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I have a neighbor with a 70 ft wall of pine trees planted…

Customer Question
Good morning, Lawyer's Assistant:...

Good morning,

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?

I have a neighbor with a 70 ft long wall of pine trees planted directly on our property line with 10-14ft of branches overhanging my property dropping cones, pine needles and sap into my back yard where my family pets are fenced, enter and exit the home thru a doggie door. We have sent a certified letter asking them to cut everything overhanging our property and they have only cut 3-4 ft off the ground and refuse to cut everything overhanging the property line. Do I have the right to cut these limbs?

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the home located?

Crossville, Tn

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Just if I have the right to cut the limbs overhanging my property and if I have sent them certified mail giving them the opportunity and told them if I have to do it, I will not be responsible for loss or damage to the trees, can I be held liable?

Submitted: 21 days ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 1 hour by:
5/29/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 21 days ago
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 47,623
Experience: Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 21 days ago

Tennessee

Tennessee state law includes no provisions for the removal of trees on private property. However in Nashville, the state capital, there’s a city tree removal ordinance which states that protected trees six inches or more in diameter on properties greater than those for one or two family home residences must have a permit before they can be removed, as they are considered “protected” trees. This might also necessitate a replacement tree, which will be the responsibility of the person who has the tree cut down. Tree removal companies in Nashville must also have permits acquired before they remove any trees on public or private property, which includes a plan as to where they put they tree after cutting it down.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 21 days ago

You have right to trim but you are liable for damages to the tree..

Tennessee Tree Damage Laws

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In Tennessee, if someone damages your tree, you can recover your actual damages (usually, what you paid for the tree or what it would cost to replace the tree). (To learn what you must prove in order to get actual damages, see Nolo’s article When a Neighbor Damages or Destroys Your Tree.) In some states, specific laws allow you to recover additional damages if someone deliberately damages your tree. To find out whether Tennessee has such a statute, check the table below. The table will also tell you the amount you can sue for (the number is ***** represented as a multiple of your actual damages).

In addition, intentionally damaging a tree is a crime in some states and can result in arrest, jail, fines, and other penalties. Check the table below to find out if there’s a Tennessee criminal statute on causing intentional damage to a tree. If Tennessee does not have such a law, general Tennessee criminal statutes, such as those related to theft or property damage, may still apply. (To learn more about damages and criminal penalties in tree injury cases, see Nolo’s article When a Neighbor Damages or Destroys Your Tree.)

Additional Damages and Criminal Penalties for
Intentional Damage to Trees in Tennessee

Tennessee Statute for Additional Damages

Additional Amount You Can Sue for in Tennessee

Tennessee Criminal Statute

Tenn. Code Ann. § 43-28-312

Double damages

None

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Best option have professional do it then you have witnesses.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 21 days ago
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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
This is what I have found under Tennessee State Law...When a Neighbor's Trees Extend onto Your PropertyAs a property owner, you have the right to control the land under your feet and the airspace above your land. This means that when a neighbor's tree hangs over your property you can cut it back to the property line at your own expense. Tennessee courts have held that no landowner has a cause of action when branches from a neighbor's healthy tree hang over their land. Be careful not to trespass onto the neighboring property to trim, place the tree debris on the neighbor's property, or trim beyond your property line.If I have given them the opportunity to cut the encroaching limbs, in entirety, themselves, to eliminate damage to their trees and they refuse to only cut a portion, how can I be held liable if the trees die. Also, since they have already cut a few with a grass trimmer attachment 3 days ago and I cut the remaining, how do they prove what I do resulted in damage and not what they did?
Real Estate Lawyer: Ray, Lawyer replied 21 days ago

In that case I do not see that they can hold you liable.Thanks for the followup and good luck here proceeding to trim.

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