What is the liability for over-hanging branches and encroaching roots?
Branches and roots frequently extend across property lines. Whether a branch or root from a tree on an adjacent landowner's property is the responsibilty of the landowner with the tree located on his or her property or the landowner of the property to which the branches overhang or roots encroach depends upon the branches or roots themselves. If the branches or roots are healthy, then the landowner with the tree located on his or her property is not liable for damage caused by the branches or roots. The adjoining landowner may, at his or her own expense, trim back the branches or roots as he or she desires up to the property line. If the branches are dead, however, then the landowner with the tree located on his or her property is responsible and could be liable for damages caused by the branches (1 Fla. Jur 2d Adjoining Landowners section 8 ).
In Scott v. McCarty, a property owner brought action against a neighbor alleging that overhanging branches and roots from the neighbor's tree caused damage to his property (41 So.3d 989, 989 [Fla. 4th DCA 2010]). The Court affirmed the trial court's dismissal with prejudice of appellant's complaint for damages based upon Gallo v. Heller, 512 So. 2d 215, 216 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987), which explained the common law rule:
[A] possessor of land is not liable to persons outside the land for a nuisance resulting from trees and natural vegetation growing on the land. The adjoining property owner to such a nuisance, however, is privileged to trim back, at the adjoining owner's own expense, any encroaching tree roots or branches and other vegetation which has grown onto his property.
Scott, 41 So. 3d at 989 (quoting Gallo, 512 So. 2d at 216) (alterations in original).
You can trim here to the property line, you have to bear the costs. I know this is frustrating for you but this is the law here in Florida.Please don't shoot the messenger.