Yes. My suggestion is to contact an arborist, and ask what the impact to the tree would be if the roots you are looking to cut are cut. Any uncertainty regarding the location of the actual property line should be dealt with prior to digging. In cutting back any overhanging branches (or encroaching roots) the following points must be observed. Last updated: 1 October 2020. Or, even if it would harm the tree, if the damage they are doing to the neighbor’s property is substantial, then maybe the roots and tree need to go. If you do go onto a neighbor’s property or harm the tree, you could be liable for double or triple the value of the tree! Within a few feet of her townhome, a Mimosa tree’s roots threaten the foundation of her house. Blocked drains and lifted paving may also be a problem. If you don't want to do this yourself you can ask a district court for an order for the trimming or even removal of the tree. Neighbor has a lipstick vine which has grown up and is climbing over my fence, roots traveling under my drive way and sprouting between slates of my deck. Can I still sell my house if there is a tree dispute application pending on my property or an order has been made? When his tree roots are coming over on to your property and destroying your pavers, your neighbor is not obligated to come over there and cut those tree roots, because those tree roots are on your property. The Court awarded damages for the replacement value of the part of tree that was cut on the tree owner's property. Most trees growing near buildings cause no damage. Can I cut branches or roots that are encroaching onto my property? The first thing you should do is make sure you are NOT damaging your neighbor’s property. Cutting a tree’s roots affects its ability to take up water and nutrients. Can I cut overhanging branches or roots from my neighbour’s tree? Your tree is damaging your neighbors property. In law, this is called "abatement". In all cases you must know the exact location of the boundary and the tree. Understanding the factors involved in tree damage to buildings, including soil type and depth of foundations, will help both tree and house owners determine what action to take and when to get … It now blocks out a lot of light in summer and the roots are showing through the adjacent pavement. You don’t want to pay for the damage. No, as the effect of the tree/s on the adjoining properties would have to be assessed separately, each affected adjoining owner would have to lodge a separate application. In every state, a common-law right exists that allows a property owner to cut the branches and roots of a neighboring tree that is invading their property. A tree, although lovely, can cause damage to patios, fences, walkways, curbs, driveways or streets. The Telegraph's Property Doctors answer your questions If the roots of a tree situated on a neighbour’s land have caused damage to your property, then the owner of the tree can be liable for the damage under the law of nuisance. No. But in some cases, subsidence and structural damage can be linked to tree roots. Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass, even though the tree roots will be encroaching on the neighbouring land. It depends on the city you live in and the size of the tree. ... Do I need permission to cut down a tree in my garden? Again, there is a process to go through to prove the cause of the damage, and the extent of that damage. Can I cut branches or roots that are encroaching onto my property? In practice, it is commonly held that you can cut back branches and roots that cross the property line without seeking permission of the tree owner, but there may be legal complications. The general position under the common law is that a neighbour can cut back branches or roots on their side, up to the boundary line. Do i need a permit to cut down a tree on my property? Can I cut branches or roots on my neighbour’s tree if they are bothering me? The tree has already encroached on a privacy fence, and created wide cracks in her patio. A diseased tree can often infect other trees and plants on your property. If there is a tree on your property that presents an immediate risk to persons or property, it may be removed without waiting on a permit from your city.. If branches from a council tree are overhanging your property, you can cut them back yourself, unless the tree is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or is in a conservation area. Under common law, a person may cut back any branch (or root) from a neighbour’s tree that overhangs or encroaches onto their property. Can I cut it back?' Most city governments have Tree Preservation Ordinances outlining the rules and regulations that surround tree removal and tree trimming. Unfortunately, they’re not about to provide approval. Its main woody trunk is pushing through my privacy fence and breaking the boards. Crossing property lines or removing part of the tree not on your property could result in a lawsuit. Technically if you cut the roots to the neighbors tree and it a) causes the ground to be unstable/tree unstable b) causes significant