The half-cut tree that's become an unlikely tourist attraction

The tree it was chopped in half as a result of a dispute between neighbours.

Watch: Tree becomes a "tourist attraction" in the UK after being chopped in half following dispute

A tree chopped in half by a retired couple in a bitter boundary feud continues to be a surprise tourist attraction years after the incident.

Visitors to Sheffield have been advised to include the sliced fir on their list of attractions to see when touring the city in South Yorkshire.

Google reviewers have praised the location and described it as an “interesting” place to visit due to its unique story.

The strange tale began in 2021, when Bharat Mistry was left devastated after Irene and Graham Lee trimmed off half the branches from the 16-foot tree which had stood outside their homes for 25 years.

The drastic action came after a year-long dispute between Mistry and the Lees, both in their 70s, in the leafy suburb of Waterthorpe.

The chopped tree at the centre of the neighbour dispute in Sheffield. (SWNS)
The chopped tree at the centre of the neighbour dispute in Sheffield. (SWNS)

Mistry said the couple were angered because birds had been nesting in there and damaging their driveway with droppings.

Now, three years on, locals say tourists are still visiting the quiet cul-de-sac to get a good look at the tree.

One Google reviewer - who left a three-star rating - wrote: "Interesting tree that was cut in half due to a feud between the two neighbours.

"The story was also over the news and was interesting to visit the location and see the news turn into real life.

"Google Street View is not updated since 10 years ago, so you can actually see the original tree before it was cut off.

"Not worth driving a long distance, but if you were nearby, it’s worth paying a visit."

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The tree has become popular due to the story behind it. (SWNS)
The tree has become popular due to the story behind it. (SWNS)

Neighbours said the pair haven't repaired their relationship since the spat sparked global headlines.

One woman, who didn't want to be named, said: "I just think it's funny. I think it's been trimmed back again because you'd have thought it would have grown back by now.

"I think now it's like a landmark. You get all the walkers coming round and they all come on the street for a look. They go up to it and take photographs.

"Even when houses have gone for sale, they've used it as a directional tool and said 'it's near that half tree'. It's become famous, so they may as well keep it like that now."

Another nearby resident added: "When it first happened, people would drive into the street and drive past slowly for a good look.

"It's worn off a bit now, people are used to it, but you still see people having a nosey.

"I think people are just amazed that two neighbours that used to like each other ended up arguing over that and it went that far.”

A photograph of the cut tree was anonymously sent to Jeremy Vine's Channel 5 TV show in June 2021 and has since become an on-running joke on social media.

Speaking in 2021, Mistry said he was “absolutely distraught” when it was chopped down. He told how he and his family watched on in horror as a team of tree surgeons hacked away at their beloved tree.

He said: “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.”

Neighbours who split the tree are still not speaking. (SWNS)
Neighbours who split the tree are still not speaking. (SWNS)
  • As a homeowner, you have the right to trim branches or roots that extend from your neighbour's property or a public road into your land, according to Artemis Tree Services.

  • However, any work should not harm the tree or make it unstable and is only allowed if the tree is not protected by a tree preservation order (TPO) or conservation area designation.

  • If the tree is not protected, you can trim back any overhanging branches up to the boundary line between the two properties.

  • The owner of the land on which the tree has originally grown owns the tree itself, even if its branches or roots encroach onto a neighbour's property.

  • Under the Theft Act, you are legally entitled to return any branches you trim from a tree on your neighbour's land if they request it.