Real Estate Law
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Given that the lot is vacant, you are not likely to be liable but it's not black and white unless you previously gave him notice.
In general, you do have the right to cut off branches and roots that stray into their property. But, you should first warn or give notice to the tree owner prior to commencing work and give the tree owner the chance to correct the problem. If the tree owner does nothing, the tree can still be trimmed. But, as long as you did not cut the roots in a negligent manner, and trimmed only up to the boundary line, the result would have been the same whether you trimmed the roots or the neighbor did so. As a result, the lack of notice did not result in any loss the neighbor would have incurred had he done the same.
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