By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 21 May 2022| *Discuss
If a nearby tree looks diseased / broken or overgrown, it could cause concerns about potential damage to your property if it falls. If you have concerns, what can you do?
Have a Chat
Always try to speak to your neighbour about any problems. If this isn't possible try sending an informal note. If that doesn't resolve the issue, then a more formal letter may be required.
To assist, a template informal note and more formal letter are below:
Informal Note to Neighbour About Problem Tree
Just a quick note regarding the tree at [location]. [I/we] have concerns that the tree is [diseased / has a broken branch / is overgrown] and may damage my property if it falls.If the tree belongs to you, please could you have a look at this and arrange any required pruning etc to make it safe? If not, [I/we] will do some further investigating to find the owner.
Thanks for your help.
[Name] [Your house number]
Formal Letter to Neighbour About a (Potentially) Dangerous Tree
[Address / 'Delivered by hand']
Dear[Neighbour's name]/[If unknown, just address as 'Dear Neighbour'],
Re: Potentially dangerous tree
I live at [address], next door. I am writing in relation to concerns I have about a potential threat to health and safety posed by trees on your property.
The tree(s) that I am concerned about is/are [beech/oak/pine etc] located [describe location e.g. to the east side of your garage]. I have marked the trees on the enclosed rough sketch map so that you can clearly identify which tree(s) in particular cause me concern.
I am particularly concerned about this/these tree(s) because: [select appropriate]
- The tree(s) is leaning to one side and appears at risk of falling
- The tree(s) looks dead/diseased
- The tree(s) has a large broken branch which is at risk of falling
- The tree(s) has overgrown and is resting/encroaching on my property
The owners of trees have a legal duty of care to make sure that their trees do not pose a danger to neighbours or their property. I would therefore be grateful if you could obtain a tree survey and if this shows it is potentially dangerous, to arrange for removal or pruning of the tree.
You may have previously been unaware of the condition of the tree(s) and the potential problems caused by this. However now that this has been brought to your attention, I would request that you take action. If you do not do so, the local council potentially could take action themselves to assess and remove any trees. They may however charge any cost of doing so to you, and that is likely to cost more than if you initially carried out the work.
I am keen to resolve this amicably; we are after all neighbours! I would therefore be grateful if you could look into this matter and arrange assessment and removal or pruning of the tree(s) as a matter of urgency.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
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My neighbours tree started to lean over last October,I went round to see her to explain and she said she'd sort it. Roll on to storms in February and it's damaged my shed. Again I went to see her to say what had happened and that it needed to be removed, and I would try to repair my shed once its down. 3 months on and nothing has happened.Contacted citizens advice who suggested I write to her. The only response I've had from her is intimidation. IfI hear nothing by the middle of the week I'm going to write again suggesting we go to mediation however I don't think she'll agree. I've looked at the tree today and it's literally millimetres from my shed roof. And ive checked the shed but it's too big a job for me to repair. I really need to know where I go next
Nici - 21-May-22 @ 8:40 PM
Hi..same issue as others on here huge neighbours tree over hangs our back garden and pigeons sit on over hanging branches and poo into our garden how nice..I have contacted neighbours and have had no joy with discussions about this as it’s at the bottom of there garden and not on there priority list yet to resolve? Any ideas would be appreciated? Thanks
Unhappy - 1-Oct-21 @ 12:29 PM
The house next to us has been empty for 8 months, since the last tenant moved out. She had lived there 60 years.The property is owned by people from london, we are located in Kent. There is a very tall silver poplar growing against the wall dividing our gardens. We only have small courtyards and the tree is about 40foot high, above the height of the houses. Its about 6foot away from our house and the entire tree moves in high winds, all the way down the trunk. We are very worried about this tree damaging our house but we dont know how to get hold of the owners of the house? We have no clue what are options are here. I emailed the council but they said its nothing to do with them.
Jess - 22-Jun-21 @ 2:28 PM
I have a row of conifers at the front of my property, just inside the wire fence. My neighour has been cutting the top of the trees and coming onto my property, without my permission, and cutting the front of them as well. Last year I asked him to stop doing this as they are on my property and he does not have permission to do so.He said he thought he owned them and I pointed out that they were on my property. He agreed to seek permission if he wanted to cut the tops and that he wouldcease cutting the front of them. I have just come home and he has cut them again, top and front. I don't feel I can talk to him again as he is clearly taking no notice of me. How should I proceed? I only want to get a solicitor involved as a last resort.
