My neighbour’s tree overhangs my garden. What can I do?
Living in close proximity to neighbours often comes with its fair share of challenges, one of which is dealing with trees that overhang your garden. As the director of About Trees Ltd, a reputable tree care company based in Kent, I have encountered numerous cases where homeowners have concerns about overhanging trees. In this blog, I will outline what UK law permits you to do in such a situation, along with specific considerations for trees in conservation areas or those protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t hesitate to reach out to About Trees for expert assistance via our online booking platform Book a site visit
- The Right to Cut Overhanging Branches:
Under UK law, you are entitled to trim or cut any overhanging branches from your neighbor’s tree up to the boundary of your property. This is known as the “right to abate a nuisance.” However, it is essential to remember that you must not trespass onto your neighbor’s property to undertake this action. Make sure you stay within the boundaries of your own land when carrying out any pruning. Arisings (the stuff you cut) must be offered back to the tree owner this is a legal obligation as odd as it sounds.
- Responsibility for Fallen Leaves, Fruits, or Debris:
While it is frustrating to deal with leaves, fruits, or other debris falling into your garden from your neighbor’s tree, it is important to note that you do not have a legal right to demand your neighbor remove or prevent this from happening. Such natural occurrences are considered part of normal tree behavior, and your neighbor is not held responsible for them.
- Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs):
If the tree in question is located within a conservation area or has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place, the regulations become more stringent. Trees in these areas are subject to additional protection, and you must seek permission from the local planning authority before carrying out any work. Even routine maintenance, such as pruning overhanging branches, may require consent. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to severe penalties. Therefore, it is crucial to consult professionals like About Trees who are well-versed in navigating the legal requirements of conservation areas and TPOs.
- Mediation and Neighbourly Communication:
In situations where the overhanging branches are causing significant disruption or damage to your property, it is advisable to engage in open and respectful communication with your neighbor. Explain your concerns and explore potential solutions together. Mediation can often be a constructive way to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without resorting to legal action. If required, About Trees can act as mediators, leveraging our experience to help facilitate productive discussions.
- Seeking Professional Advice: When dealing with overhanging trees, it is vital to consult an experienced arborist or tree care professional like About Trees. Our team of experts can assess the situation, provide guidance on the best course of action, and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Whether you need advice on pruning, tree removal, or understanding the implications of conservation areas and TPOs, our knowledgeable team is here to assist you.
Living with a neighbour’s tree overhanging your garden can be challenging, but understanding your rights and obligations under UK law is crucial. Remember, you have the right to cut overhanging branches up to your property boundary, but you must respect the legal protections in place for trees in conservation areas or covered by Tree Preservation Orders. Engaging in open communication and seeking professional advice from experts like About Trees Ltd can help you navigate these situations effectively and ensure the health and harmony of your surroundings. Book an appointment now