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Shading caused by Trees

Many of us love to enjoy the sun whilst at home, and look forward to it shining over the garden as often as possible. It makes us feel more relaxed and content.

Often I am asked about the problem of shading caused by trees; What can you do if your neighbour has vegetation that is shading your garden or property?

Large tree causing shading over the garden

Many people value their privacy and so grow vegetation close to the boundary. There is no ‘right to light’ in legislation from adjacent vegetation, apart from the High Hedges Act which relates to evergreen and semi evergreen trees. I will do another Blog about this particular topic soon.

There is a way of getting more light in to your garden, and this is how to do it:

If the neighbouring trees are an issue, the first piece of advice is to have a friendly chat with your neighbour to explain the problems you have. Politely ask them if they are willing to prune the foliage to allow more light through. Remember to respect their opinion; as long as their trees are safe and not causing damage they do not have to act if they do not wish to do so.

Everyone does, however have rights in Common Law to prune trees and vegetation back to your boundary line and no further.

From the many people I talk to, it appears that over time this law has been misconstrued; In reality, you are obliged to offer the cuttings back to the tree owner. I believe this goes back to the days when firewood was a valuable commodity. If the owner does not want them then you are to dispose of them in a responsible manner.

Be aware that if you excessively prune the tree so as to cause it to prematurely die in the future, fall over or cause damage then you may be liable for damages incurred, so it is always well worth getting expert advice.

I recommend that you liaise with a well qualified Tree Surgeon or Arboriculturist to find out how best to prune and where. Often by incorrectly pruning your efforts can produce more growth than you had before! By working together with your neighbour, and a specialist you can prune to get the best results.

My other Blog can help you find the most appropriate surgeon, http://www.oneworldarboriculture.co.uk/choosing-a-good-tree-surgeon/

or give us a call. We will be happy to help.

Please be aware about nesting birds, my Blog covers the essentials: http://www.oneworldarboriculture.co.uk/important-advice-about-nesting-birds-and-tree-works/

There is also the issue of protected trees:

If the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order or lie within a Conservation Area, you will be required to contact the Local Authority to arrange for permission or give notification for the works. You can easily find out if the trees are protected by emailing the relevant local authority with the address and location of the tree. E.g. 22 Longleat Drive in the front garden.

Finally, I recommend that you discuss your plans with your neighbour, as a matter of courtesy. They are not obliged to share any of the costs for this work, so bear this in mind.

Above all, I think that keeping relations as amicable as possible is always best, so that you can hopefully both achieve what you require.

I hope this helps.