Ignoring These Four Gardening Rules Could Result In Breaking The Law

GARDENS can provide a little oasis of peace and quiet, a place to sit back and relax and enjoy the day.

That’s at least ideal, but things can easily turn sour if you break these rules that could see you breaking the law.


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

Gardening is a hobby enjoyed by millions, but even with the best of intentions, you could find yourself in conflict with a neighbor if you ignore these rules.

These are some of the most common offenses committed by people that could result in police involvement.


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

Under light rights law, if a window has had natural light for 20 years or more, a neighbor cannot block it by, 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 something obstructs their light, they can rightly object to it.

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

If you’re planning on making any major changes to your garden, it’s best to let your neighbors know first if there’s anything that might impact them.

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


An often broken law regarding neighbor gardening is to pick someone else’s fruit.

You can’t just pick and save fruit from someone else’s overhanging branches, even if they’re bending over in your garden.

In fact, it is like stealing, because the fruit belongs to the owner of the plant.

Also, you cannot keep the fruits that fall in your garden, because they still belong to your neighbor.

By law, you must either leave it alone or return it to your neighbor.


You can cut the overhanging branches of your neighbor’s garden on your land.

However, you cannot encroach to do so.

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

Also, you don’t have to tell your neighbor what you’re planning to do, and you don’t need permission.

But once you have cut the branches or pruned, these must be returned to the owner as they remain their property.

There is a caveat though, as you cannot cut further than the boundary to prevent regrowth.

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


If the base of a tree is between the boundary of two properties, it belongs to both parties.

An owner cannot simply perform any type of work or maintenance on the tree without permission from the other owner as this counts as trespassing.

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When it comes to climbing plants, the plant belongs to the soil it grows in, not the property it grows on.

You are allowed to remove it from the walls or fences of your property as long as you do not kill it or remove its roots from your neighbor’s property.

The plants belong to your neighbor if the roots are in his property even if they overlook your garden


The plants belong to your neighbor if the roots are in his property even if they overlook your gardenCredit: Getty

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