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Overhanging trees


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Does anyone know the legal position with regard to neighbours' overhanging trees. Not branches which protrude into my airspace but trees which have bowed so low they are now touching the ground on my side of the wall, right where I had planned to start a rose garden. The problem is complicated by the fact that relationships with the neighbour have completely broken down due to other matters and I am now in fear of approaching him, so any solution offered needs to be stricktly proper and legal in order to avoid further antagonism from him.
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I suspect your neighbour knows the legal position and awaits your axe swinging with interest.

Regrettable though it is when a relationship breaks down (There are rarely any winners) you still need to co-exist.

Were it me I would approach the Maire and ask whether I required permission.

I would also consider engaging a contractor to do the work on the basis that they obtain all neccessary consents, it may cost you a few euros but might be a way forward maybe your neighbour would be less likely to obstruct a fellow Frenchman (Rather assuming your neighbour is French)

Cheapest way forward may be a bottle of Scotch and a good sundowner with the neighbour either punch each other lights out or agree to disagree but minus the foliage.

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This is the legal position:

http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F2041.xhtml?&n=Logement&l=N15&n=Voisinage, mitoyenneté&l=N356 (translation)

The tree owner must ensure the branches do not overhang a neighbour's land.

The neighbour (i.e. the poster) is not allowed to cut the overhanging branches.

If all communications have broken down and you really cannot approach your neighbour, try a quite word with the maire.

If this fails, send the neighbour a registered letter with proof of delivery demanding action. Keep a copy of the letter and the proof of delivery when it is returned to you.

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Many thanks for the replies so far. Looks like I might be stuck with the problem unless I can sweet talk the Maire. The problem there might be that the neighbour could take umbrage at that as well. Sadly he is a serious bully and loves to call me stupid English. I know I can't let him continue in this way but tackling the problem may even induce more nastiness. So far he appears to hold all the aces. I am not looking for a win, win situation but I would like to get on with my planned projects without hindrance. What does puzzle me though is, from time to time our Commune puts up notices to the effect that they will be cutting back all overhanging branches and if you wish them not to do it you are required to do it yourself. This is not just overhanging into the road but all protusions are cut back right to the boundary and then the severed branches are pushed back onto your property. I don't have a problem with this as I try to keep my borders cut back but are the Commune not doing what I would like to do?
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We have a wood next door to us and we had this problem

We went to see the Mayor and looked up the plot details and gave us address and phone number for the owner

He did say it was up to us to contact the owner

We did this and the following week a little old Frenchman and his wife turned up armed with chain saw etc

He shinned up the trees and cut back the worst offending branches, advised us he would return in the winter to fell the big trees and asked if we wanted to purchase the 8 acre wood. He also left us all the Oak.

That's what I call good neighbours

Le Plombier

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