Who Is Responsible for Cutting Overhanging Tree Branches, How to Tell if a Tree Is on Your Property. Neighbor B will be responsible for the … You must take care, however, that any maintenance you perform on the tree branches does not damage the rest of the tree. Whether you find yourself on the giving or receiving end of an overhanging tree complaint, it is essential to know who owns the tree in question. Courts have upheld that a homeowner’s tree rights extend indefinitely upward on his property line, and those rights are protected from invasion by an adjoining landowner. Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the Tree? 1. With that in mind, the person who is responsible for maintaining the greenery is normally the person who owns the tree or hedge. Trimming a neighbour's overhanging branches: Urban Forestry recommends … It would cost 600$ to have a company trim the branches bback to the property line. If a tree trunk is on your property, you are responsible for maintaining it. Disclaimer for our website: This website is presented by the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for the purpose of disseminating information free of charge for the benefit of the public. Is Mold Covered Under Your Commercial Property Policy? This is known as the right of abatement, and is done at your cost, unless otherwise agreed. Such a tree is jointly owned by both neighbors and cannot be pruned or removed without permission from both parties. A tree falling onto a power line can cause serious injury or death. If you are involved in a dispute with a neighbour involving a tree, the first step is to notify the neighbor that their tree is causing damage to or interfering with your enjoyment of your property. What Are Tenants Improvements and Betterments? She has more than 16 years of experience in real estate. Ask your neighbour to cut the parts that overhang your land. Should the tree or hedge bear fruit that hangs into a neighbour's garden, the neighbour cannot lawfully take the fruit or flowers subject to the Theft Act 1968. Homeowners can refuse this, but the authorities are within their power to remove the trees without consent. Even if the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, you have the responsibility for cutting any branches that extend onto your property line. If your tree or a portion of your tree falls on your neighbor’s property and the tree has obvious signs of disease or rot, or if your neighbor had filed a complaint with the town or with you about the hazard, you may be liable for any damage caused. This survey will show you the boundaries of your property. You must each take care not to take any actions that will damage the tree as a whole, such as digging up the roots or putting down dangerous chemicals that could kill the tree. A handful of cities have a “view ordinance,” which states that a scenic view is an important part of a home’s value. One cannot simply cut and run, however. When it comes to overhanging tree branches in your yard, over your house, or along power lines that effect your home, you may have some say about what happens to that tree and its maintenance. If a branch from a tree hangs over the property line in such a way that causes injury or damage to the neighbour, the owner of the tree is legally responsible for the damage or injury. The decision in Koenig v. Goebel was affirmed in 2013 by the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Demenuk v. Dhadwal [2013]. As a result, determining who will pay to have a tree pruned is a civil matter. Defending Sexual Assault and Harassment at Work. If the parts of the tree crossing the property line are a nuisance to neighbour B, they may be removed without notifying or seeking permission from neighbour A. Neighbour B must not, however, trespass onto neighbour A’s property to complete the pruning and must avoid pruning past the property line. Tree trimming is an active maintenance program that removes branches from a tree. A boundary tree is one planted on the property line, so that the trunk grows partially on both properties. An individual who intentionally kills their neighbour’s tree needlessly may face liability as a result. Generally, if a tree trunk sits on both you and your neighbor’s property, is owned by both of you, and you are both responsible for the tree. Who is responsible? If a complaint is filed with the town, the town may require you to remove the tree, or they may even come to remove it themselves. For example; If neighbor A has a tree, and the branches from the tree are encroaching on neighbor B’s property, neighbor B has the right to trim whatever branches have passed the property line without notifying neighbour A. Overhanging branches become the property of the owner of the lot over which they are located. You must inspect your property for signs of diseased or rotten trees on a consistent basis. 9 Maintenance Tips to Winterize Your Property, The 6 Property Maintenance Responsibilities of Landlords, Cleaning Up After a Loss May Cost More Than You Think, How Landlords Can Prepare for a Winter Storm, Here Are Some Ways You Can Prepare Your Property for a Hurricane. In situations where an individual (neighbour A) refuses to prune the parts of their tree that are encroaching onto their neighbour’s (neighbour B) property, the neighbour whose property is being encroached upon has two options. Unless you agree otherwise, you must return the branches & leaves to your neighbour as they remain their property. Even though the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, anything from the tree that falls onto your property is your responsibility. This is known as the common law right of abatement (Lemmon v Webb [1862] AC 1 HL). The trees whose tree trunks are within your property line are considered to be part of your property, and therefore, your responsibility. In Ontario, the government does not regulate the pruning of trees on private property. If your property backs onto a road and has a problem with overhanging trees, it’s possible the Highways Agency might ask you to remove them. If you do not have an existing property survey, or are unable to tell with the existing survey you have, you may have to have a new survey done and have the surveyor physically mark out the boundaries of your property. 