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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12712
Experience:  17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I have a roughly 100 year (75' +/-) old Black Walnut tree

Customer Question

I have a roughly 100 year (75' +/-) old Black Walnut tree that lies about 90% on my property and 10% on adjacent/adjoining property. The tree sits on top of a hill, that slopes down into the adjoining property. A developer wants to construct a wall on the adjoining property, that will require removal of the tree roots on the adjoining property. I am concerned that removing the roots will kill the tree. Does the law provide for this situation?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Illinois
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not that I am aware of. I have had a few conversations with the developer.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I think that's it-
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 10 months ago.

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

Expert:  Legal Eagle replied 10 months ago.

Thanks very much for your patience. So, generally, the issue is going to be difficult in part because property rights are involved for both you and the other party. The tree is your property, meaning that you have a right to have your property from being touched by your neighbor. The only problem is that your property rights only extend as far as your property line goes. If your property extends onto the property of another, then the property rights of the other party are included. This means that they have the right to remove another person's property from their land. In your case, the trouble is that your roots and part of the tree are extending over into your neighbor's land. This means that you do have the right to keep the tree, but the portion that is extended onto the neighbor's land invokes their right to have it removed.

What this means for you is that they may have the right to remove the roots and branches that are extending onto their portion of the land. They don't have the right to outright remove the tree or kill the tree, but they do have the right to do something about your tree's trespass.

To be frank, the only way out of this situation is going to be good communication. Sometimes, parties may come up with an agreement that your tree may stay untouched in exchange for a small rental fee to the neighbors.

What other questions did you have for me regarding this?