FAQs About the Law Regarding Trees
Homeowners often have questions about the trees in their yards and what their responsibilities are for taking care of them. What happens if your tree falls on your neighbor’s yard? What do you do when your neighbor’s tree extends into your yard, or you want to take down a tree that is between more than one property?
Keep reading for answers to these questions and more.
Who owns the tree?
Tree ownership is determined by where the trunk is. If the trunk is entirely on one property, that homeowner also owns the tree.
What if the tree trunk is on the border of two or more properties?
In this case, the tree is known as a boundary tree. Ownership is shared between all the properties that the tree trunk touches. If you want to remove a boundary tree, you cannot legally do so without consent from all the owners.
What if a branch from my neighbor’s tree extends over my property?
If your neighbor’s tree branch hangs over your property, you may trim the branch, but only up to the property line. If your neighbor owns a fruit tree and the branch extends into your yard, you cannot legally pick fruit off the branch. If you cause damage to the tree, you could be liable for up to three times the tree’s value. Most trees are valued at $500-$2,500, but some ornamental or landmark trees cost between $20,000-$60,000.
What if my neighbor’s tree leaves keep blowing into my yard?
If your neighbor’s leaves blow into your yard, you don’t have grounds for a nuisance claim. Leaves are a natural product, so even if they clog your gutters or pipes, you have no legal claim against the tree’s owner.
What if my neighbor’s trees cause damage to my property?
If a tree looks like it might fall on your property, contact the property owner and voice your concern. If the property owner does not comply, most cities have ordinances to prohibit property owners from having dangerous conditions on their property. Contact your municipality, and they will likely remove the tree or order your neighbor to do so.
What maintenance is necessary to ensure my trees are safe?
You are responsible for the trees in your yard, which means two things: making reasonable inspections and taking care to ensure that the tree is safe. If your tree or a neighbor’s causes damage to someone else’s property, the court will rule whether it was an Act of God, or a result of negligence. All of this will depend on how well the owner of the tree took care of it.
It’s important to check out your tree regularly for visual signs that something is wrong. For more advice, check out our 7 warning signs that your tree is about to fall. It’s also important to regulalrly have your tree pruned and deadwooded to keep it healthy and safe.
Deadwooding is Essential for Tree Safety
Deadwooding is the process of removing dead or loose branches, which are most likely to be knocked loose during hurricane or blizzard season. April and May are good times to prepare with this service. To get started, call Mr. Tree at (484) 999-0040 or fill out our form online for a free quote.