Can my neighbor legally trim my tree without my knowledge or permission? 10 Answers as of April 30, 2013

My neighbor or someone in his employ trimmed some limbs from a pear tree growing in my yard. These limbs extended over his property line. This tree is a non-fruiting tree. This neighbor knew the tree existed and that it had some overhang on his property. He has complained to me about it and I told him at the time that he knew the tree was there when he bought his house and if he wanted the limbs trimmed. He could do it at his own expense. These limbs impinge maybe five or six feet over his property line. I noticed today that the limbs had been trimmed. My wife, who is semi-ambulatory and is at home alone part of the day while I am at work, she told me that she heard all sorts of noise coming from next door. I don't really mind that the limbs are trimmed but I do mind that it was done without my knowledge and caused my wife some concern since she didn't know what was happening and can't get around quick enough to see what was going on.

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
The limbs that crossed the property line are on his property, and he can cut them down. I am not sure if he can force you to pay for it. If the tree fell onto his property, he could remove it and you would be responsible for the cost. It seems to me that if you and he can work out something peacefully, it will make your living in the area much more comfortable. Pick your wars. This is not one to fight.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/22/2012
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
Why don't you think about thanking your neighbor? If you want a feud, then huff and puff your way over to his house and bang on his door. When he opens, start the rant. Over the coming years, your gift will keep on giving and giving and giving. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Montana
Replied: 11/18/2012
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
Answer: It wasn't done without your knowledge and you didn't just consent to it being trimmed but you told him to do it. Why now are you complaining? It's just a tree.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 11/18/2012
Adler Law Group, LLC
Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
He can legally trim branches trespassing on his property. You also admit you gave him permission to do so.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 11/18/2012
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
Yes, the neighbor can trim the branches that overhang his property and does not have to give you notice.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 11/18/2012
    Richard E. Damon, PC | Richard E. Damon
    Usually a neighbor can trim branches that are on his side of the property line, as long as he doesn't kill the tree.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/18/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Overhanging trees are a nuisance and sometimes are legal problems. Trim the tree and keep it off his property and cool down. you cannot afford a legal fight over tree limbs. It will cost 100 times what it is worth to you
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 11/18/2012
    Sherrets Bruno & Vogt, LLC | Jason Mario Bruno
    Yes. As long as he does not damage or kill the tree. The trees hanging over his property line constitute a trespass.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/18/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    He has the right to trim any part of the tree hanging over into his yard. Anything in his yard is his property, including hanging limbs from your trees.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/18/2012
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    So what's the problem?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/30/2013
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