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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My neighbour has a hedge growing down the dividing

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My neighbour has a hedge growing down the dividing line between our 2 properties. She refuses to cut some parts of the hedge because she says that they are more attractive than conifers in those sections. These un cut sections are not only over the border line between the 2 houses but also these sections are so long that they are growing into our flower beds and also into our fence. Can she insist upon not cutting them and/or can I insist that she does cut them? I would appreciate your advice on this matter because the hedge cutter has already started his work in the property. Your gratefully. Gloria XXXXX

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day today.

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

What have you tried so far?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The only thing I have tried so far is to ask my neighbour to please cut the offending bushes. Her reply is always the same " no. I want to cut them myself because they are more pleasant than the conifers" The trouble is that she doesn't really cut these bushes, so they just keep growing.

This is a very common question. A person cannot make an adjoining property owner cut the trees per se but please see my later comments about trespass and nuisance.
Consent is needed to trim deciduous trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and a licence may be needed to fell trees which are not protected by a TPO.
Evergreens cannot usually have a TPO.
Regarding evergreens, a complaint can be made to the council and they will deal with them under the nuisance tree legislation but only with regard to the height. They want £300 fee to start the process and if they find that the trees are a nuisance, they can compel a tree owner to cut them down to 2 m high.
With regard to branches and roots growing boundary,(evergreen or deciduous) these are nuisance and trespass. The overhanging pieces can be chopped off as can roots growing underground but they do not belong to anyone other than the tree owner, so the pieces should be given back although if they are unceremoniously dumped over their hedge without warning, it is not good for already fraught neighbour relations.
If a person is unable to cut the overhanging themselves and they have to get outside contractors in, they are entitled to recover the cost of that work from the neighbour
The following are links will give you some reading with regard to high hedges and nuisance trees. Don't worry about where the sites are geographically because the rules apply nationwide.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your services. Our neighbour has given permission for the hedge cutter to cut back the greenery imposing on our property and so we no longer require your help and assistance.

a good result. I'm glad you got it sorted.