Trees growing in neighbour's garden spreading into ours...

Emily_Joy
Emily_Joy Posts: 1,171
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We have just moved in in a semi. Our neighbours we were told are very elderly and we haven't seen them so far. However, we hear them through the wall occasionally. Today I finally got around to do some garden work, in particular got to examine the part of the garden next to border we those neighbours. This fence is ours to maintain.
Once some overgrown plants were cleared, I was able to see the fence. Alas a part of the fence is in very poor state - and there is an old established ivy(?) tree growing through it from the neighbours territory. It is unfortunately getting in close proximity with our conservatory and its roof. There is probably another large tree, spreading from their garden across the air raid shelter. The shelter itself is in very good condition and we use it for storage. The previous owners (I am guessing not the ones we bought the house from, but maybe from 2005 or so) even got the electricity to it. 
What I would like to do (I think) 
1) make sure that the trees don't cause any damage to our main house
2) make necessary repairs to the fence we are responsible for
3) make access to the shelter save and connect it to the main circuit
A tree coming through the fence:


A view from the house onto the shelter. There was a (maybe 20 years old) trellis above the poor wooden fence, but it has not survived the recent storm and collapsed.



A view from the path to the shelter (behind the blue fence above)


From the same point, directly to the neighbours, some remains of the trellis are visible:


Ivy approaching our conservatory (on the other side of the wall is neighbour's extension:


The  black tube is used to host electricity cable to the shelter.
Where do we start and how to proceed?
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Comments

  • Start cutting it all out.
  • JGB1955
    JGB1955 Posts: 3,438
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    Just cut away everything your side.
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  • fatbelly
    fatbelly Posts: 20,257
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    Yep. Anything you don't want that is in your property - cut it off. I' m sure your neighbour would be happy for you to dispose of it as you see fit.

    I can't see that that ivy has much merit so i'd get rid of all of it
  • Emily_Joy
    Emily_Joy Posts: 1,171
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    fatbelly said:
    Yep. Anything you don't want that is in your property - cut it off. I' m sure your neighbour would be happy for you to dispose of it as you see fit.

    I think my concern is that while cutting away something large on my property near the boundary, I might cause accidental damage the neighbour's property and/or fence or it might fall on their side.
    I still remember vividly the day 4 or so years ago when our neighbours cut a tree and it landed literally on the table in front of me when we were about to enjoy some tea!
  • If they are elderly then talk to them - you're probably going to do them a favour.  I hate Ivy with a passion
  • I agree - you should talk to them. Why not invite them over for tea and introduce yourselves and then you could ask them about it (either on that occasion or a future one - you can see on the day whether you feel it would be appropriate to ask them then, or wait). As long as you approach it in a friendly, neighbourly way they will be probably be happy to cooperate with you on the matter and, as the previous poster said, you will probably be doing them a favour and they may see it like this too. If they seem to unhappy with the overgrown trees/shrubs on their side perhaps you could offer to help them cut those back too.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    Legally (as I understand it) you are allowed to cut back to your property line and offer back whatever from your neighbour's plant anything you have cut from those.  Frankly most neighbours are going to be happy for you to dispose of that yourself.  

    I agree - invite the neighbours over.  Agree what they want cut back and what you don't want coming through. Agree what you're willing to do to help them.  Maybe you need to get a gardener to do stuff on their side?  Are they happy if you pay for that?  Or will they pay for something you organise on their behalf????

    As someone of pension age I'd suggest they will be happy to know that they have nice people living next door that will sort things out and keep an eye on things.  Agree between you what you might be willing to do, state what they are obliged to do (you said it was your fence so let them know you are clear on that) and give them your phone number in case they need to chat in future.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Emily_Joy
    Emily_Joy Posts: 1,171
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    During the past few weeks we haven't seen neighbours leaving their house. I am not sure they are able to leave the house unassisted, or get down to the road. There is quite a few steps between the road and their front door. Then even more steps to get to our front door. I also heard one day they were talking to someone using hearing aid of some kind. It seems to me they are vulnerable and may not wish to talk to strangers, but we will try - starting with a friendly handwritten note.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    sounds like you need to do the opposite of what some neighbours do.....  our neighbours dropped by with a bouquet of tulips when we moved in.  your could do the same with yours - or chocolates, or a mixed box of biscuits.  Just to say hello and that you wanted to chat when they were available.  Very friendly.  I'm sure they will love you for it!!!
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • There's something nice about part of a garden being wild and overgrown---especially in a very large garden ( we have always kept "wild" parts and I like some of the photos in this case). 

    But to be sensible and practical, in a normal size garden and given the state of the fences since you hacked a lot of growth away, I suppose you have to resolve the present situation. Other forumites have already said what needs to be said : you can cut anything overhanging or encroaching over your boundary on your side.

    But the first course, instead of this forum, is to talk to your neighbours. It's just so obvious. I bet they haven't seen those parts of their garden for years and I can't see any reason why they'd object to you tidying up fences and cutting back trees/plants/ivy on your side of the boundary.        I think a handwritten note pushed under their door has pro's and con's. It might frighten or worry them, especially if vulnerable and frail if faced with a letter which talks about problems regarding their garden, no matter how carefully you word it. Why not knock on the door as surely as other people must do from time to time eg workmen, deliverymen, friends, doctors, etc-----and then say hello as new neighbours and asking them to let you know if you can ever be of assistance etc ; and get to the garden aspect as a passing remark such as " Is it OK with you if we clear away some of the plants that have grown over the boundary and tidy up fences, without disturbing you and without causing any damage to your boundary or encroaching on to your garden at all"  -----and make it all very low key. 
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