Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

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Palatineman
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Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Palatineman » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:40 am

My neighbor has a large tree whose branches are growing too close to my bedroom window and one branch is over my roof.

- The landscaper who cuts my lawn indicated he could prune the branches for about $80
- I haven't discussed this with my neighbor yet but I intend to as winter is approaching and I want to ensure that these branches do not cause unintended damage to my house due to potential hazardous weather - I am in IL
- I also want to make sure that there is no potential liability on my part even if we both agree to cut the branches and he (most unlikely) comes after me for some damage to his tree due to some event. For example -would I need some contract signed that he agreed?
- I already contacted my Village to see if there is some procedure I need to go through with them and they indicated unless I am filing a complaint - this would be a civil matter I should handle with my neighbor
- This is a minor point but who is liable to pay for the pruning - $80 is a small amount that I won't lose any sleep over?

Any insights from someone who has experienced this is appreciated.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:47 am

Ask your neighbor if you can have the tree professionally pruned. I see no reason for a signed contract or blood oath.

One of my trees was a problem for my neighbor and he asked me if he could have it taken down. I said sure and he had it taken down. The end.
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onourway
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by onourway » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:50 am

Talk to your neighbor. You are overthinking this.

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vineviz
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by vineviz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:52 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:47 am
Ask your neighbor if you can have the tree professionally pruned. I see no reason for a signed contract or blood oath.

One of my trees was a problem for my neighbor and he asked me if he could have it taken down. I said sure and he had it taken down. The end.
+1

Absolutely do NOT let your landscaper prune the tree. Hire a certified and licensed arborist.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

Rupert
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Rupert » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:53 am

Yes, talk to the neighbor. Some trees have to be pruned in a particular way to avoid damaging the tree, so you do need his input/agreement. You should expect to pay for the pruning yourself, although it would be nice if he offers to pitch in.

mouses
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by mouses » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am

Talk to your neighbor.

Pay the cost yourself unless the neighbor volunteers. That will be more likely to ensure a neighborly outcome.

Hire an arborist not "someone with a chain saw." Not only is this safer, but the results will be better for the tree.

I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Last edited by mouses on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

yohac
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by yohac » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am

If the branch is cracked and ready to fall on your house, it constitutes a nuisance and your neighbor should pay. Otherwise it's on you. 80 bucks isn't worth going to war.

RollTide31457
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by RollTide31457 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:01 pm

Ladder and a chainsaw should take care of the invading tree limb.

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GrowthSeeker » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm

Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:53 am
Yes, talk to the neighbor. Some trees have to be pruned in a particular way to avoid damaging the tree, so you do need his input/agreement. You should expect to pay for the pruning yourself, although it would be nice if he offers to pitch in.
^ Yes, talk to the neighbor.
A professional tree expert knows more about where limbs should be trimmed, not only for the good of your window and roof, but also for the long term good of the tree.

For example, sometimes, depending on the type of tree, if there are very dense branches such that when the leaves are full there is so much air resistance that there is significant risk of a storm breaking the tree; judicious pruning away some of the branches helps prevent this.

I'm bet you could get a free evaluation from a reputable tree expert.
Last edited by GrowthSeeker on Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Rupert
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Rupert » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm

mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.

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GerryL
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GerryL » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:05 pm

My technique (in a land of small yards and large trees): I tell my neighbor that I will need to hack off some branches that are extending onto my property. If they are concerned about the health of "look" of the tree, I give them time to hire someone to do the job professionally. (An arborist told me that local law gives me the right to trim anything that is across my property line.)

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8foot7
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:17 pm

GerryL wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:05 pm
My technique (in a land of small yards and large trees): I tell my neighbor that I will need to hack off some branches that are extending onto my property. If they are concerned about the health of "look" of the tree, I give them time to hire someone to do the job professionally. (An arborist told me that local law gives me the right to trim anything that is across my property line.)
This is the right answer. Take care of it your own way at no cost to neighbor, or let neighbor handle it his preferred way at his expense.