72tree.com gathered the following information on determining who owns and is responsible for a tree’s overhanging branches, and what actions to take. 2. The tree is an immediate hazard to the line (split, leaning, hanging over, uprooted) The tree is leaning on a hydro pole. If the tree in question is dead/dying or has dead branches that could be hazardous, Urban Forestry can investigate. You are responsible for making sure any tree on your property is healthy and there are no known hazards. As long as a tree is not considered a “boundary tree” it can be pruned by the neighbor on either side of the property line without permission. My neighbor's tree overhangs on our property and is a nuisance every year by constantly blupping our pool skimmer, and since it is a Maple tree which drops thousands of seeds, we ar constantly removing small trees that grow everywhere. It may be difficult to determine if it is on your property or on that of your neighbor. This will only be necessary if the trees are blocking the road or causing obstruction. Using this survey, you will be able to determine which trees fall within your property lines and which ones belong to your neighbors. In some cases, neighbour B’s pruning of the tree’s branches or roots may damage the tree, causing it to die. What is our rights? Trees next to a home can add beauty and shade, but they can also become a problem when branches grow too big or too weak due to disease. Some rare trees can be valued at tens of thousands of dollars. The other option is the self-help remedy. A tree that is located on the boundary line cannot be removed unless both parties agree to do so. Does the Court of Appeal have the Inherent Jurisdiction to Hear an Appeal of an Interlocutory Order? In many cases, the fastest and easiest option to resolve a dispute of this nature is the self-help remedy. Trees and Your Property Line. Neighbour B may sue neighbour A for the cost of having the tree pruned, or to force neighbour A to have the tree pruned. You could be considered ​negligent for failing to remove a known hazard before damage occurred or for failing to properly inspect and maintain the trees on your property. In the rare case that the tree trunk lies right in the middle of the boundary between you and your neighbor, then it will be a mutual responsibility to take care of the tree. 3. If it’s not protected, or you have a permit, you can cut back any leaves, branches or roots overhanging the boundary line. Overhanging Branches on Your Property . If your tree or a portion of your tree falls onto your neighbor’s property and the tree was well maintained with no sign of disease or rot, any damage caused will be your neighbor’s responsibility. Situation 1. The branches of a neighbor’s tree may hang over onto your property. In some cases, the neighbour who owns the tree may be willing to contribute to or cover the cost of pruning the tree. Carley Reynolds is a Lawyer at Donich Law, Copyright 2020 DONICH LAW PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION | All Rights Reserved. You can cut back anything up to your property line. Erin Eberlin wrote for The Balance Small Business, covering rental management, tenant acquisition, and property investment. Again, these laws can differ in each state, so be sure to look up the exact law in your area. In general, where tree branches or roots encroach onto neighbouring land, the owner of the neighbouring land has the right to cut back the encroaching branches to the boundary. Neighbor B will be responsible for the arrangements and costs associated with the pruning. While liability surrounding property damage is very fact specific, the Court in Koenig v. Goebel [1998] stated that “there is clear authority for the proposition that a property owner is legally entitled without notice to cut those branches and roots of a neighbour’s Border Tree which extend onto his property or air space although such an action may kill the tree.” The Court later cautioned that this does not mean individuals have an absolute right to destroy their neighbours border trees should they begin to extend over the property line. Laws on Overhanging Tree Branches. If the owner fails to have the work carried out, … When you purchase a home, you are usually required to get a property survey. Disputes typically arise when the branches or roots of a tree on one neighbour’s property (neighbour A) begin encroaching onto their neighbour’s property (neighbour B), causing damage to or interfering with the enjoyment of neighbour B’s property. In heavily populated areas like the GTA, disputes between neighbours regarding trees are common. You must also check the law in your state, county or city to determine if different rules may apply to you. However, the cut branch (es), and any fruit or flowers attached to the branch (es) remain the property of the tree owner and must be returned. A tree right on the boundary may need to be trimmed or cut down. If the tree is on private land then the landowner is responsible. You are responsible for the cost of cutting any branches you choose to trim. Learn About Title Insurance and Get Tips and Insight Into the Pitfalls, Insuring Other People's Property Used in Your Business, The Balance Small Business is part of the. To answer the question of who is responsible for trimming tree limbs, it should be noted that by law, you have the right to cut down those branches of a tree that have crossed your line of the property. If, as in this case, it requires expenditure by the land-owner to do this, can a small claims court be used to seek repayment of the costs because it was a trespass, or would a full court hearing be the only way to recover these costs, if a claim of trespass, nuisance and damages was made? If you intend to injure or destroy (remove) a protected tree … If that fails you are almost certainly within your rights to clip it or snip it. You can cut back any overhanging branch that comes into your