Can You Trim a Neighbour’s Tree?

Conflicts involving a tree

Trimming or cutting a tree is not anybody’s business. Frequently, trimming trees raise conflicts among tree owners and misunderstandings in the existing codes and laws. But how do we know the extent of an individual’s right when it comes to problematic trees? 

The benefits we get from trees are almost countless; a perfect shade, shelter for birds and small animal creatures, fruit-bearing plant, wood products, and many more. However, trees can also be an eyesore and a detriment to the surrounding; it is often a subject of debate and a cause of rift among neighbours.

Before you get furious over your neighbor’s untrimmed tree, know your limitations and rights. The branches of your neighbor’s trees could be encroaching on your property, and you feel annoyed. What shall you do? Can you trim those overhanging branches?

Know the limits of your property line; know your limits. Read on how such relative freedom prevents us from building walls instead of bridges just because a particular tree is planted between you and your neighbour.

There are many reasons why a tree can be a nuisance instead of being beneficial to the people around it, from which any person with legal rights may claim or raise an issue to the owner of the conflicting tree. However, there are grey areas to consider. The following points can be a cause of concern, but the others could be answered by a simple yes or no or pure common sense.

Let’s say there is a tree on someone else’s property, and such property is your neighbor who happens to share a wall with you, and you have a strong desire to trim down the tree due to some reasons, what’s the smartest thing to do?

Find a solution that will make everyone happy. Try to talk to your neighbour and settle the conflict; it’s best to start with the minor issue. Waiting for matters to blow out of proportion will create a massive fire over it. If you’re annoyed now just because you can’t see part of the road that’s highly important for your view or such that the tree’s branches clog your gutters, then go right now and talk.

For most situations, or in any battle, for example, never go to war unarmed. What does this mean? This principle applies to disputes where the offended party is urged to confront the offender without being equipped with wisdom. Know the facts before proceeding.

  1. You can’t cut down a tree that is not in your property. Your tree surgeons will tell you in-depth why. But for the basics, not anyone can go into someone else’s property and cut that tree down. You could be liable for trespassing or any misdeed concerning the tree. Just know that any tree that is planted inside the neighbor’s property is not your business to have it removed, simply because they are the owner of the tree. You could be facing liabilities for the consequences in barging to someone else’s yard.
  2. My neighbour’s tree branches hang over my lawn, can I trim it? Most local laws permit you to cut parts of the branches that go over your fence or property line. Even without asking your neighbour when you think those branches are annoying and cause inconvenience in your life as a homeowner, then you have the right to trim it down, as long as you don’t violate any rules. If the tree, however, is a diseased tree, and having to cut the branches may harm it even more or may infect other plants in your yard, it is best to consult existing regulations in your locality or state.

Most issues in cutting or trimming down trees pose a lot of debate among tree owners and neighbours. To settle the score, let your government meddle with the matter. Sometimes there are trees built at the center or occupying both property lines of two homeowners. Call a tree surgeon to inspect the tree and if it is safe to remove if both of you find it more convenient to have it gone. At least, both parties have the consent for the tree removal. If neighbours fail to remove the problematic tree, they could be held liable since the tree would cause certain damage in the community.

Final thoughts

Whether your neighbour’s tree is inherently dangerous or not when it invades your property, you have the right to trim it down. Best if you consult the experts in this field. In Guildford and many areas in the UK, Alpine Tree Surgeons is a company of tree surgery that deals with similar occasions. For many years, it has upheld its high standard in caring for trees and in ensuring that the communities in the UK have removed noxious trees. If you need the help or our tree surgeons, reach out to us and let our tradesmen inspect your areas and settle your dispute. This is better than having to file a lawsuit just because your neighbour’s tree is simply annoying.