Tree and neighbours

Hi I have had two neighbours asking us to cut back our large elderly ceder. It’s canopy and a part of a branch does go over onto their property. Every year we have a tree expert to examine the tree and so far have been given a certificate of good health.

Our tree expert said any substantial work could risk a reaction from the tree which could cause it to start dying or become ill and have advised us to leave it.

The tree has survived two wars. We do not understand why our neighbours want us to take action now. They insist they want to deal with it calmly.

One of our neighbours does not in fact own the house so they are renting.

Does anyone have experience of this kind of problem and know the law. I went on a french site but my french is not good enough to understand legal terminology.

We are anxious too because one of our neighbours is hostile towards us and because of Brexit we have received some unkind remarks! Hope that is not what is behind it all!
Thanks in advance

Talk to the Mairie about to preempt any complaining on the neighbour’s part.

Yes, you do need to see where the Marie stands on this. Legally as far as I know (and I’m not a lawyer) if a tree encroaches on a neighbour’s land, or blocks light and views excessively they can ask for it to be pruned back to the boundary line, and also in some cases reduced in height. And that demand would be upheld by a court. So you don’t have much room for manoeuvre, but perhaps can get the maire to help you come to an amicable compromise. There seems to be no equivalent of a tree preservation order here.

Hello, assuming the tree is quite old (30 + years) it may be protected. Again, repeating the importance of contacting the mairie.

A friend had very a similar problem, lots of aggressive lawyer letters from the neighbour demanding the trees be cut (even though they were on good terms originally). It was very stressful.

The situation was ultimately resolved by the Mairie, who, as i remember, stated that as the trees were very old and in place before the neighbours arrived, could not be touched.

Good luck!

Thanks! Will go tomorrow best Fiona

Thankyou Jane! Great help Best Fiona

Thanks so much! Worrying but also reassuring Best Fiona

It is a well established point of law that you cannot complain about an existing situation after you have bought a property.
For example church bells.
Caveat emptor.

As far as I understand it your neighbours are unlikely to be able to get the tree removed, especially if it is over 30 years old. But caveat emptor is unlikely to extend to protecting branches that extend over their property if they push hard. As another important principle is that you have the right to use your own land freely. Unless by any chance you are in the area of protection of an historic monument?

Interested to know what your Marie says…as we have a walnut tree that is getting close to one of our neighbours boundary.

Hi our mairie has said they dont deal with neighbour issues so have sent us the number for the conciliator de justice. Will keep you informed.



Le lun. 18 mars 2019 à 08:45, Jane Jones via Survive France a écrit :

Good grief… I admit to being amazed…

Around here, the Mairie is a useful port of call in so many situations… and often a quiet word from the Maire, with all parties, can defuse/clarify things… :wink:

Ah well, be interesting to learn how things go… :thinking:

Hi Just keeping people informed about the tree. Our tree surgeon came around and made it clear to our neighbours that they couldn’t ask for the tree to be removed as it was well over the thirty years limit. The neighbours then asked then for the parts leaning over their fence to be removed. The tree person made it clear that he could do that providing it didn’t endanger the health of the tree. We feel a lot better though are waiting for the quote for the work to be done. Just for info one neighbour had complained about the falling leaves and as it so happened I discovered that this is a natural occurrence and that we have no responsibility for that!


So relieved for you…

did you see my Thread about Tree Preservation Orders… that I put on today. I think it might have been your situation that I refer to…