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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70212
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a large fir tree in my garden of which a number of

Resolved Question:

I have a large fir tree in my garden of which a number of thick branches overhang my neighbours garden. She has informed me that it will be cut back tomorrow morning. What are my rights regarding her just going ahead and effectually decimating the tree.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Are you asking if she is able to do this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has said she is doing it tomorrow morning. I am worried that it will affect the look and stabilisation of the tree. I know she can cut small branches that are over her boundary but these are very big ones.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

If a tree is overhanging then I'm afraid a neighbour can cut back the offending branches.

They are not likely for the impact upon the tree overall if it does indeed overhang.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What she cannot do is cut it back beyond the boundaries though. That would be a civil criminal damage.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Sorry if that is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would happen if the tree was then unstable and likely to fall. Would I be liable or would she for making the tree unsafe.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

No.

If the branches over hang then she can remove them.

The impact upon the tree is not her issue I'm afraid.

If that leaves an unstable tree then it is for you to resolve that although the removal of overhanging branches should not normally have that effect.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has said that she is going to throw the cut off branches over the wall. Can she do that and what if she damages my greenhouse or shed.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

She is under a duty to return the foliage to you.

She should do that without causing damage but she must return it to you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if by cutting off the branches she reduces the height of the tree, is she able to do this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, if she cuts back to the boundary edge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in other words she can do what she likes to the tree that is over her garden even if she cuts down most of it, makes it unstable and if it falls down because of it I am liable.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, she can cut it back to the boundaries.

Any further is criminal damage.

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