Man sparks backlash after trimming his neighbour's overhanging tree and posting video online

30 November 2022, 21:48

The man trimming his neighbour's bush
The man trimming his neighbour's bush. Picture: TikTok

By Kit Heren

A man has triggered a furious online debate after posting a video of himself on TikTok cutting back his neighbour's overhanging tree.

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The man used a hedge trimmer to take back the tree, which was blocking a driveway, so it was in line with a hedge.

TikToker @smartgarden1982 posted the 52-second clip online with the caption: "What would you do if a neighbour's tree was blocking your driveway?"

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Clearly expecting support from viewers, the man was instead on the receiving end of a wave of disagreement.

One angry commenter said: "What is your problem with this little tree? We need more trees not less."

Another said he overstepped the mark, telling him: 'You went beyond the boundary in my view."

A third added: 'If it could be me I would never do that. It's just a tree beyond the fact it belongs to your neighbours."

You are technically allowed to cut down tree branches that overhang your property in the UK, but could face being taken to court or even criminal damage charges if they cut too far.

People living in conservation areas have to get special permission from their local authority to cut down branches.

And some people agreed with the man. One user said: "I would do the same and I have done too! plus my neighbour did come round and cut back what was overhanging across to my side and cleared up too!"

A second said: "I've done the same many times, and left the cuttings on their property".

The man trimming the tree
The man trimming the tree. Picture: TikTok

Citizens Advice says people should be less confrontational with their neighbours and try to talk problems over.

They say on their website: "Talk to your neighbour face to face if you can - make a note of what you agreed. If you don't feel comfortable speaking to them, write a letter or ask someone to contact them for you. Keep copies of any letters or emails you send or receive.

"It's often best to find a compromise, for example sharing the cost of pruning a hedge even though you think your neighbour owns it. 

"It could help you keep a good relationship and might be cheaper than paying a solicitor to resolve the disagreement."

One TikTok user agreed with this advice, saying: "Hopefully you'd be friends with your neighbours so just tell them. Ours are elderly and lovely. We always help them. Called humanity".

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