UK neighbors cut tree in half over bird poop dispute: ‘We were absolutely distraught’

When words fail, sometimes you just have to cut down half a tree – at least, that’s what one couple did.

The couple, in Sheffield, U.K., called in an arborist to cut down half of the branches of a 16-foot-tall fir tree that were hanging over their driveway, according to reports. The rest of the tree is in their neighbor’s yard.

Their neighbor, Bharat Mistry, told SWNS that the tree has been in his front yard for 25 years. However, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown last March, Mistry’s neighbors reportedly asked to have the tree removed.

More recently, the neighbors complained about birds in the tree making too much noise and pooping on their driveway, so Mistry told SWNS that he tried to work on a solution.

“We had asked if we could get it trimmed back and put a net in it so it would stop birds getting in, but there was no compromise with them,” Mistry said.

“Last weekend he said he was going to get a tree surgeon to cut it down and we asked him not to but they came on Friday and did it,” Mistry added.

Mistry said he and his family — including his wife and two daughters — were angry when it first happened, but they’ve since “calmed down a bit.”

“We were absolutely distraught,” Mistry told SWNS. “We pleaded and pleaded with them not to do it, but their mind was made up. That tree was coming down.”

“I believe he has the right to cut down anything that is overhanging onto his property,” Mistry added. “But you have to ask, why after 25 years would you do that?”

He continued: “It is really sad to look at because the tree has been there for so long and it’s a really pretty tree.”

Mistry said he hasn’t spoken to his neighbors since they cut the tree down, but before the pandemic, the two families got along.

“We have never had any issues with them before this, we got on fine,” Mistry said. “Our children would play with their grandchildren when they were younger, we’ve always got on.”

“He used to bring the bins in for us,” Mistry added. “It’s such a shame it has come to this.”

Mistry also said that he had previously agreed with his neighbor to trim the tree into a ball shape and make sure it wasn’t otherwise in his neighbor’s way.

“It must have been no more than 3 feet onto his land,” Mistry told SWNS. “It is above head height, the bottom of the branches start at about 8 feet high and we have cut off the branches lower down to be amiable with them.”

Photos of the odd tree have been posted on social media and have been turned into memes.

The oddity has even become something of a tourist attraction.

“We’ve had a lot of people walking past to look at it, people you can just tell have come out of their way to walk their dog on a different route to have a look,” Mistry told SWNS.

“People have stopped to take pictures, there has been a lot posted on social media,” he added. “You think we’d probably do the same if it was another house, but it does feel a bit like an invasion of privacy.”