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    • LMS123
    • By LMS123 13th Oct 18, 5:07 PM
    • 35Posts
    • 18Thanks
    LMS123
    Trees on boundary
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 18, 5:07 PM
    Trees on boundary 13th Oct 18 at 5:07 PM
    Hi all.
    My daughter is considering buying a house. The garden borders a pavement. There is no wall or fence. This boundary is a mix of hawthorn hedge and 5 or 6 huge sycamore trees. The present owner said the trees and hedge belong to the council and that the trees are protected. He said he's only seen the council cutting the hedge on the road side once or twice in 15 years. The trees are about 15 feet from the house. My daughter contacted the local borough council who said they don't own the land. She contacted the county council who said the land had belonged to the builder who has since ceased trading and suggested she contact the land registry to ascertain boundary lines. But it seems that the boundary is indistinct and the trees are on the boundary line.
    My question is how does she find out who owns the trees. I know that branches overhanging your property can be removed and offered back to the land owner but these things are huge,mature sycamores!
    She would like clarification as to who is responsible for the trees. The hedge is no problem to maintain, except it grows across the pavement, but it is manageable.
    Would a tree surgeon be able to get access as to the tree ownership? You can bet your bottom dollar that all would be revealed were she to have the trees removed without permission!
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Oct 18, 5:28 PM
    • 45,534 Posts
    • 54,702 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 18, 5:28 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Oct 18, 5:28 PM
    If the boundary is indistinct then

    * claim the land via adverse possession? Will the sellers sign a Declaration that they have used the land as their own for the period they lived there?

    * just assume the land belongs to the property - sounds like the council don't care/want it and the builder has gone, so do wat you want with the plants

    * check if the trees are protected though - that IS a council matter and they will tell you yes or no.
    Last edited by G_M; 13-10-2018 at 6:09 PM.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Oct 18, 5:52 PM
    • 26,392 Posts
    • 95,453 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 18, 5:52 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Oct 18, 5:52 PM
    It'a almost certain the buyer of the house will own the trees if the council are denying responsibility. The last thing cash-strapped councils want is the maintenance of huge sycamore trees.

    As above, check there's no TPO and then factor-in the cost of removal, which will run into thousands, or else decide to live with one of the worst street/wildlife trees that will get aphids every year and disfigure everything placed under them.

    The clean-up after leaf-fall and the continual removal of seedlings should be considered too, along with a potential threat to foundations and drains.

    Not exactly selling them to you am I?
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • LMS123
    • By LMS123 13th Oct 18, 7:21 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    LMS123
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:21 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:21 PM
    Thanks. Her friend's husband is a solicitor so he's going to try a few enquiries. Meanwhile I've suggested she gets a quote from a tree surgeon as to possible cost of removal but I suspect he would want proof of ownership, so to speak. I keep steering her away from this property - life has enough hassles!
    • 25 Years On
    • By 25 Years On 13th Oct 18, 7:38 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    25 Years On
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:38 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:38 PM
    You said they were protected so I assume Tree Protection Orders. This requires permission even to prune them.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Oct 18, 7:44 PM
    • 26,392 Posts
    • 95,453 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:44 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:44 PM
    You said they were protected so I assume Tree Protection Orders. This requires permission even to prune them.
    Originally posted by 25 Years On
    The OP has been told the trees are protected, but that's not proof, which is why we've been suggesting more checks before doing anything else. The tree officer at the council is the person to consult.

    Our vendor told us the elm hedge we now own and preserve was specially protected because of its relative rarity, but that turned out not to be true.
    A garden is never so good as it will be next year....
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 13th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    • 7,279 Posts
    • 19,736 Thanks
    EachPenny
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Oct 18, 7:50 PM
    The OP has been told the trees are protected, but that's not proof, which is why we've been suggesting more checks before doing anything else. The tree officer at the council is the person to consult.

    Our vendor told us the elm hedge we now own and preserve was specially protected because of its relative rarity, but that turned out not to be true.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Absolutely this. Confirmation preferably in writing (exchange of emails) that the trees are not protected and not owned by the council.

    Some councils have a geographic information system (GIS) which is available to the public via the council website. Often this will include information about trees (usually in planning related layers) which are protected or of special interest. I wouldn't take the absence of a tree on GIS as proof it isn't protected, but if it is shown that way then it is very likely to be so.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • da_rule
    • By da_rule 13th Oct 18, 11:11 PM
    • 2,771 Posts
    • 2,438 Thanks
    da_rule
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 18, 11:11 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Oct 18, 11:11 PM
    Another matter to consider is that if they are partly on the pavement they may also be on highway land. Therefore, regardless of who owns the land, your local highways authority will have a certain level of responsibility for maintenance.
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