Particularly in the warmer months of the year, it’s all hands on deck when it comes to tidying up the garden.

Whether you’re spending hours pulling out rubbish from bushes or digging up dead plants ready for new ones, the gardening jobs list can feel endless.

There are also bigger tasks which sometimes need to be carried out in our outdoor spaces, such as cutting trees.

But some may be wondering, can your neighbour cut your tree without permission and what are their rights when it comes to trimming overhanging branches? Let’s find out.


🪚When removing a branch, it’s important not to cut too flush to the main trunk or not leave a stub. This can slow down the sealing process of the wounded area and may cause it to rot, become susceptible to disease or pest infestations. When a branch is cut properly the tree will compartmentalize (defense mechanism of trees) and form a callus around the perimeter of the wound. The branch collar is a swollen area located at the base of a branch joining the trunk. More info on my Instagram post.

♬ I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - The Proclaimers

Can you cut a neighbour's tree without permission?

If the base of a tree sits on the boundary line between two properties it is jointly owned by both of them (they are classed as tenants in common), reports The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

It adds: “If one owner fells the whole tree without permission from the other owner, that would make them liable as this amounts to trespass.

“Consent should also be sought from the other owner before work is undertaken on the tree.

“Where there is any doubt as to on whose land the tree lies, a surveyor will be able to assess.”

What side of the fence am I responsible for in the UK?

Can you cut branches off a neighbour’s tree in the UK?

The RHS advised you can cut branches off a neighbour’s tree, “provided it is done without trespassing onto the other person’s property.”

“It is also permissible to climb into the tree to undertake the work, again so long as it does not require going into the neighbour’s garden/land,” the gardening experts commented.

It’s important to note that trees covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) or in a Conservation Area will require prior consent from the local authority.

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Do I need permission from my neighbour to cut off overhanging branches?

The RHS confirmed: “No. Your actions are classed as ‘abating a nuisance’ which does not require permission.

“Only in situations where you need access to their land to undertake the work would permission be required.

“Similarly prior consent from the local authority is required for trees with a TPO or in a Conservation Area.”