We Love Trees, But Can You Have Too Much Of A Good Thing?

tree front yard guardian photo

Photo: SWNS.COM/ SWNS via the Guardian

We are, after all, named TreeHugger, and have noted before on TreeHugger and Planet Green that trees are effective and sophisticated cooling devices, but perhaps one can have too much of a good thing.

David Alvand, a civil engineer in Plymouth, Devon, planted a leyland cypress tree in his front yard in 1991 and it is certainly shading his house effectively. But the neighbours don't like it, calling it an eyesore and complaining of antisocial behaviour.Peter Walker writes in the Guardian:

As well as completely obscuring the front of Alvand's home, their higher branches overhang his neighbours' roofs, as well as the pavement.

One neighbour said:... " Now the trees are an eyesore - they block out sunlight and make the street look bad."

A commenter in BoingBoing explains that these kinds of battles are common in the UK, and quotes Wikipedia:


n 2005 in the United Kingdom, an estimated 17,000 people were at loggerheads over high hedges, which led to violence and in at least one case murder, when in 2001, retired Environment Agency officer Llandis Burdon, 57, was shot dead after an alleged dispute over a leylandii hedge in Talybont-on-Usk, Powys.

Part VIII of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 introduced in 2005 - also known as the "leylandii law"- gave a way for people affected by high hedges (usually, but not necessarily, of leylandii) to ask their local authority to investigate complaints about the hedges, and gave the authorities power to have the hedges reduced in height.

Perhaps they should read about how Home Energy Savings Are Made In The Shade and plant their own trees instead of attacking their neighbours.

More on planting trees in TreeHugger and Planet Green
Go Green, Live Rich: Plant a Tree
Low tech Tips: Be Cool and Plant A Tree

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