property. Participant Experts v. Litigation Experts. For example; If neighbor A has a tree, and the branches from the tree are encroaching on neighbor B’s property, neighbor B has the right to trim whatever branches have passed the property line without notifying neighbour A. These ordinances allow you to sue your neighbor to force your neighbor to remove a tree (or the branches of a tree) that is blocking your scenic view. Even if its branches or, worse still, its roots have begun to grow over or into a neighbour’s territory, it belongs to the landowner where the tree was originally planted. It can be done as a preventative measure to keep branches from damaging structures or overhead lines, or it can be done as a pruning technique to keep the tree healthy.. These items are not considered damage. The City of Toronto does not regulate the trimming of trees on private property. An individual will generally be liable for the cost of the damage caused by their tree. If your actions cause damage or ultimately kill a neighbor’s tree, you may be found liable for up to three times the replacement cost of the tree. As of January 1, 2020, the fee for an Application to Injure or Remove Trees has changed. You will each be responsible for whatever portion of the tree is on your property. This, however, can be a lengthy and time-consuming process and there is no guarantee that neighbour B will win. Even so, the law only grants you permission to remove them back to the dividing line or border. Most insurance companies will cover the claim as long as they deem it an Act of God, because this situation could not have been anticipated by a reasonable person. If leaves, acorns, twigs or other debris from a neighbor’s tree falls onto your property, you are responsible for cleaning this debris up. You must look for any weak or damaged branches. Neighbour’s Tree Branches Causing Damage in Ontario? For example, if neighbour A fails to maintain their tree and it falls onto neighbour B’s property causing damage, neighbour A will generally be liable for that damage. If, however, the tree is a safety hazard or poses a risk, neighbour A may be liable for the cost of having it removed so as to ensure no damage occurs to surrounding properties. A Council or Highways Agency may serve notice on the tree owner to require adequate clearance of hedges or trees encroaching onto pavements or roads. Branches of a large tree hang in your yard, but the trunk is planted in your neighbor’s yard. Depending on the size and type of the tree, the typical replacement cost can be anywhere from $500 to $3000. There are several exceptions to the above rule: Your tree branches may hang over into your neighbour's yard. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. The common law allows that land-owner the right to cut back the trespassing branches. The self-help remedy allows neighbour B to pay to have the branches that pass the property line pruned. When a neighbors tree branch is over hanging an adjoining property line, the adjoining property owner has an absolute right to cut the branch up to the property line. Our CSLB license # is 821770 . Establishing Ownership of Trees The tree belongs to the person upon whose land it has originally grown. In addition, if your neighbor gives you a warning about a tree or portion of a tree that they feel is a hazard or files a complaint with the town about a tree on your property that they believe to be a hazard, if you do nothing to address this concern and any portion of the tree falls on the neighbor’s property, you may be liable for any damage caused. "Can I request my neighbour to trim the branches from their trees that hang over my property. Tip Top Arborists, Inc. has been licensed and fully insured for tree trimming, tree removal and stump grinding since 1976 in Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Victor Valley and Tehachapi Valley. If a tree on a neighbour’s property is encroaching onto your property and causing damage, the neighbour may be liable for that damage. If you see a tree branch that you're worried may cause you damage, ... Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3G6. If the owner of the tree is unwilling to cooperate however, they are legally unable to stop you from completing the pruning at your own expense. When a tree on your property hangs over the boundary line into another yard, you have a duty to address all weak or damaged branches. ... your neighbour is legally responsible for the damage. If a tree trunk is in your territory, you are responsible for its health and dangerous situations caused by the tree. Do not attempt to prune or cut down a tree near power lines. If any portion of a tree that was a known hazard falls and damages your neighbor’s property, you will likely be responsible. The tree or branches are smoking, sparking, or burning on a power line. CAB monitors the quality of the information available on this website and updates the information regularly. Even if the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property, you have the responsibility for cutting any branches that extend onto your property line. These ordinances are very specific, so if you live in one of the few cities that has one, you need to research the law to determine if it actually applies to you. You are responsible for the cost of cutting any branches you choose to trim. In this case, you may have questions about your rights regarding the portion of the tree that is on your property. Consumer Rights for Cutting Branches. To remove the tree, both property owners must consent. Note that some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPO Significant trees on private property or City streets are protected under Municipal Code, Chapter 813, known as the Tree Protection By-law. Conflicts involving trees and neighbors are best resolved through communication, but there are laws covering these types of situations. In certain cases, there may be a tree that is right on the edge of the property. The following are general rules regarding overhanging tree branches. 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