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24/03/2012 at 16:09

Between my neighbour's garden and my garden is a large leylandii hedge and I would love to remove it and grow native hedging (if I can persuade my neighbours that it would be a good idea - they are always complaining about the state of their lawn!). My lawn doesn't get much sun in the winter as the hedge blocks out most of the sun and the moss in it is horrendous. Can anyone come up with a good argument for me to use and what would be the best planting? Any assistance would be appreciated.

29/03/2012 at 21:48

We moved to our house last year but unfortunately the garden was home to 12 leylandii trees. The trees had been planted around 10-15 years ago and were enormous. Like yours, ours blocked out the sun and left us with a completely shaded area of garden where nothing would grow. We noticed that the enormous tree roots were actually pushing up the lawn, patio and concrete blocks at the bottom of fencing panels and had crept into next doors garden and had dislodged part of their patio too, so it was essential that they were removed. We were especially desperate to get rid of the ones planted close to the house to prevent future problems. It cost alot of money to have them cut down (nearly £800) and then more money to have the stumps ground out as they were too large to dig out by hand. I would suggest to your neighbour that if left in place, the tree roots could cause damage to both of your gardens and maybe even your houses. We were told that you shouldn't plant trees within 8 metres of a building, so if your trees are close to your houses, you have a genuine cause for consern. Hopefully they will see sense and agree to the trees being removed, and hopefully might even go halves on the cost!!!

30/03/2012 at 20:28

New2 - I hadn't thought about the roots at all.  Agh.  I have actually put the idea to next door's husband and he's supposed to be getting back to me - but I think I'll have a long wait!  But I will mention the roots - anything to try and move things forward.  They have planted a hawthorn hedge at the front of their garden which seems to be taking hold very nicely and that's exactly what I want to put in together with other native shrubs. Thank you for your comments - much appreciated.

07/04/2012 at 12:19

We've been communicating since 2005 with our neighbour about a row of 30' tall Leylandii which makes it impssible to grow anything including vegatables in their shadow, in the winter the shade lengthens to over 100' and our home loses any warming benefit of the sun.  But sadly no matter what we say about the unpleasant effects of these trees our neighbour doesn't care.  We recently realised that 4 of these trees are on our side and we cut them down to 12' which made him cut the others to the same height.  The difference this has made in the light that comes through is unbelievable and we can now see a huge Ash tree that we had no idea was there even though we've lived in our house 25 years!  Yesterday we had a row because we advise him that we were going to cut our ones down to the ground and plant other shrubs and he went berserk and abused and threatened us after which we called the police. Leylandii growers tend to have a selfish and aggressive temperament, sadly bringing out the worst in others too.

Leylandii are damaging to the environment by blocking light and heat to homes, we could turn lights off and our CH thermostat down if the sun comes in. They cause depression. They prevent neighbours from the use and enjoyment of their own garden. These deprivations are no less anti-social than smoking in public.  Surely the actions of one party to the detriment of the other should be outlawed. When are these horrible plants going to be seen as the evil that they are? There are hundreds of alternative shrubs/trees to grow why allow something that hurts people to continue doing so?  Sadly it is the older generation who are the victims more than other groups and older people don't count as much, do they? 

07/04/2012 at 18:08
07/04/2012 at 18:10
That was a nasty comment about Leylandi growers "tending to have an aggressive and selfish temperament" My husband is the most placid of people and is really well liked. We have had our trees for Many years and yes they have grown so much , they are away from our house and away from neighbouring houses but obviously if they were not there they would certainly bring more light into the gardens, we try to have them cut every few years but it's really a money problem to us as probably with a lot of people as its so expensive to have trees cut these days, our trees are about 15ft now. we are pensioners and dont have that sort of money, we have often said that "wouldn't it be nice if you could get a grant to have Leylandi trees cut to a reasonable height" It was way back in the early 70s when the Leylandi became so popular and from a tiny tree it grew so quickly. Little did we know it would be so intrusive in later years. These trees are wonderful in a forest but in a garden, well you know the answer to that. Margaret.
08/04/2012 at 13:44

I don't think we'll have a problem with our current neighbours - the only problem is if they move.  We're pensioners too (although only just) but my husband cuts the top of the hedge rather than leave that to our neighbours, so we do have a certain amount of control over the height.  We'll see - I'm still working on things.

09/04/2012 at 07:43

margsallotment  not to worry being as you keep your leylandii in check then youre not one of those people who dosnt give a toss.

We had a huge leylandii in a small garden and had it chainsawed down the first week we moved in. worth every penny.