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vineviz
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by vineviz » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:33 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:01 pm
Ladder and a chainsaw should take care of the invading tree limb.
This is a bad idea. Hire an arborist.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

new2bogle
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by new2bogle » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:35 pm

RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:01 pm
Ladder and a chainsaw should take care of the invading tree limb.
Agree with this and what I did. But be careful on the ladder with the chainsaw.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Sheepdog » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:59 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:35 pm
RollTide31457 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:01 pm
Ladder and a chainsaw should take care of the invading tree limb.
Agree with this and what I did. But be careful on the ladder with the chainsaw.
Agree also. I have pruned neighbors trees several times over the years on my side. I even have an extended (about 10') gas chain saw for trimming trees so I don't have to use a ladder.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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lthenderson
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by lthenderson » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:02 pm

By law, you have the right to trim any tree branches overhanging your property line up until the property line. But like others said, I always ask the neighbor first in trying to keep neighbor harmony intact. I've never had one refuse.

likegarden
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by likegarden » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:05 pm

Any branch of neighbor's tree reaching over the property line you are permitted to cut down as long as the tree will not die from it, is common law. A nice neighbor would not let a branch get to your windows and over the roof.

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mhc
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by mhc » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:13 pm

Nicely tell your neighbor what you are going to do, and have the limb removed. For $80 I assume the branch is not too large.

If someone doesn't know how to cut a tree branch, I'm sure there is a youtube video.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:36 pm

onourway wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:50 am
Talk to your neighbor. You are overthinking this.
It has already been overthought. Good grief, just talk to your neighbor and figure it out.

As someone already posted, tell him your landscaper has offered to do it and that is fine with you. If the tree owner wants to call in some high-dollar arborist, then fine and you're off the hook completely. If neighbor is obnoxious, go the ladder and chain-saw route--preferably at daybreak :twisted:

I have done this with my neighbor about his trees. He was fine with my cutting some limbs and even offered to take down any trees that I felt might be a threat. Of course these conversations took place after one of his trees fell and crushed my A/C compressor and a few years earlier a limb from a different tree took off the corner of my roof as the remnants of a hurricane passed over. I never felt threatened by those, so stuff does just happen sometimes. Best to prevent it if you can.

Mike Scott
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:50 pm

I would DIY but I don't do chain saws while on a ladder. Use a pole saw extension or find a solid platform to work from.

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dm200
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by dm200 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:45 pm

Remember, as well, except in the case of extreme and known negligence, if your neighbor's tree damages your house - it would be a "potential" claim on your homeowners - not the neighbor's.

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TxAg
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by TxAg » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:22 pm

GerryL wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:05 pm
My technique (in a land of small yards and large trees): I tell my neighbor that I will need to hack off some branches that are extending onto my property. If they are concerned about the health of "look" of the tree, I give them time to hire someone to do the job professionally. (An arborist told me that local law gives me the right to trim anything that is across my property line.)
Bingo

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:28 pm

dm200 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:45 pm
Remember, as well, except in the case of extreme and known negligence, if your neighbor's tree damages your house - it would be a "potential" claim on your homeowners - not the neighbor's.
Confirmed :(

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dm200
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by dm200 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:35 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:28 pm
dm200 wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:45 pm
Remember, as well, except in the case of extreme and known negligence, if your neighbor's tree damages your house - it would be a "potential" claim on your homeowners - not the neighbor's.
Confirmed :(
A case of where the "rules" of insurance make zero sense to me. ;(

The "dilemma" , then, is if a branch of your tree falls (perhaps is blown) onto your neighbor's house and does $500 damage. You are not overtly negligent - and your neighbor has a higher deductible. Should you or would you pay the $500? Happened to us - and we chose to pay - for the sake of neighbor relations.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:39 pm

onourway wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:50 am
Talk to your neighbor. You are overthinking this.
+1, close the thread.

downshiftme
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by downshiftme » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Easiest solution is to talk to the neighbor. When I had some tree work done, neighbor asked me to also trim a branch encroaching on his property and offered to pay the additional cost. Since it was my tree guy, there was no chance I'd blame neighbor for any problems. Easy conversation. Easy solution.

