Massively high conifer trees

Our neighbour (one of their 2nd homes) has a row of massively high (at least some 50ft) conifer trees, growing on the other side of our fence. Is this illegal? Not only do they block the sun at certain times of the day and year and are affecting my fruit trees and lawn, I am getting extremely concerned that the roots will (and could be doing so already?) penetrate my property - cracks have already appeared on my patio area (laid only some 2 years ago). I’m aware that the subject of conifer trees can be a very delicate one, but I wonder if anyone has any suggestions in how I make my initial approach (complaint/concerns) on this matter, to this neighbour, of whom incidentally, I rarely see at the property?

Answer #1

The extension and size of the roots varies depending on the type of soil, size of tree, etc…but the general rule is that the roots are proportionate to the height of the tree.

That means those roots are almost surely what is causing your patio area to lift.

Before you talk to your neighbour, you’ll have to do a little research.

  1. Are conifer trees under protected status in your area?
  2. Will the removal of those roots cause the tree to die? (You are allowed to trim a trees roots and branches if they extend over onto your property line, but only up to the property line)

You should take pictures of the patio as proof (if you have pictures from previous years as well, even better) and talk to your insurance company. Many insurance companies will intervene on your behalf, but if that’s not the case, a well-written and polite letter may be the way to go.

Unfortunately, there is no law protecting your lawn and garden against tree shading.

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