Dealing with a Neighbor’s Tree

Know Your Rights & What Not to Do

After assessing a neighboring tree and talking with that neighbor about what needs to be done, it’s time to get to work. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to dealing with a neighbor’s tree.

Know Your Rights

Hopefully you have an understanding neighbor that keeps their trees in top shape so you don’t have to worry about branches breaking in your yard. Even if it’s a healthy tree, there could be some leaves and twigs here and there, but anything more hazardous should be addressed. If you have discussed such things with your neighbor and they haven’t responded, there are a few things you can do, carefully.

If you’ve let your neighbor’s know you intend on trimming hazardous branches that extend across your property line, by law, you should have the right to carry on with your plans. Of course if your trimming ends up harming the rest of the tree, by law, they have the right to retaliate. So, the best course of action is to get them on board with dealing with the tree problem professionally.

You also have the right to do as much digging on your property as you want. However, if this digging destroys neighboring tree roots and ends up killing the tree, they may come after you for compensation. This is why it’s important to be aware of all underground obstacles before digging any significant holes.

The same rules apply for what a neighbor does that impacts your trees. Again, the best case scenario is that you’re all on good terms and can discuss any issues amicably.

Protecting the Neighbor’s Tree Roots

Tree roots can cause more issues for you and your neighbors, and not only from digging. If trees are close to public sidewalks, overgrown roots may start to break up the concrete and cause a safety issue.

Roots have also been the cause of problems with many septic systems and other underground utilities. You may not be aware of an issue until it’s too late. If you expect the tree is causing more problems from underground, have a professional assess the area.

Dealing with Acts of Nature

Even if the tree is healthy, a strong storm can still lead to property damage in neighboring yards. Unless the health of the tree was previously questioned, typically homeowners insurance will cover the damage from fallen trees, whether on your property or others. If someone had already questioned the state of the tree, it may be a bigger issue to deal with.

Dealing with a Neighbor’s Tree

Whatever situation arises. When having to discuss issues that affect you and your neighbors, it’s best to try and maintain a calm and positive attitude. If your neighbor is not on board, then you can seek some legal advice. But the first course of action should be to contact a tree care professional to assess the tree and get an expert opinion on the situation. Contact Elite Tree Care for any issues regarding a potentially hazardous tree and the best way to deal with it.

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