My neighbour has overhanging trees and hedges that extend into my garden and they refuse to cut them. I would like to prune the branches myself as they are obstructing my view. Can I legally do this without securing my neighbours permission? May I dispose of the cuttings or should I give them back to my neighbour?
Unfortunately, trees and hedges often cause much friction between neighbours. Ideally, the best way to resolve any issue you may have with overhanging trees would be to speak directly with your neighbour. A friendly discussion may result in an amicable arrangement to everyone’s satisfaction.
Legally, a landowner may cut off any tree branches which over-hang into his property without giving prior notice to the owner of the tree. However, you may not cut down the tree entirely nor may you enter onto your neighbour’s property for the purpose of cutting branches without your neighbour’s permission.
Whilst pruning overhanging branches it is important to take care not to render the tree dangerous. Further, you may only cut on the side of and up to your boundary line. It is illegal to ring bark or otherwise damage the tree to such an extent so as to cause the tree to die or decay.
All tree cuttings should be offered back to your neighbour. If your neighbour does not want the cuttings, they must be disposed of in a responsible manner. You may not leave the cuttings on your neighbour’s property without their permission.