Ignoring these four gardening rules could leave breaking the law

GARDENS can provide a little oasis of peace and tranquillity, somewhere to sit and relax and enjoy the day.

That’s the ideal at least but things can easily turn sour if you fall foul of these rules which could see you breaking the law.

Picking someone else’s fruit without permission could land you in troubleCredit: Getty – Contributor

Gardening is a pastime that millions enjoy but even with the best of intentions you could find yourself in dispute with a neighbour if you ignore these rules.

These are some of the most common infringements people make which could lead to the police becoming involved.

PLANTING

Be careful of what you plant or build in your own garden.

Under the Rights of Light Act, if a window has received natural light for 20 years or more, a neighbour cannot block it with, say, planting a new tree.

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This also applies to things like fences and new garden buildings such as sheds or summer houses.

If anything obstructs their light they can rightly object.

Other than that, you can plant whatever you want, where you want within the boundaries of your property, with the exception of planting invasive species.

If you are planning to make considerable changes to your garden it’s best to notify you neighbours first if anything could impact on them.

Ultimately, you are responsible for any damage caused by any plants in your garden and that includes trees and hedges.

FRUIT

One law which is commonly broken concerning gardening between neighbours is picking someone else’s fruit.

You can’t simply pick and keep fruit from someone else’s overhanging branches, even if they do lean into your garden.

Effectively, this amounts to stealing, as the fruit belongs to the plant’s owner.

In addition, you can’t keep any fruit which falls into your garden, as it still belongs to your neighbour.

Under the law, you have to either leave it alone or offer it back to your neighbour.

PRUNING

You can cut off overhanging branches from your neighbour’s garden on your property.

However, you can’t trespass in order to do that.

You are allowed to climb the tree, just as long as you do not have to enter your neighbour’s garden or land to do so.

As well, you do not have to give notification to your neighbour about what you intend to do and you don’t need permission.

But once you have cut back the branches, or pruned, these should be offered back to the owner as it still remains their property.

There is a word of caution though, as you cannot cut back further than the boundary to prevent regrowth.

You are also responsible for any damage to the tree, for example, if the tree dies because of the cutting.

OWNERSHIP

If a base of a tree sits between the boundary of two properties, it is owned by both parties.

One owner cannot simply carry out any sort of work or maintenance on the tree without the permission of the other owner as this counts as trespass.

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In regard to climbers, the plant belongs to whoever’s soil it is growing in, not the property it is growing on.

You are permitted to remove it from your property’s walls or fences just as long as you do not kill it or remove its roots from your neighbour’s property.

Plants belong to your neighbour if the roots are in their property even if they do overhang into your garden

Plants belong to your neighbour if the roots are in their property even if they do overhang into your gardenCredit: Getty

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