Pruning Responsibilities for Overhanging Tree Branches

Who Should Prune and Why


When the branches of tree hang too close to your home, driveway, sidewalk, or utility lines, it could cause issues for you and your neighbors. It’s important to properly maintain the trees on your property so it doesn’t lead to damage or any liability disputes. Pruning overhanging tree branches requires an extra level of care. You don’t want further damage done during the pruning process.

Who’s Responsible for Pruning Overhanging Tree Branches

If a tree trunk is on your property, you are responsible for its maintenance. If your neighbor’s tree overhangs into your property, you need to discuss with them before you pick up a pair of pruning shears. You are responsible for making sure any tree on your property is healthy and free of potential hazards, including:

  • Diseased, weak, or broken branches
  • Rotting bark or trunk
  • Pest infestations

You can cut back anything up to your property line. Just be careful not to damage the rest of the tree. You’re held responsible for any further damage your pruning may cause.

You’re also responsible for any leaves, acorns, twigs or other debris that fall from a neighbor’s tree onto your property.

Who’s Responsible for Branches Over Utility Lines

If you notice a tree on your property has branches that come too close to power lines, call your local authorities to have them pruned. Because of the level of care that is needed to properly prune these branches, you should not attempt this job yourself.

Who’s Responsible for Diseased or Fallen Trees

If any part of a well-maintained tree on your property falls onto your neighbor’s property, your neighbor will most likely be responsible for damage. However, most insurance companies cover the claim as long as they deem it an Act of God, because this situation could not have been anticipated. But, if that tree was found to be diseased, dying, and there are records of past complaints, you may be liable for any damage caused, and insurance companies may deny the claim.

Professional Tree Pruning

There are ways to properly prune your trees and keep them healthy. However, if a tree becomes too large to maintain with both feet on the ground, you’ll want to call in the professionals. A tree company has the tools needed to do the job without doing damage. For more information, call Elite Tree Care today.

Tree Pruning Guide

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