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WeAreGhostsWeAreGhosts Forumite
3K posts
Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
Quick hypothetical question,
I keep reading that if someone cuts their neighbours tree roots and that tree falls due to it being made unstable by the cutting of the roots then that is negligence.
what I can’t find is what the happens to the person who has killed the tree? Is it a civil matter? I have briefly read elsewhere that the person responsible wouldn’t have to pay towards a new tree. Is this correct? So the tree owner has a dead tree and the person responsible is not out of pocket in any way?


  • FarwayFarway Forumite
    9.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Sounds like something lawyers get rich on, IANAL but I'd assume [dangerous I know] roots are same as branches overhanging your land so just cut them if digging for whatever
    Can't think the law would get involved so it would be a pursue through the courts at your own expense unless claimant can get insurance co involved somehow

    Regarding dead tree, proving who killed it may not be as easy or obvious as spotting a JCB digging the roots out, sneaky night time applications of well known weedkiller could also be at play >:)
  • JustagardenerJustagardener Forumite
    301 posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    As Farway says, a difficult thing to prove. Additionally, roots that keep a tree on its feet are large, go deep and are near the trunk. So it would have to be an excavation job to cut them. If the roots were cut through due to building an extension or similar, they would have to be cut pretty close to the trunk to make the tree unstable and you wouldn't want to build that close to a tree anyway.
  • edited 19 October at 8:15AM
    -taff-taff Forumite
    12.2K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 19 October at 8:15AM
    cyrpesses have pretty shallow roots, and yes, you are allowed to cut those too. What happens is a piece of string, it's got to be proven first, and then only the odd sensational case makes it's way into the papers so you'd have to do a lot of trawling of court records to find results from that...
  • twopennytwopenny Forumite
    532 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
    Surely if you cut the roots on one side the tree will fall forwards exposing neatly cut short roots on opposite side.
    Bit of a giveaway.
    If the neighbour wanted to take it to small claims court there would be all the resulting damage to their garden and paying for chopping it up and disposing of it.
    Or they may decide to take their own revenge on your garden.

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well

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