Chris - 19-Jun-21 @ 1:24 PM
A large tree located front of house on the pathway (I.e.. belong to Penrith council) and it drops all leaves in autumn, I can’t gather the mentioned leaves lately as I am 75 years old and I suffer from heart failure and I couldn’t bend over as it cause me a dizziness which can cause me drop on front yardI have been calling Penrith council for the last 3 years and there’s no help from them as the tree is in good health but I’m not to look after it and it makes the street untidy Pleas advice what can I do
Magdi - 9-Jun-21 @ 9:15 AM
My neighbours tree has not been pruned/cut back for 8 years. It is now over 11 metres tall. Overgrown overhanging and blocking out the light. The roots have destabilised the fence which is leaning into my garden, the tree not only overhangs but two fence panels are down leaving me with no privacy. They gate has now broken and pulled my gate down so my gate no longer closes. The owners rent the property through an estate agency whom I have contacted on multiple occasions, they came out promised to get it sorted and told me the delay was due to the people renting being late with there rent all the time (breach of confidentiality) now I contact them and they say they are only managing the property and I should contact the city council. I have asked them to have the owners make contact with me but still nothing. What can I do ?
Pat - 3-Jun-21 @ 2:43 PM
I have the opposite problem, with an antagonistic neighbour who has cut back my tree to to the trunk and thrown the branches into my garden. He has also cut branches that do not encroach not his boundary. I cannot find any definitive information about my rights as a tree caretaker. However, I am lead to believe, that he is required by law to offer the branches back to me. As throwing them over my fence, this may be constituted as fly tipping. Cutting the branches back that do not cross his boundary could be criminal damage. Any guidance will be very welcome please.
Brasilnut - 8-May-21 @ 1:48 PM
My neighbour has a tree that the roots have destroyed our boundary wall. I have sent him the letters posted above which he has trimmed the overhanging above ground parts. I have now found out his house is up for sell and our wall is still missing. I want to redesign our garden and I’m being stopped until this issue is resolved.What is my best way of forcing them to repair the damage.
Jacko - 1-May-21 @ 9:17 AM
Hi me and my son know that them next door neighbour we having living next door to us at 40b can't be doing all that putting up a fence going across in the back garden or planting tree's in the front garden or around in the back garden or throwing them rubbish into the back garden or throwing cigarette butt onto are kitchen window ledge.
Sweets - 22-Mar-21 @ 10:12 PM
I am wanting someone from the council to advise me on getting neighbouring tree that is blocking my light and hangs over my property cut back
Patrick Price - 11-Mar-21 @ 10:32 PM
Neighbour has allowed 3 leylandi to grow to over 12meters high and 3 meters away from my extension wall. I’ve wrote to her twice over 2 years requesting they are pruned down or removed. Both letters ignored with no response or acknowledgement. Now I have structual problems and hired a structual serveyor who thinks it may be the trees. How do I enforce these trees be removed? I’ve contacted my local council before the damage happened, got a reply not their problem, wrote to the environment agency asking for help... reply, not their remit! I feel I’m at a loss as to where to turn for help. My relationship is untenable with this neighbour who owns the trees due to their dogs escaping out of the garden3 years ago on (many occasions) and attacking my pet which resulted in its death. A protection order has been placed on my property by local dog warden which means if the dangerous dogs get out again and they are on their last chance, a fine of £5,000 will be imposed on them. Communication is nil between us. I’m disparate to resolve this situation as soon as possible so I can move forward. Any ideas would be so welcome.
J.J - 17-Nov-20 @ 9:49 PM
My neighbour has destroyed my fences (34ft in length) by fly tipping behind the first half and piling soil behind the other half, raising the level of his garden. The fly tipped rubbish has been removed (not by him!) but I now have to sort out the other fencing. The fence is bowed and has split open, I have it held back with boards and metal stakes. I will need to remove the broken fence but this will result in his garden collapsing into mine. Also, the fence has been pushed so far that my garden boundary is now on his side of the fence. He is not approachable for discussion. Can anyone offer advice, please?
Patch - 20-Jun-20 @ 5:39 PM
I am having an issue with a neighbors tree,it is causing damage to my cement driveway.There are 3 trees total at the edge of the road beside my property causing vision problems while entering the road.I am not sure what I need to do as this is an elderly owner and I have spoken with her son n law to be avail.Thanks for any info
Janice - 9-Jun-20 @ 3:32 PM
What are the chances if enough people signed a petition to have this law changed, so that people are held responsible for their overgrown trees and shrubs and it not left to the long suffering neighbours?
ILF - 7-Jun-20 @ 11:00 PM
A sample letter to the media about my neighbor poisoned my fruit trees..How to go about writing it.
