• Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
Have these trees been harassing you, madam?

If not, perhaps you should just live with it? You really want to fight the War of the Trees with your neighbor? Sounds like more trouble than it's worth, unless you feel there is some imminent danger?

My backyard neighbor has a row of large trees on their side of the fence. In the 12 years I have lived in my house I have spent about $5K cutting them back, taking the tops off and treating them for insects. He has never maintained them and wanted no part in the expense. So I don't plan on stressing out about it and just due what's my legal right, Trim them back to the property line. Now all the weights on his side and if they fall it will be on his property. I have been informed by my town I'm in the clear

You are responsible.
Also if his tree fell in your yard, you are responsible for the part on your property.
If the tree is dead, and falls on your house and damages it, your insurance company is not responsible as the tree was dead and a hazard and should have been removed prior.

Look up the law on this in your state. Or call an arborist who will know. Basically, you trim- you pay.

this thread is useless without a photo of someone cutting 1/2 of a tree that used to be over a property line vertically

Izzletodasmizzle said: I didn't know where to post this but decided on finance since it does deal with money. My neighbor has five trees thats branches extend far over my side of the fence line. He has refused to pay to cut these trees back but has said that we are more then welcome to pay. My question is, is since these trees are on his property and extend on to mine shouldn't he be the one responsible for paying to have these trees trimmed back if i request and if i end up paying to have them cut can i take him to court for the cost of me hiring someone to do it? Also what would happen if the company i hired to trim somehow killed these trees, would i be held liable

Thanks


I think you should just trim the trees that are hanging over your property and pay the costs yourself.

mistycoupon said: You are responsible.
Also if his tree fell in your yard, you are responsible for the part on your property.
If the tree is dead, and falls on your house and damages it, your insurance company is not responsible as the tree was dead and a hazard and should have been removed prior.


this is not correct, at least not everywhere.

Locally, if the second scenario were to happen, the insurance company would pay and then collect from the party who exhibited negligence in allowing the dead tree to stand. In this case, that would be the neighbor. On the other hand, if the dead tree were on the homeowner's property, they would not pay because the homeowner would not have exhibited mitigation of something-or-other when he should have known of the risks. I know this because this is what happened last fall after we had major windstorms in the Seattle/Portland area, and my uncle is a claims supervisor who was in the area for 3 weeks. That is how he explained whether a claim would be paid or not.

As far as cleanup, he explained that unless damage had occurred to the home itself, the insurance company does not pay for cleanup. In many cases, that meant that huge trees had fallen just over houses but without actually damaging them - resting, as it were, on the roof line. The homeowners are responsible for that cleanup, not the insurance company. Often that can be quite expensive. Our local tree company charges $150/hr for a 3 person crew.

Also, with regards to your first scenario, if the tree is trimmed back to the property line, and the remainder of the neighbor's tree then falls onto your property, wouldn't the homeowner be able to successfully sue the neighbor for cleanup? How would that scenario be any different than if the neighbor's retaining wall collapsed and sediment fell onto the homeowner's property?

Our home in AZ we just hired a bunch of mexicans who trimmed our orange/grapefruit trees back for $200. Cheap labor is great!

If the trees are hurting you or just bugging you trim what extends over the property line at your expense.

vaylon said: Do the limbs hit your car or something?
Do they touch your roof?
Do they touch anything on your property?

A small claims will take all that into account. You have to have a reason. Because it crosses over onto your property is not a reason.


This is the correct answer. If they aren't hurting anything, then you are repsonsible for cutting them or just leave them alone. If they are destroying something on your property, then the neighbor would be responsible for removing the ones hurting your property.


What is the big deal? I hate when people argue over trees. Just leave them alone.

If the roots or branches of your neighbor’s tree encroach on your
land, you can cut them back to the boundary line. If you do not want
to do this yourself, you can ask a district court for an order for the
trimming or even removal of the tree.

However, if the tree is not causing harm or loss of enjoyment,
abatement may be your only remedy. If you do choose this option, you
must do no more than is necessary to abate the nuisance. No
unnecessary damage should result, and you should not trespass on your
neighbor’s property.

Nor may you create any other problems for your neighbor. You must not
poison the roots or spray the tree with herbicide, as the consequences
would extend beyond your property. If you are cutting out part of the
tree's roots, take care not to undermine the stability of the tree or
the ground around it.

