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Pleached trees - London garden - rules


I'm designing a garden in West London for a client who is very overlooked. One of the things I'm thinking of is a row of pleached trees. I've done a lot of research and if I have understood correctly if they are not evergreen this would not count as a 'high hedge'. I need to make sure it is OK as she has had a lot of problems with one of her neighbours so don't want to invite the possibility of breaking any rules.

The other option I've been considering is putting posts inside her boundary (maybe 50cm from fence) with trellis and climbers. The law seems a little vague on whether this is acceptable.

I intend to ask the planning office of her borough but would like to get as much info as possible first.

Any thoughts or advice?  

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  • PRO

    Hi Sally,

    If the fence is located on the boundary, then any subsequent structure can be erected inside the boundary either side.  If there is a fence on the boundary (i.e. a boundary need not be a fence), then the fence would define the boundary.  Any structure you add to your client's garden, but not affixed to said fence can be located where ever 'works'.

    Fixing anything to the existing fence would be classed as damage.

    As I understand it, but you should take a look at the GardenLaw site, massive amounts of info

    Garden Law advice on fences, trees and boundaries
    Garden Law:a web page covering legal issues relating to walls,boundaries,trees,hedges,pets and neighbours together with a garden chat page to share y…
    • Hi Geoffrey, thanks so much for your reply. I'd had a good look at the site you mention, I'm just anxious to ensure we don't contravene any regs. as her neighbours have been in dispute with her and have cut down all her climbing plants on the boundary.  I was concerned that a pleached hedge might be deemed a 'high hedge' and come under that legislation but if I've understood correctly it doesn't if it isn't evergreen. The fence is actually my clients but trellis on top of that would not be high enough to give her the pricvacy she wants. 

      Again, many thanks, kind regards, Sally

      • PRO



        tread carefully if you're entering an existing neighbour dispute .....

        • Hi Gary, yes, indeed!! She's desperate to have cover but I feel obliged to ensure it conforms. It's all a bit of a grey area! 

          To have the pleached trees, she would be removing a huge Bay tree so the possible effect on light would be less than it is currently but the relationship is sour so we can't rely on that it's better than now!


          Thanks! Best regards, Sally

          • Interesting to see that hornbeam, the classic candidate for pleaching, is specified as acceptable, if I'm reading it right. Which species are you thinking of using? Maybe the RHS technical desk could àlso advise?

  •  From the content supplied by Gary it should be noted that the hedge need not be on the boundary either for a complaint to be lodged.Only way I see around it is having individual trees/shrubs staggered, perhaps random so they not in a straight line.

  • The legislation seems very clear that it only applies to evergreens and semi-evergreens, which would mean that hornbeam aren't covered.  I agree that speaking to the council would be sensible, but that can be easier said than done.  Given the state of relations with the neighbours I would suggest bringing them far enough away from the fence to allow the backs tobe trimmed from within the garden, if possible.


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