Finridge
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Finridge » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:03 pm

Check if the laws are different where you live, but generally you are within your rights to cut any branches that cross into your property right at the property line. But the polite thing to do, and the best way to stay on good terms with your neighbor, is to relay your concern to him and tell him that you'd like to cut those branches--ask if he is OK with it.

He'll almost certainly say yes, and you won't have to worry about him getting upset when you cut the branch. If he says no, then, wait a bit and then come up and tell him that since it's a hazard and it's crossing over onto your property, you have no choice but to proceed...

Palatineman
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Palatineman » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm

Thank you for all the various replies!

To be clear - the plan all along was to talk to the neighbor before taking action and not blindside him.

We are on good terms.

The main gist of the post is to gain experience and avoid any negative consequences (especially legal one's) even after we have an agreement on how to approach this.

For those posts indicating I am overthinking this may not have been through a situation where all of a sudden you have been served a lawsuit and have to spend time and money trying to defend.

The branches are very close - 1-2 feet away from my bedroom window and one of them is touching my roof.

I have a 2 story house and am not willing to risk life and limb climbing an extended ladder (which I don't have) that high and trying to prune thick branches (for which I don't have a chainsaw for).

There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?

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onthecusp
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by onthecusp » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:56 pm

Palatineman wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm
There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?
It is pretty well established law in all areas I've lived that if a branch comes down and damages my house, my insurance and I are responsible. So you can leave it and accept those consequences or take care of it now. Consistent with that you can trim up to the lot line without permission, but of course it is being neighborly to discuss it with them.

You could sue, who knows what would happen in a court. That would be more expensive than $80 win or lose.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:52 pm

Sounds like the tree itself might be too big and too close to the property line and your house. I'd have a tree guy come out and give you various options and an estimate for doing a hard prune/reshape to remove all limbs that cross your property line.

This is better than a lightweight $80 trim semi-amateur job will likely be required again in a year or two.

Talk to neighbor and let him know you intend to prune any limbs that cross your property line. See if they want to pitch in on the cost to have their side of the tree trimmed to match.

If the tree dies the neighbor could sue but to prove and receive damages would have to prove you killed the tree by pruning it which is easier said than done. Tree can die from many different causes and pruning usually does not kill a tree (might make it ugly but rarely kills it).

Nissanzx1
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Nissanzx1 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:04 pm

Just talk it through with him.

My former boss had an arguement with his neighbor about a privacy fence that resulted in many thousands of dollars in legal fees and 20+ years of misery. His neighbor moved about 6 years ago but won't sell the house. He wants it to decay in front of my former boss on principle until his death. My point is, it's worth talking through before taking action as these sort of situations can get insane.

samtex
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by samtex » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:50 am

Palatineman wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm

There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?
:oops:

RickBoglehead
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:12 am

Palatineman wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm

There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?
Your neighbor has no responsibility to pay to trim the tree.

If the tree is clearly at risk of causing damage, i.e. it is rotted, and the neighbor knows this, and then it causes damage even if felled by nature, the neighbor would be liable if you sued them. This would take a notification in writing to the neighbor pointing out the risk and a lawsuit.

As stated numerous times, you should tell the neighbor of your concerns, and your intent to trim your side, which you are entitled to do, and pay for. And make sure you don't kill it by having your non-tree-professional lawn mower do it wrong.

Welcome to life in a neighborhood.

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GoldStar
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am

Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.

mouses
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by mouses » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:59 am

likegarden wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:05 pm
Any branch of neighbor's tree reaching over the property line you are permitted to cut down as long as the tree will not die from it, is common law. A nice neighbor would not let a branch get to your windows and over the roof.
A nice neighbor probably has no idea what his or her tree is doing in your yard.

Rupert
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Rupert » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:02 am

GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
The law where you live may not be the law everywhere. In my city, you can trim limbs from your neighbor's tree that extend onto your property, but you cannot do so negligently. So if you damage or kill the tree, you're liable. We're very particular about our trees here, especially oak trees (you can't even trim your own oak trees if they're above a particular size without a permit, let alone your neighbor's), and that's true in many other places as well.
Last edited by Rupert on Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

likegarden
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by likegarden » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:05 am

As I wrote, I would cut back those branches. I owned a tree touching my and my neighbor's roof, so I had it removed for $900. In a storm that tree's branches were brushing both roofs and a bedroom window of my house, would certainly cause damage in future.
My neighbor has 3 very large arborvitae just over the property line, so I prune them back once a year with a 16 ft pole clipper permitting me to pass by them to read meters, without asking the neighbor.

