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I have had a bonfire site at the end of my garden for as long as I have lived in my house, 20 years+.

 

In that time my neighbour has planted a tree which has grown and now partially overhangs the bonfire such that when it flares up to a reasonable height

it scorches some of the leaves and branches.

 

The best sort of bonfire is the fiery sort which doesn't smoulder and produce nasty fumes.

 

He is now complaining that I am damaging his tree and wants me to move my bonfire.

 

The site is the only one in the garden which is not used for vegetables and at this time of year the rest of the patch is full.

 

I have agreed that when there is another patch available I will use it, but if there is not then I feel entirely free to use the regular site and just try to minimise the damage.

 

After all, the fire came first! I have said that it is better to damage a few branches than exercise my rights and cut them all off where they overhang.

 

As part of a larger dispute he is threatening action against me for damage to his tree.

 

Am I right? Where do I satnd?

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As far as google tells me, even though it overhangs your land the tree remains his property, and you may be liable for any damage caused to the tree by yourself.

 

However - you are entitled to cut the tree back to the boundary of your property, provided the tree is not subject to a preservation order. You will need to be careful if you do cut the branches back that you do not cause damage to the tree itself, lest you be open to liability claims.

 

Complete novice on this subject, hopefully a more experienced head will be along soon!

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Thanks. I was already aware of the points you have made. And besides, how do you define 'damage'. I could go up in line with my fence and carry out some 'sympathetic pruning' on everything off which is overhanging (being careful to give them to him).

 

My issue is that he has come along and grown a tree which is now a problem to an activity I have carried out in the same place and long before the tree was planted. I don't see why it is my problem.

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I can see your point but I suspect that compromise is needed here. It is a lot easier for you to control your fire than him his tree and I fear, (my opinion) his wildlife would triumph over your bonfire if ever it went further.

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Do leaves from his tree fall into your garden as you are quite entitled to dump them over his fence along with any overhanging branches you have cut off so maybe between the two of you a compromise can be reached instead of dashing off to the courts.

If you do go down the route of the cutting the branches, it may be best to have them done professionally and then to claim off the neighbour. That way if the tree dies, you cannot be blamed. If it is an Ash tree get it infected. LOL!

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Thread moved.

 
 

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