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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27256
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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We have a large old tree that crosses property line.

Customer Question

We have a large old tree that crosses property line. Neighbor wants to drastically trim the tree over his property, which would essentially strip it bare, and would kill it. We have had 2 Arborists certify that the tree is healthy. The tree leans a bit over his property.
We have agreed to trimming within Arborists standards, much more modestly so as not to harm or maim the tree. He insists he has right to do "whatever he wants" over his property, claims he has been in contact with a local attorney. He is already cutting down all the trees on his property, wants the tree gone, and again, will basically take off all the branches. Claims he plans to proceed "immediately".
What are our rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. If the branches are hanging over his property, he does have a right to trim the branches back, but only up to the property line. He can not come onto your property and trim them back any more then is necessary. Now, he can do this as long as doing so will not harm or hurt the tree. That appears to be your argument here, that if he trims them back, that the tree would be harmed or killed and if he does that , he could be liable for the damages. If he wants to take the risk and trim it back, he can but if something happens, then you would need to sue him, showing that he was warning and provided notice about this and what it would do and was negligent in the handling of it. Now, it does not mean that your tree has a right to grow over and encroach on his property and if he does, you could be liable for damages that it causes. It is 100% a tough situation to deal with, since he has a right to the use and enjoyment of his property and your tree can not interfere with it. At the same time, if trimming the tree back would kill it, then it makes it harder for him to do this. It may be a situation were if you want to keep the tree you need to compensate him for the taking and encroachment of it, since it is interfering with his use of the property, if something else can not be agreed upon. Only a court order can stop him from trimming this back and since there is not one in place at this time, he is taking a chance that his actions will not damage the tree because if they do, you can go after him.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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