Trees overhanging boundaries
What you can and can't do
Your common law rights allow you to remove branches that cross over your boundary without the need to seek your neighbour's permission.
However you must not go onto someone else's land to remove these branches or put a ladder on someone else's land. To do so could be classed as trespassing. It is neighbourly to notify your neighbour of your intentions to carry out works to their tree.
You should not dispose of the branches or any other waste material from the tree over your fence into your neighbour's garden.
You should first ask the neighbour if they wish to have the material, including any fruit, returned to them. If they do not want it, it will be your responsibility to dispose of it.
It is important to check to see if the tree is protected before you start any work.
Is the tree protected?
A tree may be protected by a Tree Preservation Order or it may be in a Conservation Area. Common Law rights are removed if this is the case.
This means that you will need to seek formal permission from the Council before doing any work to living parts of the tree.
Find out more
To find out more about Tree Preservation Orders and works to trees in a Conservation Areas please visit our page Planning - Trees. This page will also tell you how to check to see if the tree you wish to do work to is protected.
You may also find the booklet 'Protected Trees - A Guide to Tree Preservation Procedures' useful.
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