Cuttings and fruit belong to the tree owner. You can put them back on
their property, taking care not to cause any damage, or ask them to be
removed.

If the trunk of the tree extends over the boundary, this does not give
you the right to chop it down. A tree planted on your neighbor’s land
belongs to them, and they will be liable for any damage it causes.

However, if the tree was planted on the boundary, you are probably a
co-owner. If your neighbor does not agree to have the problem
resolved, you can apply to a district court for an order for removal
or trimming.

Who pays? If you have incurred costs in cutting back the roots and
branches on your side of the boundary, you probably will not be able
to claim them back from the tree owner.

But if the roots of your neighbor’s tree have damaged your drains or a
branch falls on your house, they will probably have to pay. Even if
the damage results from forces outside your neighbor’s control, they
may still be liable if they could have been expected to know the tree
was unsafe, and did not take reasonable steps to make it safe. This
means they will have to pay the costs of fixing up the problem as well
as any compensation that may be due.

Even if your neighbor’s tree has caused no damage, but is simply being
a nuisance, perhaps by blocking sun or light, they may still be liable
for the cost of getting the nuisance resolved. This is because tree
owners should take reasonable steps to stop the trees interfering with
their neighbor’s enjoyment of their own properties.

Local councils are generally reluctant to become involved in
neighborhood disputes about trees. However, many trees are protected.
Classification of a protected tree will vary among councils and may
include specimen trees above a certain height, native vegetation, or
even "blanket protection" of all trees in your area. _Before you start
to chop down all or part of a large tree, check with the council
whether you need special permission._

Other forms of tree protection include the listing of significant
trees in a district plan, heritage orders under the Resource
Management Act and voluntary protection under the Heritage Covenant
provisions of the Historic Places Act. There are substantial fines for
ignoring some of these protections. Your local council will be able to
supply you with details of its policy.

Some councils will also supply information on tree care and will give
names of recommended arbor culturists.

If your tree is creating problems near a road or public land, the
council can issue a notice ordering you to remove or trim it. This
might happen if the tree is damaging roads, drains or other public
amenities, or if it obstructs traffic or the view of road traffic.
Several other statutory authorities also have this right.

If you want to challenge the council's view you can apply to the
district court to have the notice set aside. But you will need to be
quick: in some situations you will only have 10 days in which to do
this.

If you simply ignore the notice, the council can enter your property
and carry out the work itself. You will have to bear the cost and may
also be fined. In an emergency where there is imminent danger to life,
property or roading, the council can do this at your cost with only
verbal notice being provided beforehand. But it cannot do more than is
necessary to prevent danger.

The council must also look after its own trees according to the same
basic rules as everyone else. Most councils have written policies
covering this, which vary from council to council. The question of who
pays for what also varies.

The first step is to let the council know there is a problem. If you
are not happy with the response, you can proceed as if the council
were a private landowner: perhaps by cutting back the offending roots
and branches, trying to get the council into mediation or even
starting legal proceedings.

If you want to plant trees or shrubs on council land, you must get
permission first. It is an offence to do this without authorization.
Illegal plantings can interfere with drains or public works, or they
may be considered inappropriate for a particular environment. It is
also an offence to remove or damage trees or shrubs growing on council
reserves, except within the normal scope of abatement.

If a tree owner and an aggrieved neighbor can't agree on what to do,
several courses of action are open.

Mediation and arbitration - Both mediators and arbitrators are
available to help resolve a dispute. However, neither party can be
forced to take part in either of these processes.

A mediator will help you negotiate a solution to the dispute. An
arbitrator will impose a solution. Mediation is less formal and
usually less expensive, but cannot be enforced by a court unless you
have included enforcement procedures in your agreement. An arbitrated
settlement is backed by the courts.

Before you start, you should work out the likely costs. Mediation and
arbitration are charged on a time basis, and both parties are expected
to pay an equal share, unless another agreement is reached.

Disputes Tribunals can hear claims for damages to property for amounts
up to $7,500 (or $12,000 if the parties agree). Typical examples are
claims for damage to drains, driveways, foundations and fences.

However, generally a tribunal referee will not be able to hear claims
when the dispute is over loss of light, sunshine or views, or involves
removal or trimming of the tree. In the latter case, a referee can try
to help the two sides reach agreement. However, if your neighbor
decides to ignore this, you will have to go to the district court to
try to get the problem resolved.

