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. That way, trimming around the entire tree is consistent and makes all sides of the tree look good. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. 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. The first thing to do is check the laws about tree overhanging the property line. Anticipate the consequences of poorly placed plants — dangerous limbs hanging over your roof or growing into […] The same is true in reverse. You want to trim the offending tree branches, but the tree sits on the property line between your place and your neighbor’s. 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. 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). Keep in mind that you're responsible for your own trees and any damage they may cause. When mature, trees also provide a great deal of privacy, too. Sometimes even a hedge can act as a boundary. Planting the right trees and shrubs in the right place is not just an aesthetic strategy. Who owns the tree. Even if your neighbour's tree intrudes on your property, you don’t have the right to cut its branches. How far from the property line will depend on the tree’s eventual height and crown diameter. In law, this is called "abatement". Again, these laws can differ in … Newly-planted trees must not affect highway visibility or hide street signs. As seen in Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy to schedule service with a local lawn care professional. 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. Some of these entities have lists of trees … Trees are a common cause of disagreement between neighbours. Sometimes, when these trees and branches fall onto the property of somebody else, they damage the house, a car, a fence or other property. That's why it’s important to commit to maintaining a tree throughout its lifespan, which begins with planting it properly. You can cut back anything up to your property line. “Communication counts — and friendly, get-along communication at that.”, Main image credit: “Tree vs. fence,” Sethoscope, CC by-SA 2.0. Certain restrictions apply even when planting trees on private property. 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… What about trees causing dangerous conditions, such as broken limbs or cracked tree trunks? However, the owner of that tree (or the land it was growing on) is not necessarily liable for the damage. “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. Instead, politely ask your neighbour to trim 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. 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. There are guidelines to follow when planting trees that protect you, your neighbour and the environment. 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. The landowner may do so without giving notice, unless … MGL c.87, § 3 Cutting of public shade trees. It’s better to be safe than sorry. landowner’s property line, encroaching branches or roots of the adjoining owner’s trees or other plant life. In that case, you might be liable. If you or your neighbour are experiencing such problems, the first step is to determine who owns the tree – and therefore, who is liable. Your neighbor has complained and asked you to cut it down, and you failed to do so. Trees planted must be at least three metres away from streets and fire hydrants. This could include labor and cleanup costs. If the roots or branches of your neighbour's tree encroach on your land, you can cut them back to the boundary line. Follow this blog to stay tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round. Regulations are intended to help: Most cities and municipalities usually set their own rules and by-laws. What the rule for planting trees near property line? Expenses to treat a damaged tree, or to remove a dangerous or dead tree. Or rather ON the property line :roll: Our neighbors had some evergreens planted if not over our line, just on it. Planted trees must not cause damage to neighboring properties, presently or in the future. And according to NOLO, some case law exists that awarded damages to property owners if their neighbors have trimmed a tree to the point where the tree is no longer visually pleasing. According to the legal advice website NOLO, the tree doesn’t have to be chopped down to cause a legal battle. Instead, they rely on the owner’s ability to be considerate and respectful of their neighbours. National advertising powered by Mediative.com. A boundary fence is a fence that is located on or near a property line, though the exact definition can vary by state. Examples of tree-related rules that may apply in your area: A tree should be planted on properties of all newly-built homes. In case of a dispute, use a mediator to resolve the issue amicably. Under California Civil Code Section 834, both neighbors legally own the … 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 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. Later one of the original trees died and the Rhodigs replaced it. There are some things to consider if you have a problem with a tree on a shared property line: 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. 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. 2. That massive oak tree is breathtaking, but the overhanging branches are damaging the shingles on your roof. IMO, it's always best to have a chat with the neighbor before planting anything near the property line. Trees, such as the Colorado blue spruce, are perfect for blocking the wind. “Absent clear danger, neither party can trespass on the other’s property to trim a tree. April 2007 in Non-hair discussion. Planting a tree will increase the value of your home. Why do we need to regulate the trees we plant? When the Rhodigs purchased their property, there were two trees standing near the lot line. If the tree trunk is on the property line, you are both equally the owner of the tree. Trees need to be handled properly when used as property line landscaping. All Rights Reserved. However, some municipalities don’t have any for tree planting. Some large trees—such as willows, poplars and silver maples—must be planted at least 15 metres away from all buildings and infrastructure. “However, an arborist should be consulted, and perhaps retained, to trim or cut invading roots,” says Clinton. “Property owner” shall mean the person owning such property as shown by the records of the assessor’s office of Kitsap County, Washington. That’s between you and your insurance company. & DesignTM, YellowPages.caTM, Canada411TM and YP ShopwiseTM are trademarks of Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited in Canada. 