None - 14-May-20 @ 5:10 PM
Hi there,My neighbor planted shrubs on my property. I want to plant in that space. I have marked it with a string line and they have gotten a survey as well. My survey was spot on. It’s been weeks and they’ve made no attempt to move their shrubs. How would you suggest I proceed? Thanks, Krishna
KS - 29-Apr-20 @ 12:45 PM
Not sure where to go for helpI am one of three pensioners who live in a small terrace of cottages built in 1986. our lane is 4 yards wide and on the other side is a large 1950's house surrounded by large trees. But none have a preservation order on them and were all planted as ornamental trees in the originallandscaping. The whole town centre is a conservation area, including our lane.The owner is a lady in her seventies living on her own, she has other property from which she receives a rental income. She is adequately funded but is something of a queen bee in the neighbourhood and intimidatesa lot of people with her attitude.This is in the centre of a small town and when viewed from Google Earth one can see that the grounds of this house are a blot on the landscape in that it is obviously an untended overgrown garden. Neighbours on others aspectsof her grounds have all had problems with her and her overgrowing vegetation. When they complain she just replies that it is their right to cut off any overhanging branches at their expense. One of my neighbours had to apply for planning permission on the owner's behalf to get a large branch cut down which was rubbing against her phone cable, and pay for the tree surgeon herself.Our problem is that trees in her garden although within her boundaries have grown considerably since 1986 and they are now making our homes dark and the area in between (the lane owned and maintained by the council) damp and dark too. A holly which must have been at most a 6ft bush in 1986 is now a tree taller than our house. An ornamental acacia now towers above our cottages and the branches spread across the lane almost overlapping our rooftops, the roots must also be nearly at our footings too.I do not want a confrontation with the lady, as she is an old hand at dealing with personal complaints. The chairman of the local council has personally recommended that we can take action on the basis of 'a right to light'. Others have suggested that the environmental health office in the council may also have an interest.The only problem with that is that we need to have a professional survey completed that will cost a thousand pounds. But as pensioners that is more than we can afford. So I wonder if there is any fund that can help us or do the RICS or similar body have a charity or NGO who support such work? TIA
mish - 13-Nov-19 @ 12:54 AM
My neighbours trees branches r falling and my fence r braking
Tassia - 11-Oct-19 @ 10:42 AM
8-31-2019About 3 or 4 months ago in 2019, I begin to see the tree branches from the house next door extending their growth into my sides of the house property yard. Also every so regularly I would see empty plastic food snack packages enter my front yard that looks like they dropped in my front yard from the house address next door.No argument, but how do I or local political people contact the house address next door to tell them to stop the problem of littering my sides of the address property with empty plastic food snack packages, empty plastic store shopping bags, sport balls, and over hanging tree branches into my yard house address property.Brian Aaron, writing the complaint, address is 10120 Towne Ave., Los Angeles,CA90003.The littering address house next door, 10122 Towne Ave., Los Angeles,CA90003.Return your email answer to this house address problem.House ownerBrian Aaron
none - 1-Sep-19 @ 3:03 AM
My neighbour has a large tree which has a conservation order on it .the roots are encroaching onto my pavers lifting and cracking in part. What can I do and what rights do I have
Bashy - 6-Jul-19 @ 3:19 PM
Hello I have my neighbor's tree in the back garden which blocks the sun light creating pigeons nests and lots of liquid drops from the tree also its creating cracks on the floor of my cement grounddamaging my property please help me.
Pratima - 9-Jun-19 @ 4:20 PM
To all who post on this website, I wish to inform everyone who posts that the people who are running this website are not who they make out to be.Sometime ago, I left a comment on here with personal details accidently and asked for those running this organisation to take my comments down and instead they made fun of me, when my messages became more desperate (because it was a serious violation of one's rights).I have since tried to report this via one route to Trading Standards but am going to try another route.These people are actually bullies who are probably harvesting your details when you post and so obviously not to be trusted. They are probably of the same group of those who behave like louts with a setup to catch those who feel that they have reason to protect themselves anonymously. The people who run this website has a distorted mindset or so it seems as this way of thinking is misplaced sense of justice.DO NOT TRUST THIS WEBSITE.
Claimant - 16-Feb-19 @ 11:06 PM
Thank you for reading. Our neighbor has gigantic cotton wood trees that not only litter' segments' all seasons, but they are so huge they dwarf my home. They are double the height of my house. When the canyon winds blow. We watch, knowing someday one will fall and crush our home . I understand leaves fruit are my responsibility to clean up.I have filled 20 huge Waxiebags of leaves this year and there are still more to come. Is there a law for old diseases trees. I know they pose a danger.This neighbor is argumentative and sour faced in most days. Confronting him would only be possible if I had backing. Any advice is appreciated.Thank you for your time. This same neighbor has a gravel driveway.It pours through our chain link fence. Our grass is dead. And rocks have taken over the whole side of our property.Again any help will be greatly appreciated.We live in Utah
Kidia, kid lemon sau - 28-Nov-18 @ 5:16 PM
Last year I had considerable damage to my property when two trees on a vacant and unattended lot next to the back of my property both had huge limbs fall onto my land, new fence and broke down part of a beautiful Ornamental Cherry tree. I had to pay landscapers to clean up all those trees including the section from my Cherry tree, and replace the three sections of my fence. I was told by the landscapers that I had better send the owner of that property a letter informing them of what happened and that. One of the trees was completely dead and needs to be taken down.I went to city hall and found out who the owner of the lot was and using the above template to go by sent a letter to the owner by Certified Mail. As of today the letter was undeliverable ....where do I stand if doesn't get delivered or picked up and is returned to me? If I have more damage from those trees falling or any others as there are many what are my rights? Is there anything else I should do? Mail another letter by regular mail?
