Neighbours at War over Trees

When neighbours go to war it is often over trees...

Neighbours at war over trees

When neighbours go to war, often it is over trees.  I have been in the tree business for over 25 years and has seen it all when it comes to neighbours arguing over trees. Should a tree be removed or not? Should a tree be pruned? Who should do the work? Do we need a qualified arborist?

Big trees don’t respect our carefully mapped out section boundaries. They grow free and wide and block views. They restrict light, drop branches in high winds, and drop leaves in gutters and pools. However, these trees have often been there a lot longer than the current occupants of the house.

The law says property owners can cut back any branches or roots from neighbouring trees that encroach on their property (at your own cost and without your neighbour’s agreement). The big BUT is they can only do that if it doesn’t endanger the health of the tree.

When asked about trees on boundaries I generally recommend for my client to go to the owner of the trees in question to discuss their concern and see if they can work out a solution.  Quite often how my client conveys their concern will have a big impact on determining the result.

I have seen everything from verbal and physical arguments, to time consuming court cases over trees on boundaries.  When cases end up in court the final cost of dealing with the tree often includes big legal bills.

It is always preferable if the two parties can reach an amicable agreement about what to do. The owner of the trees may not even be aware there is a problem.  Often, a resolution is resolved when a shared cost deal is worked out between the two parties.

I am never a fan of removing large trees but unfortunately some trees outgrow their situation or become unstable and present a danger. If the problem is a shade one, it may be that the tree can be thinned and pruned.

I am happy to come in to provide advice or help mediate between two parties if required.


Expert Arborist

Beaver Tree Services