Has your neighbor's tree encroached upon your property in some way? Whether it's roots growing close to your foundation, low-hanging limbs in your yard, or fruit falling into your property, you can take steps to mitigate a nuisance tree.
However, there are limits to what you can do and how to approach it. Here are a few key things to do when addressing a neighbor tree problem.
1. Start with a Conversation
The most important thing you can do to fix this problem and maintain good relations is to talk with the property owner about your concerns. Let them know how their tree negatively impacts your property. Bring outside reports by an arborist, contractor, or landscape service to show hard evidence of any damage. Be professional, though, and keep emotions out of the matter.
2. Offer a Compromise
You may feel that the tree owner should bear all responsibility — both physical and financial — to fix the problem, but they may feel otherwise. One way to come to an agreement that benefits both of you is to offer to share the load.
You could, for instance, get estimates for trimming back unwanted branches on both sides of the border and then offer to split the cost with the neighbor. This is a concession on your part, but it often leads to better long-term dynamics.
3. Find Non-Damaging Solutions
Whatever your tree problem, start by looking for solutions that do not damage the tree. In general, neighbors have the right to trim tree elements that are on their side of the property line only.
But you don't have the right to damage the tree in doing so. So, cutting it down without permission is not an option. Neither is pruning the canopy so much that it kills the tree. Work with a professional tree service to ensure that your actions will not permanently damage the tree. Start with the smallest change that meets your needs.
4. Consider Legal Action
If the tree is a serious hazard — such as if its roots threaten your home's foundation or it's at risk of falling on your house — you can take legal action to remove the tree. In general, this involves suing the neighbor for a court judgment forcing them to cut down the tree. You'll need plenty of solid, independent evidence that the tree is a danger to your property.
Where to Start
No matter how your neighbor's tree is affecting your property, the first place to begin finding solutions is to meet with a local tree care service. They will work with you to identify the least invasive solutions, explain the problem to the tree owner, and even prepare evidence for a court case. Make an appointment today.Share
6 February 2023
When my husband and I bought our house years ago, we thought it would be our "starter" home and we would move in a few years. We soon had two children, and we then decided against moving since we live in a great school district and we love our neighbors. However, I was growing very tired of the appearance of our home. We painted it a different color, and it still seemed like the "same old house" that we were tired of. We finally deciding that maybe good landscaping would "do the trick" and make our home more enjoyable to use again. We were right, and I now love our home! I now love spending time in our yard and just enjoying the scenery. I have such a passion for landscaping now I decided to create a blog about it. I plan to share many landscaping tips, so come back!