A family has been left “absolutely distraught” after a tree in their front garden was chopped in half as result of a “petty” dispute between neighbours.
Bharat Mistry, 56, and his family watched on when his neighbours called in tree surgeons to cut half the branches of the 16ft tall Fir Tree that had stood for 25 years.
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The action came after a year-long dispute between Mr Mistry and his neighbours in the leafy Sheffield suburb of Waterthorpe.
He claimed his neighbours had complained birds in the tree were making too much noise and making a mess of the drive of his bungalow.
The photograph was anonymously sent into Jeremy Vine's Channel 5 TV show and has since turned into a meme on social media.
‘It has been there for 25 years’
Mr Mistry, a project manager, said: "It has been there for 25 years and we'd trimmed it 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."
‘We were absolutely distraught’
Mr Mistry and his family watched on in horror as a team of tree surgeons hacked away at their beloved Fir Tree, which had been part of their lawn for a quarter of a century.
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.
"It is above head height, the bottom of the branches start at about 8ft high and we have cut off the branches lower down to be more amiable with them.
"He can get his car on and off the drive with no issues.”
‘We always got on’
Mr Mistry, who lives in the three-bedroom detached property with his wife and two daughters, said the neighbours had gone on "perfectly fine" until lockdown.
He claimed the neighbour first started to complain about the trees last March and things came to a head last week.
He added: "I haven't spoken to him since they cut it down.
"We have never had any issues with them before this, we got on fine. 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, it's such a shame it has come to this,” he added.
"It is really sad to look at, because the tree has been there for so long and it's a really pretty tree."
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