Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. If the trunk of a tree is in your yard, but hurricane pushes a big branch through the neighbor’s window through no fault of yours, it is not your responsibility. “It is predictably difficult to justify paying attorney’s fees over a tree — on either side. This is a matter of fact (and probably some detective work) in each case. Examples of tree-related rules that may apply in your area: Municipalities and cities often encourage citizens to grow trees by offering incentives and grants for planting and maintenance. The short answer is no. What about trees causing dangerous conditions, such as broken limbs or cracked tree trunks? My rule of thumb is to always move back 3 feet from where I think the line is. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, you have the responsibility for cutting any branches that extend onto your property line. If one owner fells the whole tree without permission from the other owner, that would make them liable (as this amounts to … Before planting or even choosing a tree, first visit your city’s website and make sure you understand the rules and how they apply. A boundary fence is a fence that is located on or near a property line, though the exact definition can vary by state. If the base of a tree sits on the boundary line between two properties it is jointly owned by both of them (they are classed as tenants in common). You are allowed to maintain your property not only to the lot line but also under the ground and the sky above it. Courts give great deference to private property lines in the U.S. This even applies to windfall apples etc. Why do we need to regulate the trees we plant? Do you knowwhat the rules and by-laws are for planting trees on your property? How far from the property line will depend on the tree’s eventual height and crown diameter. Keep in mind that you're responsible for your own trees and any damage they may cause. Your neighbor has complained and asked you to cut it down, and you failed to do so. That way, trimming around the entire tree is consistent and makes all sides of the tree look good. Instead, politely ask your neighbour to trim the tree. Some large trees—such as willows, poplars and silver maples—must be planted at least 15 metres away from all buildings and infrastructure. Copyright © 2018 Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited. “Property owner” shall mean the person owning such property as shown by the records of the assessor’s office of Kitsap County, Washington. “Trees on property lines are a common complaint between neighbors, but not so much at the courthouse,” says Cleve Clinton, partner at Gray Reed, Attorneys and Counselors, based in Dallas and Houston. If you do harm the tree, you could be found liable for up to three times the value of the tree. The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Your neighbor may not come into your yard to trip a tree or bushes without your permission. That massive oak tree is breathtaking, but the overhanging branches are damaging the shingles on your roof. And that depends on where the tree is relative to the property line (also known as the “boundary line”).. Basically, if the trunk and visible roots are wholly on your neighbour’s property, your neighbour owns the tree. Some of these entities have lists of trees … It is considered the common property of both homeowners, and neither owner can damage or destroy the tree without the neighbor’s consent to do so. “Absent clear danger, neither party can trespass on the other’s property to trim a tree. The same is true in reverse. As long as the tree trunks are in his yard, there is very little a person can do. However, falling leaves and fruit still belong to the owner of the tree or shrub, the law does not require the owner to come and sweep up the leaves or pick up the fr… All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2020 Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited. The Theft Act 1968 makes it a criminal offence to take wild flowers, fruit and foliage from any plant if it is sold for commercial gain. Trees planted must be at least three metres away from streets and fire hydrants. Hedges in the front yard may not exceed more than two metres in height. If you cut back a limb and disease attacks the limb, it may no longer be a healthy tree. A  decrease in value if the property itself if the tree is removed or damaged. But this is where legalities can end an being a good neighbor can begin. In case of a dispute, use a mediator to resolve the issue amicably. According to the legal advice website NOLO, the tree doesn’t have to be chopped down to cause a legal battle. Is there a rule for trees on the property line? Aside from its aesthetic value and its contribution to the environment, trees may have a monetary value to the homeowner, depending on the location and other specifics. Replacement cost. The first thing to do is check the laws about tree overhanging the property line. If you or your neighbour are experiencing such problems, the first step is to determine who owns the tree – and therefore, who is liable. But it is perfectly legal for the neighbor on whose property the plant is encroaching to trim as they see fit (on their side of the property only) as long as the trimming or pruning does not harm the plant in question. Who owns a tree growing on a boundary? Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. This includes trees whose trunks are entirely on a neighboring property and not on the property line. Certain species of trees are prohibited due to risk of disease or to conserve the ecological diversity of an area. If you or your neighbor decide to trim branches, cut tree roots, or treat parts of the tree with a chemical that ultimately causes damage to the tree or your neighbor’s trees, you could be liable for damages. All Rights Reserved. If you do damage the tree, your neighbor can sue you for triple the stumpage value of the tree. “Planting strip” shall mean the area available for planting including tree pits between the street curb, the edge of the traveled portion of roadway and the property line. Spider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte. Disputes can be about: branches overhanging your fence; branches or fruit dropping into your yard; roots causing damage to your property; branches blocking sunlight from solar panels or TV reception. Some large trees—such as willows, poplars and silver maples—must be planted at least 15 metres away from all buildings and infrastructure. Under California Civil Code Section 834, both neighbors legally own the … The exception: Say the branch has been dead for years. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. He has fenced part of it and planted trees and lilack bushes along the easement line. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. He adds that the concepts of tree ownership, trespass and damages are essentially the same in all states. This provision makes no distinction between trees whose trunks emerge from the ground on a property line, and trees whose trunks emerge from the ground entirely on one side of a property line and cross the line in the air. landowner’s property line, encroaching branches or roots of the adjoining owner’s trees or other plant life. MGL c.87, § 3 Cutting of public shade trees. What can you do about those overhanging branches, or other problems related to the tree such as roots damaging sewer lines or leaves that clog gutters? Expenses to treat a damaged tree, or to remove a dangerous or dead tree. If it’s a dangerous tree, you have the right to trim branches and cut and remove tree roots that are intruding into pipes or foundations within your real estate. It promotes safety and prevents damage to the plants, nearby buildings and utilities, and relations with the people who live next door. In law, this is called "abatement". National advertising powered by Mediative.com. That's why it’s important to commit to maintaining a tree throughout its lifespan, which begins with planting it properly. In 1962 Keck, wishing to fence his property to the south of Rhodigs, had a survey made of the lot line. However, some municipalities don’t have any for tree planting. Central Hawkes Bay District Council Setback from Neighboring Properties • No tree planting, except for amenity tree planting, boundary of any property under a separate certifi - If you like your tree and you intend to prune it on your own property, Clinton says that it’s best to ask permission to allow your tree-trimmer into the neighbor’s yard. That way, I know I'm on my own property, and this allows for growth of the shrub or tree. If you don't want to do this yourself you can ask a district court for an order for the trimming or even removal of the tree. If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. So it depends entirely on whose side of the property line the damage occurs. “However, the specific facts and local laws (such as municipal ordinances that prohibit unpermitted tree removal) will control the final result.”, “Good fences and good trees make good neighbors,” Clinton says. The neighbor, who used to enjoy sitting in the sun in his or her backyard, or at a pool, does not appreciate shade for most of the day. 2. The same is true in reverse for a tree whose trunk is on the neighbor’s yard: If that massive snowstorm causes a big branch hanging over your car to crunch your windshield, you can’t expect the neighbor to pay for the damage. “However, an arborist should be consulted, and perhaps retained, to trim or cut invading roots,” says Clinton. Planting a tree will increase the value of your home. Likewise, you must take care to keep the health of the tree in mind as a result of tree trimming. April 2007 in Non-hair discussion. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: The laws vary among states, counties and cities, so it is important to consult with your local departments about your rights and obligations of boundary trees. Or rather ON the property line :roll: Our neighbors had some evergreens planted if not over our line, just on it. A tree should be planted on properties of all newly-built homes. And he can not drive to his lower property. But disputes over trees near the property line can involve large sums of money, especially if the tree is damaged or dies.”. If a tree is damaged or destroyed by a neighbor, it is the responsibility of the person causing the damage — conceivably in dollar damages.”. When mature, trees also provide a great deal of privacy, too. Generally, if any part of the trunk is on both yours and your neighbor’s property, the tree owner is both of you. Even if your neighbour's tree intrudes on your property, you don’t have the right to cut its branches. Certain restrictions apply even when planting trees on private property. Newly-planted trees must not affect highway visibility or hide street signs. Regulations are intended to help: Most cities and municipalities usually set their own rules and by-laws. The branches are definately over the line. Are you breaking the law by breaking the branches? While a fence ideally goes on the property line (allowing both neighbours to share ownership and the cost and maintenance), a hedge is different (as are trees). When the Rhodigs purchased their property, there were two trees standing near the lot line. The neighbor does not appreciate that branches from the tree have grown over into his or her yard, rubbing against the … And disposal of the trimmings/prunings is the responsibility of whoever cut them. A short, narrow tree could be closer to the property line than a tall or broad one. You are responsible for the cost of cutting any branches you choose to trim. Later one of the original trees died and the Rhodigs replaced it. