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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I've been reading about Overhanging Tree laws. Does anyone know if they apply to council tenants? I'm in council accommodation with a looked after garden but my neighbour has once again leaned over my fence and taken quite a lot off a newish sycamore and a conifer. 

Where do I stand? 


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I should add ...it's not from the top that's taken put from the sides.

Anything that overhangs to his/her side he/she can cut. They can not cut the cuttings back to you as that would be littering but they "should" offer you the cuttings back and if you refuse - dispose of them.

BUT it is not fair on the neighbours to have to/be forced to maintain something they have not planted themselves so whoever those belong to, should be on top of the maintenance to ensure it is not affecting neighbours and their gardens.

I never understand why people plant things like conifers or sycamore so close to neighbours's fence as those are always causing problems later on. Conifers grow way too big and shade gardens plus nothing grows under them and sycamore self seeds all over the place.

The conifer has been there longer than me!


If it is council maintained garden - they need to sort this out.

On every gardening forums/groups - conifers, sycamore and ivy are normally a nightmare for anyone living next door to someone who has those if owners does not maintain those in a proper way.

Is it your tree or your neighbour's tree ?

They can remove what falls to their side, but cannot lean over into your property. The fact that you're in a council house should not mean that the rules should be different for you (and give someone the right to do that). A neighbour did this to us once and the cut they made removed literally half of the three.

But having said that, I agree with Anka. In the place I am in now, the neighbor's tree is covering half on our patio, blocking out the sun and dropping debree constantly. But my intention is to talk about it with them and keep a pleasant relationship, and they seem nice enough so hopefully it'll be resolved. Better luck for you next time.

I had this issue with a neighbour. But they didn’t cut the branches off, they ripped them, damaging the not very tall  shrubs more than if they were cut. The first few years, I put on a big smile  and offered to cut any overhanging branches myself if they just let me know. That didn’t seem to work and they leaned further in over the coming years. I didn’t want to fall out with the neighbour over such a petty issue, but nor did I seem to be able to effect a peaceable solution through talking. So I put up trellis along the top of the fence.  That at least helps to limit them to trimming the bits they're legally allowed to trim. It did the trick. 

If you haven’t talked to them, I’d try that first. If you have and have had no luck, trellis is an option. If you don’t like the sound of that, contact the Council, as you would a landlord if they were renting privately. If that doesn’t work, you would have to take the matter to law. I Imagine the process would be time-consuming and not without expense.

It’s worth bearing in mind, that whatever you do, you have to live next to your neighbours for perhaps many years. If your relationship with them is otherwise cordial, it’s probably not worth falling out with them over a few branches. Or, at least, that’s how I felt. So, my advice would be to go for the least confrontational solution possible. 

The trees are in my garden. 

The conifer has been there longer than me. Once upon a time he asked if he could cut it and I agreed but he just leaned over the fence and cut....so it was shorter but looked a mess in our garden. Since then I've said no. He get his electric saw, leans over and slices down! Hardly any of the branches were in his garden.

A sycamore, etc will always cause problems. I have the same issue (council owned land) next to me and is very frustrating, so I can imagine your neighbour being very annoyed about it. Nothing grows underneath, goes wild every year, & constantly self-seeding. Good luck with the council getting it cut back, took them nearly a year to deal with the neighbouring trees on their land. I have to do at least 3 trips a year to the dump just for these sycamores, which I'm sick of.

Even of branches are not in his garden - both of those are real nuisance to neighbours causing shade where nothing grows, self seeding etc.

It really is nuisance to others and should be avoided.

I have an ivy lover next door, whole fence was destroyed (I had to have it replaced) and he does not see a problem as he loves his ivy. Which would be fine if he kept it on his side only.

Yes I "can cut what comes on my side" but this is not the point. I do not want to have to mainain something that I have no planted and waste my time energy and money on doing that.

I also now have bramble and binweed (spelling) coming througg the fence from his side at the back and beech trees roots growing on my sode at the front again from his side.

So I symphatise with your neighbour here

Yeh, 100% the owner of the trees' responsibility - although they should have chatted to you if they were thinking of cutting it - just as a courtesy.

I'd say apart from noise, it's likely to cause the most issues living in a property with a garden. 

My mum has an ongoing issue with her neighbour who is letting stuff come through + her dog bite the fence. It causes mum a lot of stress, so chatting to the neighbours openly is the best shout. 



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