Maybe it was the birds’ fault that the neighbors fought, but it was the tree that bore the brunt of the argument.  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Two neighbors in Sheffield, England shared a property line and a tree between them.  The tree was technically in the yard of one neighbor, but overhung the driveway of the other, whose car was regularly deluged with bird poop.  That neighbor took matters into his own hands, cutting down all the branches on his side of the property line, leaving the tree looking like half a lollipop.  In England, which is apparently quite civilized unless there’s a soccer game, the neighbors didn’t sue each other but no longer bring in each other’s trash bins from the end of the driveway.  Fancy that.

In the US, what could you do if the neighbor’s tree encroaches on your property? Actually, the same thing the British neighbor did.  The law says you have the right to cut the tree back to the property line.  But first, try to talk it out, because bird poop is easier to remove than your neighbor’s stinkeye.

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