11/04/2012 at 13:26

We have just moved into a house that has 20ft leylandii hedges all around the perimeter of the garden. In some places they are 10ft wide. We want to remove the hedge, however our neighbour has said he will not allow it as it keeps his garden private. The trees are planted on our side. There is a fence all the way around the outside of the hedge marking the boundary, however the neighbour insists half the hedge is his. It is so wide it encroaches on his property quite significantly, but is clearly planted on our side? Does anyone know if he can stop us removing our hedge? He has said he is going to remove the boundary fence to make the hedge the boundary and thus jointly owned, but it looks like it is planted nearly 3ft into our garden, and was planted by the previous owners of this property? 

11/04/2012 at 14:19

Hedge help - you need to get hold of a copy of your title deeds in which should be a plan of the property and also the original Transfer Deed for your property which should state exactly who owns which boundary.  If it doesn't, you'll find that it's a party hedge.  Speak to the solicitor who acted for you to see if he/she can tell you although your solicitor should have told you which was your boundary and which your neighbour's at the time you bought your property.  Don't let the matter escalate.   As far as I am aware, if the hedge is yours he cannot stop you removing it.  Beware, however, getting into a dispute with your neighbour.  If you come to sell your property you would legally be obliged to inform a prospective buyer that you had had a dispute with your neighbour and if you didn't state it, you could be sued so don't let it get that far.

Having worked  in a solicitor's office for over 25 years dealing with the buying and selling of houses amongst other things, I know what I'm talking about so contact your solicitor as soon as possible.

11/04/2012 at 16:56

If the hedge is on your land in front of the boundary fence then there is nothing the miserable old git sorry neighbour can do about. He can of course plant his own on his land. Even if the fence is his, it still wont stop you from taking away the leylandii.

02/09/2012 at 12:02

Yeah - our neighbours have agreed to the removal of the hideous hedge.  The work starts here!

02/09/2012 at 12:06

Congratulations!  What fantastic news 

02/09/2012 at 13:46

I know, I was amazed - we were out with them last night and suddenly they started chatting about it, and agreed.  They are such nice people so it's a relief - I'd given up on it really.

02/09/2012 at 14:50

You obviously have very good 'people skills' 

Enjoy planning your new native hedge!  What are you thinking of?  

In a previous garden I planted a mix of beech, hazel, and hawthorn, with wild rose and honeysuckle woven through it - 36 years on when I drive past it still looks lovely and I'm so pleased I planted it - and watered it copiously  with endless buckets of water in the drought of 1976 

02/09/2012 at 15:07

In a way I have as I used to be a diplomat! 

Will probably start with hawthorn and once that's established we can add more to our side - have to be careful though as I don't want to create too much shade, which is our problem at the moment.  Wild roses are a great idea as we have loads of those anyway so I will probably try to take cuttings from them.

I missed the '76 drought as I was in the Middle East where it was at least 40c every day in the summer.

02/09/2012 at 16:15

@hedge help.. if they are on your side of the fence they are yours to do with as your please.. if the are a boundary hedge then you have to see who it belongs to as suggested.. but you say on your side of fence.. so cut away as you please.. enighbour can do nothing about it.. and there is some form of law i think about leylandi and height etc.. must look that up.

As for the dispute.. that is only if the police have been involved i believe could be wrong.. and if it is stated it was abaout removing a huge nedge of these things there will be no problem i think.

04/09/2012 at 12:44

Any dispute with a neighbour, whether police involved or not, has to be notified to a prospective buyer.  Unless you have in writing where your boundary lies you cannot cut the trees down without the involvement of your neighbour.  Unfortunately, these neighbour disputes are inevitably about trees and you have to be sure you have right on your side.

04/09/2012 at 13:17

@sylviaf40409.. that is wierd.. when my new neighbours moved in they knew nothin about the dispute i had with my old neighbour over their falling down fence and the need to repair it to stop their dog coming over mine and messing on my lawn.

so they asked their solicitor who informed them that it is only notifiable if the police or courts have been involved.. other than that it is not classed as a reported dispute... if they did it on all arguements and disputes there would be pages and pages of paper work documenting them all...

so we will have to agree to disagree

12/09/2013 at 05:21

I am the victim of one of these neighbours with a 30 foot Leylandii hedge. Like the above poster, my south facing back yard is in shade most of the year. I am a veggie gardener so this is VERY frustrating. We bought this house in the 70's because of the large south facing back yard. In the winter we no longer get sun in our house. As a person that feels the shorter days as SAD, it is an assault. What I don't understand it why the bylaws default to the hedge staying. I feel that if either party doesn't want it, you should be able to remove it. That way, you would grow something mutually agreeable. Just sayin'.

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