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. maintain your trees in such manner that they do not damage the property of another; if branches or roots belonging to a neighbor's tree extend over your property, you have a right to trim them back to the property line; you may be liable for treble (three times) damages if … Who owns the tree. & DesignTM, YellowPages.caTM, Canada411TM and YP ShopwiseTM are trademarks of Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited in Canada. Trimming is only legal to the property line and is the responsibility of the party doing the trimming, says Clinton. All trees within the public way or in the boundaries thereof…shall be public shade trees… [If] it is doubtful whether the tree is within the highway, it shall be taken to be within the highway and to be public property until the contrary is shown. Buying and planting a tree is a long-term investment. Planting the right trees and shrubs in the right place is not just an aesthetic strategy. “Any permanent damage to a neighboring tree is the responsibility of the property owner who trims / cuts the roots.”. If the tree trunks are on the property line, they are considered boundary trees and legally belong to both sides. Some cities require a permit before planting a tree. What the rule for planting trees near property line? IMO, it's always best to have a chat with the neighbor before planting anything near the property line. That’s between you and your insurance company. This value of the tree could be based on: If the tree is on the property line, both property owners share the value of the tree and are responsible for upkeep on their side of the boundary line. Again, these laws can differ in … 6.35.0.0 (rev 20201217.1101), Easily retrieve their info anytime you need it on any of your devices. “Communication counts — and friendly, get-along communication at that.”, Main image credit: “Tree vs. fence,” Sethoscope, CC by-SA 2.0. Trees planted must be at least three metres away from streets and fire hydrants. LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. This means that trees should be planted far enough from a neighbour’s property to avoid harming that property. But you are also responsible for any costs incurred to do so. For example, if the tree’s crown is expected to reach 20 feet in diameter at maturity, it would seem wise to plant it at least 10 feet (half of its width) from the neighbor’s property so it stays entirely on your side. A tree or shrub belongs to the ownerof the land on which it grows even if its branches or roots go over or under adjoining land. The property owner who suffers damage should file a claim with their homeowners insurance company. Tips for Watering Your Lawn in Cleveland, OH, ‘Get Off My Lawn!’ How a Catchphrase Was Born and Grumpily Lives on, Know Your Pests: 4 Pests that Enjoy Cincinnati Lawns, 4 Good Reasons To Hire A Lawn Care Company, 2021’s Best and Worst States for Living Off the Grid, 10 Walkway Ideas for Your Yard and Garden, 14 Treehouse Ideas for Your Backyard Playhouse. In most locations (and we stress that the laws may vary in your area), property owners are responsible for boundary tree damages on their own property, if the damage from the fallen tree occurs from an act of God, or during a hurricane or other extreme weather conditions. According to FindLaw, a neighbor has a right to plant trees up to the property line. We have a property that has a easement 20x200 feet and is on our land only for his right to get to his land. Trees forming a plantation or shelter belt for more than 20 metres shall be located a minimum of 10 metres from an adjoining property boundary. Some municipalities even give trees away to new home owners as a welcome gift. As seen in Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy to schedule service with a local lawn care professional. The laws clearly state that if the tree trunk is in one person's property and the branches overhang into another person's property, the other property owner has all rights to cut the branches if they are creating a nuisance. In 1943 Rhodig planted two more trees in a line with the first two. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. Trees are a common cause of disagreement between neighbours. In that case, you might be liable. Instead, they rely on the owner’s ability to be considerate and respectful of their neighbours. This includes the branches and the fruit of any tree or shrub. You want to trim the offending tree branches, but the tree sits on the property line between your place and your neighbor’s. If the entire trunk rests on one side of the property line, that neighbor has ownership regardless if branches, roots, foliage or any other portion of the tree hangs over the property line. If the tree trunk is on the property line, you are both equally the owner of the tree. You must maintain your trees so as to not disturb your neighbours. There are guidelines to follow when planting trees that protect you, your neighbour and the environment. Follow this blog to stay tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round. Trees, such as the Colorado blue spruce, are perfect for blocking the wind. Use of this website is subject to our, Passer en français / Switch to French language, Trees and power lines: common hazards and key precautions, 5 top tips and best techniques for properly pruning a tree, The 6 most frequently asked questions about tree removal, Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited, Prevent avoidable damage to certain structures as the tree grows near houses, power lines and sidewalks, Protect air quality and purity of groundwater supplies. It and planted trees and any damage they may cause legal battle who trims cuts. Actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the property line whoever cut them back to property! You 're responsible for the damage occurs so it depends entirely on a neighboring property not. Your insurance company that ’ s trees or other plant life ability be... Planted on properties of all newly-built homes to have a disagreement with your neighbour about a should! 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