District Court - Claims for more than $7,500, or that involve the loss
of light, sunshine or views, or that involve the removal or trimming
of trees, can be taken to a district court. The court can award
monetary compensation for damage caused by a tree. It can also order
that a tree be removed or trimmed. Claims through the District Court
will almost certainly require the help of a lawyer and can be
expensive.

ArbolLoco said: in CA I wouldn't pay for the trim.

actually I would, but then sue the neighbor for nuisance, saying the limbs interfere with my quiet use and enjoyment of my property.

They interfere with your "quiet use". You must have those loud barking trees or something.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: he sure can. Anyone can sue anyone for anything.

They sure can. Besides the current issue, you can begin thinking about all the water you've been providing for the tree (roots that suck up water under your property that normally would go to your grass) and bill him for it. Also, the clean up fee for all the dropped leaves can be something you can bicker about. Loss of sunlight or view from these trees are other things that can separate you and your neighbor.

Seriously, here's a random reference google found: some free internet legal advice (local laws may vary)

Izzletodasmizzle said: My neighbor has five trees thats branches extend far over my side of the fence line. He has refused to pay to cut these trees back but has said that we are more then welcome to pay.

Sure sounds like an unfriendly neighbor. Will he allow someone you hire to climb the tree on his property or will you have to trim the trees from your property (increasing costs)? Aside from the trees themselves, what bothers you? Some big branches? Too much shade or loss of view? From what you describe, the tree is nearly the same as a fence in terms of how it might be dealt with. In really unfriendly towns, both neighbors build fences each on their prospective side of their property so as not to be constrained by the other. The cheapest solution is to join together and split the expenses, and if you and your neighbor can reach an even split on the tree, it may work out best for both of you. Otherwise, expect that you'll both be down in city hall looking up the specific statues that apply to your situation and serving each other with notices wasting money and effort on legal matters instead of tree trimmers.

BTW: An unbalanced tree may fall on your neighbor's house and the roots pulled up can tear up your yard and fence. This caused by a storm, but is a nice picture: fallen tree

purduephotog said: I have the exact opposite problem: My neighbors tree cuts down all the sunlight to my yard. It's on his, expect for branches that touch my powerlines. I've offered to pay him half the cost to have the stupid thing removed, but he refuses. There are dead branches hanging over the yard, some that have already fallen, and their kids play below it.

Power lines are a special situation. If they're that close, you might call your electric company and often they'll trim back the tree for free (though not the most aesthetic) to the point where the tree isn't a danger to the power line. It helps if it's a transmission line rather than just the service line to your home, but I believe it also applies. The last thing the power company wants is a tree taking down power to a neighborhood. Best of all, they've got every right to do so.

Just one example

Incarnate said: ArbolLoco said: in CA I wouldn't pay for the trim.

actually I would, but then sue the neighbor for nuisance, saying the limbs interfere with my quiet use and enjoyment of my property.

They interfere with your "quiet use". You must have those loud barking trees or something.


Maybe they're dogwood trees....

Interesting thread.. Just the other day, our neighbor asked if he could cut some limbs that were hanging over his side of the property (shading his grass) and rather than having him do it, my husband did it himself. Of course, these were not 80ft trees; but if they had been, we would have probably paid to have it done and maybe asked the neighbor to split the cost. Keeping things friendly, as long as it's reasonable, is the name of the game.

Incarnate said: ArbolLoco said: in CA I wouldn't pay for the trim.

actually I would, but then sue the neighbor for nuisance, saying the limbs interfere with my quiet use and enjoyment of my property.

They interfere with your "quiet use". You must have those loud barking trees or something.
If someone served you with notice of a quiet title action you'd probably put in your earplugs, right?

3 or 4 sticks of dynamite per tree should do the trick. Just tape em together then duck tape them to the trunk.

I've dealt with this in the state of Georgia before, due to storm damage. It doesn't matter where the trunk of the tree is standing, if it falls on your side, it's your tree. If it damages your house, it's your problem. The only exception to this seems to be if you can show that the owner was negligent in the maintenance of the tree, which would require documentation that the owner had been cited for failing to maintain the tree and had still not taken care of the situation. If the part of the tree on your side needs work, it'll be your responsibility to do it (in Georgia).



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014

It's time for an upgrade!

After a decade on our current platform, we're upgrading our plumbing. The site will be down for a few hours starting at 10PM CST tonight.

At FatWallet we strive to bring you the best coupons, deals and Cash Back. So please come back and check us out.