Leylandii - The Modern Scurge of Britain

September 10, 2010

I read with incredulity of the man who refuses to cut down the Leylandii trees within his front garden. I am sure many of you gasped in horror at the pictures of the suburban street in Plymouth which show Leylandii that had overrun the front garden and engulfed the house plunging it into darkness. You can only feel deep compassion for the neighbours who have to put up with what can only be described as urban warfare.

If you are experiencing difficult neighbours who are not prepared to cut back their Leylandii, what can you do about it? The rights with reference to overhanging branches will apply, but if you cannot come to an amicable arrangement with the neighbour then I am afraid to say, the Council cannot help you.

Civil law allows you to remove any overhanging branches that overhang your property back to the actual boundary line, ie projected up into the airspace over the line. This can technically be done without informing or gaining permission from the neighbour, but it is always much better to at least inform them. Technically the wood removed is owned by the owner of the tree. Therefore it should be offered or returned to that owner. If the tree is protected by any of the means listed in the first question then the appropriate pre-permission will need to be obtained.

Alleged blocking of light to the house or garden is a separate situation and there are complex legal issues involved. Consequently if an amicable discussion or agreement between the parties does not resolve the problem then consult a solicitor.

Leylandii is basically not a tree but a hedge and will not be protected. Leylandii will never be covered by a Tree Preservation Order. There is a self-help pressure group active in the area as part of a national lobby for the introduction of legislative control of Leylandii, who might advise you on the legal opportunities. In order to find out more, why not visit the Hedgeline website.

To find a company who may assist you further, simply click on the free links located on the right hand side of the page.

Reader Comments

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21/04/2013 19:03:12, David Browne says:

Your comment regarding a Leylandii never being given a TPO is incorrect. I have a 20 metre high Leylandii which is 8 metres from my house in my garden and I have been refused permission to cut it down because a TPO was raised in 1996 when the local council decided to place these orders on the whole area. I have taken it to appeal and that was investigated but the officer agreed with the local authority and refused the appeal. Any ideas?

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