If a neighbours’ tree or hedge is causing you problems, we suggest conversing with your neighbour and voicing your concerns.
It’s best to resolve things informally to avoid complicated and expensive legal disputes that may lead to unnecessary conflict.
The most common problems include high hedges blocking light and tree branches or roots encroaching on property boundaries.
If you can’t find common ground with your neighbour and agree on a solution, you have certain legal rights allowing you to take action.
If your neighbour refuses to prune branches that overhang your property, you can legally prune them back to your boundary.
However, you must be sure to check the trees’ protection status. If the tree is protected, you must obtain the necessary permission.
You must also ensure the cutting back of the branches does not threaten the trees’ health or stability.
Furthermore, as the tree owner legally owns any branches or debris, you must offer to return them.
If your neighbour has a tree you think may be dangerous, for example, about to fall over, you can report it to your local council.
They will assess the situation and the tree’s condition and, if necessary, order the owner to make it safe.
Search trees on your local council website to find the council department responsible for trees.
You may also want to gather evidence to support your claim the tree is dangerous.
If roots penetrate your boundary, you can legally prune them, but remember you must not endanger the trees’ stability or health.
In this case, we suggest consulting a qualified arborist, who will better understand how pruning the roots may impact the tree.
If a neighbours’ hedge adversely affects your property, you must first try to resolve the problem by communicating with your neighbour.
When you and your neighbour cannot agree on a suitable solution, you can formally complain to your local council.