Resolving neighbour disputes
6. High hedges, trees and boundaries
You must try to settle a dispute about a high hedge informally before the council can intervene.
Ask your council for a complaint form if the hedge is all of these:
- 2 or more mostly evergreen or semi-evergreen trees or shrubs
- over 2 metres tall
- affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden because it’s too tall
You might have to pay the council a fee to consider your complaint.
Read more about complaining to your council about a high hedge.
When you can trim hedges or trees
You can trim branches or roots that cross into your property from a neighbour’s property or a public road.
You can only trim up to the property boundary. If you do more than this, your neighbour could take you to court for damaging their property.
If your property borders a road
The highways authority can ask you to cut back hedges or trees on your property if they’re causing an obstruction in the road. If you refuse, they can go into your property without your permission to do the work themselves. They may charge you for this.
Property damage from hedges
Your neighbour is responsible for maintaining their hedges so they don’t, for example, damage your property or grow too high. If they do damage your property, your neighbour may be liable.
Boundaries and shared (‘party’) walls
Disputes about what is the exact boundary between 2 properties can be difficult to solve so get legal advice.
You must give notice to your neighbour if you are going to do work on a shared (‘party’) wall.