'Petty' Sheffield neighbour goes viral after sawing tree exactly in half over driveway row

A tree has turned into a hilarious Internet meme after it was cut in half following a “petty” dispute between neighbours in a leafy Sheffield suburb.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:03 am

Bharat Mistry, 56, and his family were "gutted" when his next door neighbours called in tree surgeons to cut half the branches of the 16ft tall Fir Tree that had stood for 25 years.

The drastic action came after a year-long dispute between Mr Mistry and neighbours Graham and Irene Lee, both in their 70s, in the Sheffield suburb of Waterthorpe.

He claimed Mr and Mrs Lee had complained birds in the tree were making too much noise and making a mess of the drive of his bungalow in Brier Close.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The chopped tree at the centre of the neighbour dispute in Sheffield, June 23, 2021.   A neighbourly dispute in Sheffield sparked debate on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show after a tree was cut in half.  See SWNS story SWLEtree.  During the programme, it was revealed that the tree was meticulously halved after a “petty” neighbour, from the Waterthorpe area, didn’t like branches of the tree hanging over their driveway.  A man who wished to remain anonymous said that it was cut in half on Friday afternoon and both neighbours had agreed to this, as one person wanted to keep the tree on their half, but the other didn’t.
The chopped tree at the centre of the neighbour dispute in Sheffield, June 23, 2021. A neighbourly dispute in Sheffield sparked debate on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show after a tree was cut in half. See SWNS story SWLEtree. During the programme, it was revealed that the tree was meticulously halved after a “petty” neighbour, from the Waterthorpe area, didn’t like branches of the tree hanging over their driveway. A man who wished to remain anonymous said that it was cut in half on Friday afternoon and both neighbours had agreed to this, as one person wanted to keep the tree on their half, but the other didn’t.

Pictures of the tree have gone viral and turned into memes on social media and the tree has become a site of curiosity as locals have walked past to get a good look at the tree.

Mr Mistry, said: "It has been there for 25 years and we'd trimmed into a ball shape with agreement with the neighbour and he has been fine about it.

"But recently there have been birds in the tree which you would expect at this time of the year.

"He started off by putting black bin liners in the tree to stop the birds sitting there.

"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."

Mr Mistry and his family watched on in horror as a team of tree surgeons hacked away at their beloved tree.

He added: "We were absolutely distraught. 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.

"But you have to ask, why after 25 years would you do that?

"It must have been no more than 3ft onto his land. He can get his car on and off the drive with no issues.

"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."

Mr Mistry, who lives with his wife and two daughters, said the neighbours had gone on "perfectly fine" until lockdown.

He claimed Mr Lee first started to complain about the trees last March and things came to a head last week. He hasn’t spoken to him since.

He added: "We have never had any issues with them before this, we got on fine.

"He started complaining about the birds making noise, but my daughter sleeps in the front bedroom and she can't hear anything.

"The weekend before last they said they were getting a tree surgeon to chop it down and they came out on Friday to do it.

"It’s really sad to look at, because the tree has been there for so long and it's a really pretty tree."

The photograph was anonymously sent into Jeremy Vine's Channel 5 TV show and has since turned into an Internet meme.

Mr and Mrs Lee declined to speak when approached for comment.