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General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

spookypickle
Grafter
Posts: 80
Registered: 10-10-2012

General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

This year we had to ask our neighbour who lives across from us to trim her garden trees back as we were beginning to get a little bit worried that they were about to overtake our line from the pole (also the line of our immediate neighbour). She  obliged cutting back an Ash tree and some Leylandii.  Our concern is she also has an apple tree which she won't touch. Luckily it's not as tall, however it shot up this year by at least 4ft and if it does the same next year it will definitely take the line with it (it's about 1ft away now).  We are going to have to talk to her again about it, but I wanted to know the legalities before speaking to her. Am I right in thinking that if anything was to happen to the line and the tree is found to be the cause she would be liable for the cost of repair?
Any info is appreciated.
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

I guess the line belongs to BT, not you, so best to ask them via your phone provider.
There are various rules/law about such situations and they may have a wayleave agreement in place. http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/home/contactus/wayleaves/wayleaves.do
spookypickle
Grafter
Posts: 80
Registered: 10-10-2012

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

Cheers for that.
I'm sure if we ask our neighbour again she will be fine about it. I guess I just need that extra bit of 'ammo' to encourage the odd bit of lopping to take place.  The trees were only planted about 10 years ago when she first moved in, but they've grown like crazy in the past couple of years.  If it does get to the stage where it need to be done I would think PN would try and help out.
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

Just speak to the neighbour, have a cuppa and a chat. 
People are to quick to arm themselves to make threats it seems.
spookypickle
Grafter
Posts: 80
Registered: 10-10-2012

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

There's no way we'd threaten her, in a 'do it or else' way.  We chat to her all the time, it's just one of those awkward subjects which can sometimes cause problems and it's handy to know the facts for her sake as well as ours, it would be gentle encouragement if anything.  Annoying thing is I don't mind the trees as they are, it's just a shame the line just happens to be there  Undecided
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

She may not know about wayleaves and that she can get paid (a pittance) by BT for right of access if anything is actually sited on her land, even just a post.
If it's just a line passing over it's slightly different.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
Thanks: 3
Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

A few years back, in a different house, our neighbours phone line ran across our garden (our line was underground). We also had a Leylandi quite close to the pole. Whilst attending their 'manhole' outside my house, BT politely reminded me that the tree should not be within 1 metre of the line! I had the tree trimmed down to 1 metre below the line to avoid any further "requests"!
Whether BT could have enforced this or, trimmed the tree themselves I do not know. It just seemed that the easiest thing to do was to comply with their 'polite' request!
Geoff,
York.
kmilburn
Grafter
Posts: 905
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

I assume BT wouldn't be happy with this style of pruning either!
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 930
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: General query about neighbours trees and phone line.

Apple trees have a tendency to push up long shoots which the following year bear apples which then bend the branches down. If there's a good crop next year it could be longer than you expect before it reaches the line.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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