Sep 03, 2020
“The neighbours tree is hanging right over my side, the roots are lifting my paving and the leaves are blocking my gutters, am I allowed to cut it back?”
It’s a question #Treeswest are asked on a regular basis. How far can we cut the tree back? Can I poison the roots that are over my side, and who’s going to pay for this? All relevant questions if you’re contemplating having work carried out on a neighbours tree.
The first course of action is to contact your neighbour. Have a chat or send them a letter if you’re unable to catch them at home. In my experience, the neighbour is usually blissfully unaware of what’s going on over the fence. Neighbourly disputes are best avoided where possible.
Avoid paying next door a visit, when you’re all worked up or the situation has become untenable. Pick your time, either invite them around to outlie your concerns or take some detailed photographs, highlighting the problems as you see them. Ideally, the neighbour should pay for the cost of the works, whether it’s pruning back to the boundary line or the cost of repairs. Far better to have the conversation prior to engaging a contractor to carry out the work then after, especially if they have no idea what’s going on.
Research various contractors look to see whether they’re insured and are they a member of their industry body. If you are satisfied that the company ticks some or all of your boxes, invite them out to quote. How do they turn up, on time, clean and smart with their company logo displayed? Are they knowledgeable about the job they’re quoting on?
Of course, that’s an option, but, my first question is, “Do you know what you’re doing?” My second question is, “If you’re going to attempt pruning the neighbours' trees, do you have the right equipment?”
If you’ve been given a quote for tree work and you think you can do it yourself, seriously consider it. Standing high up on a ladder with a hand saw or even an electric circular saw (I’ve seen someone with an extension cable hanging upside down in a tree) trying to cling on with one hand and saw with the other, is it worth the downtime if you fall?
Like any industry, there are many contractors out there offering a wide variety of services, and with varying degrees of industry experience and knowledge, that’s where the cost lies. Using a quality arborist (one who studies and works with trees) should give you a level of assurance and certainty around the standard of their work. Especially, if they’re a member of their industry body, and work to a code of conduct and ethics.
Do you know there is an industry-standard for cutting trees? Treeswest prides itself on aligning with best industry practice. Training is carried out regularly whether in house or from an external provider.
Our equipment is constantly being updated, with a recent acquisition being a 23m ‘Spyder’ elevated work platform, this fits through a 1m gap, impressive! With 2 x 18 inch woodchippers a 15-inch machine with trucks to match, we make a formidable tree care company.