damage to the tree, You would be liable for the losses despite the fact they are on your property. Removing a tree because it is a liability. You’re legally entitled to cut and remove any tree branches or roots that encroach over the boundary of your neighbour’s land and into your land, up to the point of where your property ends. (This author lives in an association and a tree fell on his house, … Falling limbs or a falling tree can injure people and property. Don’t Cut Down the Tree. If the roots or branches of your neighbour's tree encroach on your land, you can cut them back to the boundary line. Never tackle the work alone. I have a very large tree that is on council land and is overhanging my property. Garden and street trees are desirable and can drive up property values. How to Cut Tree Roots in Lawns. But the worker also cut (i.e., hacked with a chain saw) substantial parts of the tree and that were on the tree owner's land. These can be signs that a tree is unhealthy or diseased. Where tree roots cause damage to a neighbouring property, the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. What do you want to do? If you need to cut a fallen tree in your yard, follow these chainsaw safety tips. A sudden lean indicates breakage or weakening of roots and tree should probably be removed immediately. Here are ways to ease the conflict, as suggested by mediators. Usually, they cannot compel the owner of the tree to do this work, but are entitled to undertake it at their own cost. Trees on private property can create a nuisance for your neighbour and have the potential to cause damage to property when branches and/or roots encroach onto the adjoining neighbour’s property. Ornamental trees can sometimes grow too large for a property or may be planted too close to a home's foundation. 'My neighbour's tree drops berries on my car. Neither you nor your arborist may go onto a neighbor’s property or destroy the tree. THE TREE IS TOO CLOSE When Can I Trim My Neighbor’s Tree? You don’t want to cut down the tree. Depending on where you live, if you cut down your neighbor’s tree it could be considered trespassing. This fact sheet provides general information and is intended as a guide only. Where tree roots have caused structural damage or have affected the foundations of a property, always seek the advice of a tree surgeon. You can start by discussing your concerns with your neighbour and asking him to cut them. The rationale behind this law is that property owners and neighbors should work to solve problems together, rather than jumping into filing lawsuits. If necessary, you can sue to enforce your rights. Trees can become an issue between neighbors if limbs or roots extend beyond the owner's property. If the tree has a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) placed on it then you will need permission from the council to perform any works to the tree, whether that’s removing a branch or felling the tree. The Telegraph's Property Doctors answer your questions. Advertisement Story continues below You may prune the branches back to the boundary of your property but no further. I also had another tree cut down on the back of my property to keep it from falling i.n the neighbor’s yard. THE TREE IS LEANING Leaning trees are more of a hazard than those growing vertically. If your neighbor or someone else cuts down, removes, or hurts a tree on your property without your permission, that person is required to compensate you (the tree owner) for your loss. Attorney Tom Olsen: All right, Gus, your property lines go down to the center of the earth and go up into space. But the HOA says Armstrong needs their approval before she can have the tree removed. Only the roots that are actually crossing the property line may be removed, and they can’t be removed in such a way as may kill the tree. The work must be done from your own property. Just because these branches or roots are on your property doesn’t mean you can take matters into your own hands! The property owner sued for wrongful injury to timber and won the trial. If the roots, or at least some of them, can be safely cut without hurting the tree, then your neighbor has a right to ask you to do it. A Generally, yes; you can cut back any part of a tree (or any other plant), including the roots, which encroaches on your boundary, as far as the boundary line. The tree roots are part of your property. Here's the lowdown on what you must prove to recover for a damaged or destroyed tree, and how much money you can recover. Crossing property lines to trim or cut down a tree is not something you or your arborist can do. I have lived here for 30 odd years and watched the tree grow bigger every year. Liability for damage caused by tree roots. However, there are exceptions, such as when there is a risk of injury or damage to property. Removing the tree roots up to the boundary line is a reasonable course of action. According to NOLO, some states have laws on the books that make intentional tree damage a crime that can result in a fine or jail time. 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