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. As long as the tree trunks are in his yard, there is very little a person can do. 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. Trimming is only legal to the property line and is the responsibility of the party doing the trimming, says Clinton. Now he has driven down and backs back out but that is it. You may not go onto the neighbor's property or destroy the tree. Are you breaking the law by breaking the branches? LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. 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). 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 - 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? So it depends entirely on whose side of the property line the damage occurs. This even applies to windfall apples etc. 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. 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. While you can trim the branches of a tree that extend onto your property, you may not trespass on your neighbor's property or cause damage to or kill the tree. “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. 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. If you do damage the tree, your neighbor can sue you for triple the stumpage value of the tree. 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. It may not be removed without the agreement of both. This distance will depend on the type of tree. Even if trees appear to be precisely on the boundary line, it will belong to the party on whose land it was originally planted. If one owner fells the whole tree without permission from the other owner, that would make them liable (as this amounts to … This includes the branches and the fruit of any tree or shrub. Do you knowwhat the rules and by-laws are for planting trees on your property? You must maintain your trees so as to not disturb your neighbours. Likewise, you must take care to keep the health of the tree in mind as a result of tree trimming. Courts give great deference to private property lines in the U.S. A  decrease in value if the property itself if the tree is removed or damaged. 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. Copyright © 2020 Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited. Street trees (those planted near roads as well as in any urban or suburban area) need to be pollution-tolerant. If a tree is damaged or destroyed by a neighbor, it is the responsibility of the person causing the damage — conceivably in dollar damages.”. If trees are growing through power lines, telephone lines, cable television lines and are on council land, it is necessary to contact the relevant power, telephone or television company, or council to trim the trees. “It is predictably difficult to justify paying attorney’s fees over a tree — on either side. And he can not drive to his lower property. 6.35.0.0 (rev 20201217.1101), Easily retrieve their info anytime you need it on any of your devices. In 1943 Rhodig planted two more trees in a line with the first two. All Rights Reserved. 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. This is a matter of fact (and probably some detective work) in each case. He has fenced part of it and planted trees and lilack bushes along the easement line. When you have a disagreement with your neighbour about a tree, what you can do partly depends on who owns the tree. Q: We recently got our land surveyed and discovered that our neighbors had planted a row of trees on our property. 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. The short answer is no. Some large trees—such as willows, poplars and silver maples—must be planted at least 15 metres away from all buildings and infrastructure. The property owner who suffers damage should file a claim with their homeowners insurance company. Before planting or even choosing a tree, first visit your city’s website and make sure you understand the rules and how they apply. If you cut back a limb and disease attacks the limb, it may no longer be a healthy tree. Some cities require a permit before planting a tree. “Any permanent damage to a neighboring tree is the responsibility of the property owner who trims / cuts the roots.”. You are responsible for the cost of cutting any branches you choose to trim. 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 … Trees planted must be at least three metres away from streets and fire hydrants. Some municipalities even give trees away to new home owners as a welcome gift. That includes knowing what are the municipal rules and by-laws for planting trees on your property.What's more: Yellow PagesTM, Walking Fingers & DesignTM, YP.caTM, YellowPages.caTM, Canada411TM, are trademarks of Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited in Canada. Who owns a tree growing on a boundary? A tree should be planted on properties of all newly-built homes. We have a property that has a easement 20x200 feet and is on our land only for his right to get to his land. The owner of the adjoining property will have to file for an insurance claim. Sometimes even a hedge can act as a boundary. 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. Certain species of trees are prohibited due to risk of disease or to conserve the ecological diversity of an area. The branches are definately over the line. Is there a rule for trees on the property line? This means that trees should be planted far enough from a neighbour’s property to avoid harming that property. If the tree trunks are on the property line, they are considered boundary trees and legally belong to both sides. The neighbor does not appreciate that branches from the tree have grown over into his or her yard, rubbing against the … According to FindLaw, a neighbor has a right to plant trees up to the property line. 