In the UK, the laws around pruning a neighbour’s tree that overhangs into your garden can be confusing. Before you consider pruning your neighbour’s tree, it’s essential to understand the legal regulations associated with it. Keep reading to learn more about your options and obligations.
According to the law, as a property owner, you have the right to cut any branches that overhang on your side of the boundary line. However, it’s crucial to take due care not to damage the tree in the process. You cannot trim the tree back to the boundary line without your neighbour’s consent. If you do so, your neighbour can sue you for damages.
Furthermore, if the tree is protected by a tree preservation order (TPO), you cannot prune it without obtaining consent from the local planning authority. Trees protected by TPOs are typically classified as being of significant public and environmental value. A TPO is a legal document that prohibits the felling, topping, lopping, or otherwise damaging of a tree without the local planning authority’s consent.
It’s also worth considering the type of tree your neighbour has in their garden. Some trees, such as leylandii and cypress trees, are notorious for their fast growth and aggressive roots. These species can cause damage to property over time, including subsidence and damage to underground pipes. In such cases, you may need to engage with your neighbour to discuss the need for professional tree care services to manage the tree’s growth and protect your garden.
In conclusion, as a property owner, you have the right to cut any branches that overhang on your side of the boundary line. Nevertheless, you cannot prune back to the boundary line without your neighbour’s consent. If the tree is protected by a TPO, you cannot prune it without obtaining the local planning authority’s consent. Ultimately, it’s advisable to speak to your neighbour and come to an amicable agreement about the tree’s maintenance and care. Engaging with a professional arborist or tree care service provider can help you navigate the legal and practical considerations associated with pruning your neighbour’s tree, ensuring that the process is safe and effective.