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GoldStar
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:08 am

Rupert wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:02 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
The law where you live may not be the law everywhere. In my city, you can trim limbs from your neighbor's tree that extend onto your property, but you cannot do so negligently. So if you damage or kill the tree, you're liable. We're very particular about our trees here, especially oak trees (you can't even trim your own oak trees if they're above a particular size without a permit, let alone your neighbor's), and that's true in many other places as well.
Good point. It probably depends upon the locale (state/city/town).

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tennisplyr
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by tennisplyr » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:45 am

Talk with your neighbor, he may offer to prune it. In most areas, since it crosses your property line you are allowed to prune it at your expense.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:55 am

GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
If you cut the roots, causing the tree to become unstable and it then falls on your neighbor's car, you're responsible for the damage. Don't believe me? Ask any lawyer.
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jabberwockOG
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:10 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:55 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
If you cut the roots, causing the tree to become unstable and it then falls on your neighbor's car, you're responsible for the damage. Don't believe me? Ask any lawyer.

Especially a local lawyer looking to rack up some new business and some nice big dollar legal fees. Good luck trying to prove a neighbor specifically killed a tree growing on your property by pruning limbs or roots that are only on their own property.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:11 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:55 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
If you cut the roots, causing the tree to become unstable and it then falls on your neighbor's car, you're responsible for the damage. Don't believe me? Ask any lawyer.

Especially a local lawyer looking to rack up some new business and some nice big dollar legal fees. Good luck trying to prove a neighbor specifically killed a tree growing on your property by pruning limbs or roots that are only on their own property. Not impossible but legal fees and hassle factor/time would quickly exceed value of most trees.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:02 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:11 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:55 am
GoldStar wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:53 am
Rupert wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:02 pm
mouses wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:58 am
I believe everywhere someone has the right to trim off branches that extend over onto their property. You do not need the neighbor's agreement, but hopefully things do not get to the point where this becomes an issue.
Just a warning: If your pruning efforts kill the neighbor's tree, there may be liability there. So it's wise to consult the neighbor just in case he'd rather a tree professional do the pruning.
Really? I never heard I could be liable for trimming branches that evade my property. In fact my understanding is I also have the right to dig down into the ground on my property and remove any roots on my side even if it damages the tree (not saying I would do that).
I would certainly give the neighbor a heads up "Just to let you know I am planning on cutting these branches". Last time I did that my neighbor agreed the tree was becoming too much of a nuisance and took it down.
If you cut the roots, causing the tree to become unstable and it then falls on your neighbor's car, you're responsible for the damage. Don't believe me? Ask any lawyer.

Especially a local lawyer looking to rack up some new business and some nice big dollar legal fees. Good luck trying to prove a neighbor specifically killed a tree growing on your property by pruning limbs or roots that are only on their own property. Not impossible but legal fees and hassle factor/time would quickly exceed value of most trees.
Jack - I certainly wasn't saying anyone should/would dig up so much root structure to cause the tree to fall over. But, if the roots are popping up into your lawn from your neighbors property you have the right to dig up and cut those roots. If the tree later dies I would think it impossible for a neighbor to prove that the tree died as the result of one or two roots being dug up (or a few branches from being cut).
Most trees are very resilient - cutting a couple of limbs or branches or roots that are invading your property won't typically cause an issue. Hiring a professions or arborist (as some are recommending) is overkill in my opinion. The OP could easily have his landscaper do this after giving his neighbor a heads up.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by smitcat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:12 am
Palatineman wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm

There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?
Your neighbor has no responsibility to pay to trim the tree.

If the tree is clearly at risk of causing damage, i.e. it is rotted, and the neighbor knows this, and then it causes damage even if felled by nature, the neighbor would be liable if you sued them. This would take a notification in writing to the neighbor pointing out the risk and a lawsuit.

