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The top of my larch tree leans towards my neighbour. The whole tree leans very slightly also, due to prevailing wind direction. This tree has grown compensating roots and thick trunk on the side away from the lean, but my neighbour is convinced it will fall on his house. An arboriculturalist's report found the tree to be perfectly sound, but nothing will put his mind at rest. He wants my tree cut down and will do it himself for free, as he is a tree surgeon. I really love the tree, but I know my neighbour will not give up and I will be forced to take some action. He says he would be happy if the height was reduced, but he has been told by our local Council tree officer that this would probably kill it. What do you think I should do? Would topping the tree result in it dying? If so, then surely that would make it more likely to fall over?



Reducing the height of a larch would ruin it don't you think? I bet most of us have been guilty of planting a tree too near a boundary at one time on another. I know I have. Larch does grow pretty fast so perhaps you could remove this on and plant another where it won't cause problems when it grows? Do you know why it started leaning in the first place - was it avoiding a shrub when it was smaller?

31 May, 2017


You should keep your tree if you like it. Hold onto the arboriculturalist's report and all other reports, receipts & records concerning the tree. You will need them if litigation is necessary. Let your neighbor have his tirade because that's about all he'll get. lol. They could be the most annoying people.

31 May, 2017


welcome to GoY Strobbie.

I'd be tempted to keep the tree and reassure the neighbour that it is a sound tree and you will have it assessed in 3 years time.

if you are worried about the hassle from the neighbour you could top the tree and when it needs further remedial work give him the bill. if he is a trained tree surgeon why wont he believe the report I wonder?

31 May, 2017


I was assuming that part of the tree overhangs his property, in which case he would have a legal right to cut off the overhanging part himself. I wouldn't top it myself as the whole point of a larch tree is its lovely graceful shape which would be ruined by cutting the top off.
It would be interesting to see a photo of the situation?
If none of it overhangs his property he has no rights at all over it but should it ever fall on his house, which you've been assured it won't, I guess you would be liable for repairs.

Offering to get it assessed again later is a good idea.

31 May, 2017


I agree with Steregram, would be interesting to see a photograph. Having some experience with blown trees this year (Doris did some major damage to my orchard and I thank my lucky stars no one was hurt) I would suggest that you take heed with your neighbours concerns. Trees can do an unbelievable amount of damage and if it's already leaning then law of gravity says it can only fall one way if it does go. If it's healthy then the chances of it going over are of course slimmer but what if it did blow over, would it land on their property? Is it in a windy position? Could it do the damage she/he says it could?

I have a small orchard and was devastated to lose some of my trees (must be even harder when you've just got the one larch in your garden) but no tree is worth the risk to human life.

7 Jun, 2017

How do I say thanks?

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