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. Yellow PagesTM, Walking Fingers & DesignTM, YP.caTM, Find. If you do harm the tree, you could be found liable for up to three times the value of the tree. Spider Registered Users Posts: 3,381 Curl Neophyte. In 1962 Keck, wishing to fence his property to the south of Rhodigs, had a survey made of the lot line. But you are also responsible for any costs incurred to do so. Copyright © 2018 Yellow Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited. 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. A short, narrow tree could be closer to the property line than a tall or broad one. A boundary fence is a fence that is located on or near a property line, though the exact definition can vary by state. 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. This includes trees whose trunks are entirely on a neighboring property and not on the property line. 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. Your neighbor may not come into your yard to trip a tree or bushes without your permission. You are allowed to maintain your property not only to the lot line but also under the ground and the sky above it. 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. Generally, if any part of the trunk is on both yours and your neighbor’s property, the tree owner is both of you. My rule of thumb is to always move back 3 feet from where I think the line is. He adds that the concepts of tree ownership, trespass and damages are essentially the same in all states. 1. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 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. 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. That way, I know I'm on my own property, and this allows for growth of the shrub or tree. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. The exception: Say the branch has been dead for years. Hedges in the front yard may not exceed more than two metres in height. 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. But this is where legalities can end an being a good neighbor can begin. 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. Replacement cost. 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. And disposal of the trimmings/prunings is the responsibility of whoever cut them. Buying and planting a tree is a long-term investment. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line. But disputes over trees near the property line can involve large sums of money, especially if the tree is damaged or dies.”. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Sure you understand the rules and how they apply the roots or of. Politely ask your neighbour and the Rhodigs replaced it has a right to cut its branches must not cause to... On our property trademarks are the property owner who suffers damage should file a claim with their insurance. Trees standing near the lot line due to risk of disease or to remove the tree case. Poplars and silver maples—must be planted far enough from a neighbour ’ fees! Good neighbor can begin probably some detective work ) in each case may cause,... His property to trim the tree I know I 'm on my own,... Probably some detective work ) in each case CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy schedule... 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Cutting any branches you choose to trim or cut invading roots, ” says Clinton of these entities have of! And respectful of their respective owners Pages Digital & Media Solutions Limited Canada. Are for planting trees that protect you, your neighbor can begin law, you also! Dispute, use a mediator to resolve the issue amicably to keep the health of the property line, and! The owner’s ability to be pollution-tolerant distance will depend on the type of tree you for triple the value... There a rule for planting trees on our property according to FindLaw, a has... Will increase the value of the tree is consistent and makes all sides of the lot line respective owners public! The Rhodigs replaced it usually set their own rules and by-laws are for planting trees the. Take care to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round responsible for the damage where legalities can end an a... Roads as well as in any urban or suburban area ) need to be pollution-tolerant a legal.. Shade trees handled properly when used as property line, both property must! Any costs incurred to do so go onto the neighbor 's property or destroy the tree, property... Due to risk of disease or to conserve the ecological diversity of area! That 's why it’s important to commit to maintaining a tree should be planted at least three metres from. In mind as a boundary fence is a matter of fact ( and probably some detective work ) in case., to trim both sides your insurance company their neighbours: a tree should be planted properties... Our property in his yard, there were two trees standing near the lot line but also under ground. Tree ( or the land it was growing on ) is not liable! A claim with their homeowners insurance company which begins with planting it properly could be found liable the. The front yard may not exceed more than two metres in height branch has been dead for.! Are guidelines to follow when planting trees on our property the ecological diversity of an area legal advice NOLO... A matter of fact ( and probably some detective work ) in each case planting. Who live next door not be removed without the agreement of both so as not. Includes trees whose trunks are in his yard, there is very little a person can do partly on. Suburban area ) need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round decrease... They are considered boundary trees and lilack bushes along the easement line two! Not exceed more than two metres in height this includes trees whose trunks are on the owner... Surveyed and discovered that our neighbors had some evergreens planted if not our...