to a single and specific tree. ISTR that 4m was the important height.

ETA: some fairly balanced info here: http://www.medway.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/co...

Edited by 5705 on Friday 15th June 17:33
Doesn't apply to single trees, have to be evergreen, action height is derived from a complicated formula it is not 4m. So apart from that.....

As has already been said mostly, you can cut back to the boundary and offer them the cuttings which they can decline, provided there is no TPO, they are under no obligation to pay for work you want doing to it, or generally to consider your light, leaves, mess, bird crap or anything else. So they have been more than reasonable in letting you pay if you want it trimmed.

Who me ?

5,970 posts

114 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
I've got this problem with Leylandi from next door . Council advised words with neighbours, then if no action, formal letter to neighbour, mentioning possibility of council inspection. But for council to act ,it costs approx £340 .
Personally, I'm thinking of removing all plants from that side of garden that I care about, digging ditch, and flooding it with concentrated root weed killer - be a lot cheaper & quicker . There is a right to cut back, but that only removes the overhang, not the 4m+ on her side of the fence .

williredale

2,467 posts

54 months

Friday 15th June 2012
quotequote all
Sounds like the school are being reasonable tbh. Not sure of the relevant laws but that's what my gut feeling is...

Dwight VanDriver

6,583 posts

146 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
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Be careful before weilding the axe. Check with local council to ensure it is not in a Conservation Area or that there is a Tree Preservation Order in force. If so you will have to get Council permission.

dvd

TwigtheWonderkid

16,854 posts

52 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
A few copper nails banged deep into the trunk when no ones around. That should do the trick.

richyb

4,615 posts

112 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
A few copper nails banged deep into the trunk when no ones around. That should do the trick.
which is fairly blatant about who did it and you will likely be fined/prosecuted by the LA tree department.

TwigtheWonderkid

16,854 posts

52 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
richyb said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
A few copper nails banged deep into the trunk when no ones around. That should do the trick.
which is fairly blatant about who did it and you will likely be fined/prosecuted by the LA tree department.
You can get those thin ones. If you use a punch to bang them in a few mm beyond flush, completly undetectable. The tree just dies, which happens. Who knows why. Not that I would advocate such drastic action.

CAPP0

Original Poster:

9,736 posts

105 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
I'm relatively happy with the tree being there, I just don't want it getting to 40' tall, casting a permanent shadow in the garden and killing anything growing nearby! Thanks for all the responses, seems fine and fair, I'll have to stump up :P when it gets a little bit taller.

TwigtheWonderkid

16,854 posts

52 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
CAPP0 said:
I'll have to stump up :P when it gets a little bit taller.
Please...don't branch out into comedy!

CAPP0

Original Poster:

9,736 posts

105 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
Thanks for the advice, Twig....

fangio

871 posts

136 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
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If you get it topped now, won't it be cheaper than if it's taller? I think it won't grow upwards but spread out more?

I'm sure an arborist? will be along to correct me if I'm wrong! hehe

TwigtheWonderkid

16,854 posts

52 months

Saturday 16th June 2012
quotequote all
I wanted to be a tree surgeon, but I couldn't stand the sight of sap.

Cyrus1971

820 posts

141 months

Monday 18th June 2012
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richyb said:
which is fairly blatant about who did it and you will likely be fined/prosecuted by the LA tree department.
It's not blatant or likely. Last time I checked the "authorities" needed evidence for a fine or prosecution to be initiated.

monkey11477

128 posts

104 months

Friday 22nd June 2012
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Don't forget to give them the cuttings back otherwise it could be deemed as theft!

JMGS4

8,265 posts

172 months

Friday 22nd June 2012
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Get an auger, drill into the trunk at ground level about 1-2", fill hole with rocquefort or other green cheese, replace bark; tree dies quickly, tree unsafe, get it cut down at their cost, end of story.....