NanaTree - 20-Nov-18 @ 10:25 PM
Our neighbor has asked a few of us to assist her in paying to have about 12 pine trees removed.She says they are abutter trees, which they are not. There have been incidences of her trees falling in our yards with us being responsible. She told us not her insurance. They are dangerous and could do damage with a good storm. We are not going to pay as they are her trees.how do we respond so she knows they need tocome down
Anne - 15-Jul-18 @ 8:47 PM
I live am am owner occupier of a house. The Neighboring house and garden have an adjoining fence and wall.There is a row ofmature Leylandia and Hawthorn running alongside the fence.This is forms part of the neighboring garden. The House is owned by a Trust and occupied by tenants, the Hedge has not been pruned properly for 2 years now and is currently reaching heights of 12 foot in places, grows through trhe adjoining fence over my path and gate.There is also an indication that the roots are lifting my pathway . The main sewer oulet also runs just below this path!I have informed tenants next door and the Housing trust as I have done my best to manage the hedge form my side,but am unable to reduce the height. This appears also to be futile if same hedge is not being managed form the garden in which it is located.There has been no action on this for 6 weeks. I have read some of your articles which give some good advice,however having informed the responsible parties and no actionis it really at my expense ,damaged tools .legal advice and any serious damage to property that I have to put this situation right?
Sue - 11-Jul-18 @ 9:28 AM
We have conifers in our garden that have been there for 20 years plus. We regularly cut them down to avoid blocking light to those at the back. However neighbors at the back have complained that the trees are going into their property and psychotherapy boundary fence down. We have said they able to cut the trees back. However they say they have got really bad and want us to do it. Our question is. Why didn’t they cut them down before they got so bad?We have never tried stopping them from doing so and have always told them to feel free to cut them. Is it our responsibility to get them cut down from their side?Even though we’ve previously said they could do it?
Dee - 10-Jul-18 @ 5:04 PM
I have recently paid a considerable amount of money to have a garage conversion completed but incurred extra expense due to it needing to be underpinned, due tomovement / subsidence.Our builder has stated that this was probably caused by the nearby eucalyptus tree.Our neighbour's garden boundary runs close to the end of this building, within 3 to 4 feet.The neighbours have a large eucalyptus tree (approx. 70 feet high) and the trunk has grown so that it is now pushing against the boundary fence, with large branches hanging over the roof of our building.I have already spoken with the neighbour, but we don't actually know them as they live in another street with just part of our garden having an adjoining boundary.They stated that the tree was already there when they bought the house a couple of years ago.They said that they had considered pruning it, but I have said that this is not where the main concern lies and that realistically the rate of growth could potentially cause further, considerable damage to our building, given the rate that eucalyptus grow.The neighbours have an extremely long garden, possibly 500 metres and they rarely use the area of the garden where the eucalyptus tree is sited.I really don't think that they realise quite how close to our building the tree is and the damage that it's continued growth is likely to cause.However, I am keen to find a way to resolve this and do not feel that merely pruning the tree will resolve the longer term issues.I have taken it upon myself to have two arborists quote for the cost of taking the tree down and disposing of it.This was with the intention of writing a letter and providing the quotations, with the offer of contributing £100 towards the cost.What would your advice be, as I don't want to cause problems but feel that this needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.Thank you
Doobs - 6-Jul-18 @ 4:09 PM
Hi my neighbour has two huge conifers one that excludes light to my solar panels and the other light to my hallway/landing and potential risk of damaging my property!There is also ahuge sycomore tree that is overhanging and is also now excluding light to my solar panels, what are my rights?
Jax - 5-Jul-18 @ 6:28 PM
My neighbor has a tree in her back yard. The branches are over hanging in my backyard, I have to rack the leaves when they fall and it's blocking the sunlight for my plants growth. I have talked to her about her hedges that are also over grown in my yard. She had a Nasty attitude. So can you help me legally to get her to trim her tree. Thank you
What to do - 2-Jun-18 @ 6:54 PM