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Concernedneighbour

Neighbour wants to cut cedar roots

Question

Neighbour has a large cedar tree (30ft + high) in his front garden. It's around a metre from the boundary to the shared drive and has caused some damage to this (not enough at present to cause a fuss). Problem is neighbour now wants to install railings on his boundary and is talking about cutting out some of the roots to level things for the installation of the railings and gates. I'm concerned that neighbour will attempt to do this work himself (he's not at all approachable) and that given it's so close to the trunk it's liable to destabalise the tree. Am I right to be concerned or if he's only leveling the ground is he unlikely to weaken the tree?

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If I'm right, the tree is on his side and he wants to cut away roots on the boundary? So he's putting railings between the tree and you? If he cuts away the roots on your side of the tree it can destabilise it but it will only fall in his direction so he's only putting himself at risk here

Edited by Paddy1000111

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He has a right to cut any branches or roots that overhang onto his property over the boundary, but he had to do so in a way that will not have a detrimental affect on the tree which can lead to destabilising of said tree

 

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Difficult to see what will happen without pics but if his tree falls on to your property and causes damages then you can claim from his house insurance. 

The other responses sound like they think the tree is on your side and the law states that any overhanging branches and roots going across the boundary can be cut back by the neighbor  to the boundary but if they kill the tree, you can sue for damages.

In your case, if his tree falls either through his actions or through other reasons, you can sue the owner for damages to your property.

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On 06/03/2021 at 23:36, mattyboy said:

He has a right to cut any branches or roots that overhang onto his property over the boundary, but he had to do so in a way that will not have a detrimental affect on the tree which can lead to destabilising of said tree

 

That's not true. Besides, you seem to be talking about a situation when he is the neighbour, not the tree owner.

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22 hours ago, spudulike said:

Difficult to see what will happen without pics but if his tree falls on to your property and causes damages then you can claim from his house insurance. 

The other responses sound like they think the tree is on your side and the law states that any overhanging branches and roots going across the boundary can be cut back by the neighbor  to the boundary but if they kill the tree, you can sue for damages.

In your case, if his tree falls either through his actions or through other reasons, you can sue the owner for damages to your property.

Err, not quite correct. If the neighbour's tree falls and damages OP's property and it was foreseeable OP could sue him. He may or may not be able to get any compensation back off his insurers.  Consequently his insurers may deal with the claim. But you can't claim directly off a neighbour's insurer.

As for the other scenario you cannot sue for damage to a tree that you have let encroach and which the other side has exercised its common law right to cut back.  The exception would be if you cut back and should have foreseen the destabilisation and could have and should have warned the tree owner to given him  a chance to make it safe afterwards, but didn't.

There is no general right to sue for damage from a failing neighbour's tree. You can only sue for negligence, essentially for damage caused foreseeably.

There's centuries of case law on this...

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