As stated numerous times, you should tell the neighbor of your concerns, and your intent to trim your side, which you are entitled to do, and pay for. And make sure you don't kill it by having your non-tree-professional lawn mower do it wrong.

Welcome to life in a neighborhood.
Where we are each homeowner is responsible for whatever is on their property - including trees. If those trees extend beyond a property line they are still responsible. Of course being courteous and having a kind conversation with neighbors to solve these problems is the best route sharing with whatever you like.
If that does not work then you really need to make sure the neighbor takes care of the problem after you clearly document with clear pictures for the record.
In summary my trees = my problem, their trees = their problem.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:05 am

onthecusp wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:56 pm
Palatineman wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:31 pm
There were several posts indicating I should pay for it. Why is this the case when it is my neighbor's tree that is invading my property and causing potential harm to my house?
It is pretty well established law in all areas I've lived that if a branch comes down and damages my house, my insurance and I are responsible. So you can leave it and accept those consequences or take care of it now. Consistent with that you can trim up to the lot line without permission, but of course it is being neighborly to discuss it with them.

You could sue, who knows what would happen in a court. That would be more expensive than $80 win or lose.
After doing a bit of research (as I was curious) in many states, while you don't need permission, you do you need to notify your neighbor.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by GoldStar » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:06 am

smitcat wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 am

Where we are each homeowner is responsible for whatever is on their property - including trees. If those trees extend beyond a property line they are still responsible.

......

In summary my trees = my problem, their trees = their problem.
If there tree isn't unhealthy then this isn't the case. Limbs that are extending over the property line become the neighbors responsibility.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by nick evets » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:12 am

smitcat wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 am

Where we are each homeowner is responsible for whatever is on their property - including trees. If those trees extend beyond a property line they are still responsible. Of course being courteous and having a kind conversation with neighbors to solve these problems is the best route sharing with whatever you like.
If that does not work then you really need to make sure the neighbor takes care of the problem after you clearly document with clear pictures for the record.
In summary my trees = my problem, their trees = their problem.
Are you in the United States?

I'd amend your advice to be: my trees, my problem. branches of a healthy tree extending over a neighbor's property line -- his or her problem.

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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by smitcat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:32 am

nick evets wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:12 am
smitcat wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 am

Where we are each homeowner is responsible for whatever is on their property - including trees. If those trees extend beyond a property line they are still responsible. Of course being courteous and having a kind conversation with neighbors to solve these problems is the best route sharing with whatever you like.
If that does not work then you really need to make sure the neighbor takes care of the problem after you clearly document with clear pictures for the record.
In summary my trees = my problem, their trees = their problem.
Are you in the United States?

I'd amend your advice to be: my trees, my problem. branches of a healthy tree extending over a neighbor's property line -- his or her problem.
Long Island NY - this is what we have in our neighborhood.
Now if you wait and do nothing then the resultant damage that your property may get from a tree in another property is now on your home insurance. OF course if the tree just falls in your yard and does no property damage then you insurance company will not cover it either.

smitcat
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Re: Neighbors tree branch growing too close to my house

Post by smitcat » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:04 am

smitcat wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:32 am
nick evets wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:12 am
smitcat wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:04 am

Where we are each homeowner is responsible for whatever is on their property - including trees. If those trees extend beyond a property line they are still responsible. Of course being courteous and having a kind conversation with neighbors to solve these problems is the best route sharing with whatever you like.
If that does not work then you really need to make sure the neighbor takes care of the problem after you clearly document with clear pictures for the record.
In summary my trees = my problem, their trees = their problem.
Are you in the United States?

I'd amend your advice to be: my trees, my problem. branches of a healthy tree extending over a neighbor's property line -- his or her problem.
Long Island NY - this is what we have in our neighborhood.
Now if you wait and do nothing then the resultant damage that your property may get from a tree in another property is now on your home insurance. OF course if the tree just falls in your yard and does no property damage then you insurance company will not cover it either.

It appears that the rules can vary dependent upon where you are so it is wise to seek out the local rules on this subject. I am glad that in our area the answer is quite clear but that may not be the case in many other areas - here is a reasonably good overview of the tree situations...
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/03/real ... e-law.html

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