Can I Trim My Neighbor's Trees

A common question that I get is whether or not a homeowner can trim their neighbor's trees?

Interestingly enough, one of the most common questions I get from clients is what to do about a neighbors tree that is hanging over their yard. This is one of those real estate questions that hangs out in the legal world, but I’m happy to provide the answer. If your neighbor’s tree limbs are hanging over the property line, you are permitted to trim it back to the property line, at your expense, as long as it does not damage the tree. On a related subject, if your neighbor’s healthy tree falls onto your property because of natural causes such as a severe storm, you are the one legally responsible to pay for its removal. That’s right, it is the responsibility of the property owner where the tree has landed. Now, if the tree fell due to negligence, for example, the tree was decaying and the owner didn’t tend to the problem, then the owner would be responsible for any damage caused regardless of where it falls.

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