Table of Contents
- My neighbour cut my tree in Pennsylvania
- What happens if I cut my neighbour’s tree down in Pennsylvania?
- If a tree is cut down on my property by a neighbour how much money should I receive in damages?
- If your property was damaged click here to see if you might have a case.
In Pennsylvania, trees are protected by the boundary tree doctrine. This means that if a tree is on the border between two properties and it falls onto one of the properties, the owner of the property where the tree fell is not liable for damage to the other property unless he or she was negligent in cutting the tree. If your neighbour had no reason to believe that there was a risk that his or her actions would cause harm to your property, then he or she would not be liable. However, if you believe that your neighbour negligently cut down your tree and damaged your house, you can file a lawsuit against him or her for damages.
My neighbour cut my tree in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, trees that grow on one property but extend over a neighbour’s property are considered “curtilage trees.” The owner of the tree has the right to trim back any branches or roots that cross into his or her property.
If you want to remove a whole tree that is growing on your neighbour’s property, it is best if you can come to an agreement with your neighbour before removing it. In many cases, your neighbour will agree to have it removed as long as you pay for the removal. If your neighbour refuses to allow you to remove the tree, you may be able to obtain a court order in Pennsylvania permitting the removal of the tree.
My tree branches overhang my property in Pennsylvania
If the branches overhang your property, then they are yours and you have the final say as to whether or not they are removed. The neighbour has no legal right to touch your tree unless you grant him permission.
A tree that is growing in your yard and whose branches extend over another person’s property is called a “boundary tree.” A boundary tree belongs solely to the property owner on whose land it grows, although both neighbours may enjoy the shade and other benefits of the tree. However, if a boundary tree’s branches extend beyond a neighbour’s property line, then those branches belong exclusively to the owner on whose land they grow.
In Pennsylvania, a person may trim back any portion of a neighbour’s tree which extends over his/her property line. However, only the actual owner of a tree has the right to cut down or remove it. Therefore, if your neighbour cuts down your tree without your consent, he/she can be held liable for damages arising from its removal.
My neighbour damaged my tree on my property in Pennsylvania
The tree was on your property, so you own it and have a legal right to pursue damages.
Your neighbour could be liable for trespass (cutting down your tree and entering your property without permission), nuisance (interfering with your use and enjoyment of your property), and negligence (failing to take reasonable precautions to avoid foreseeable harm).
You can sue in small-claims court, where you don’t need a lawyer. If the amount is higher than what small-claims courts will handle, you’ll have to hire a lawyer to file a case in civil court.
My neighbour’s tree roots or branches damaged my property in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania law is clear: A trespasser on your property doesn’t have to tell you they’re there. The same goes for tree roots and branches.
The law says, “An owner or occupant of real property shall have no cause of action against the owner or occupant of an adjoining property for injury to trees, shrubs or other plants growing upon the land of such adjoining owner or occupant or for falling leaves or debris therefrom on such adjoining property.”
You can cut off the branches that are infringing on your property and charge the neighbour for the cost of doing so. However, you can’t go onto their land without permission.
Can my neighbour make me cut my tree?
A neighbour can ask you to prune overhanging branches, but only to the boundary line. They can’t force you to cut back roots or make you remove the tree.
Your neighbour can only ask for the branches and foliage to be trimmed back to your side of the fence. If a tree’s roots are damaging a neighbouring property, the neighbour needs to negotiate with the owner of the tree (not the owner of the land).
If your neighbour wants you to cut down your tree because of its roots, they should speak with you first to try and resolve the matter informally. If you agree on a solution, it’s best to put your agreement in writing so there’s no doubt about what’s been agreed upon.
If a neighbour refuses access for repairs or doesn’t agree with their share of costs, they can take legal action. The court can order that repairs be carried out and that costs be shared.
How can I get my neighbour to cut his dead tree in Pennsylvania?
Assuming the tree is on your neighbour’s property, you probably can’t. If it’s not a danger to life or property and doesn’t violate any local ordinances, he has a right to leave it standing as long as he wants.
The only options would be to try talking to him about it, or going through some legal action like mediation or filing a nuisance claim in court.
What happens if I cut my neighbour’s tree down in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a tree on the property line between two owners is called a boundary tree and each owner will have an interest in the tree. The boundary tree is shared by both parties and each has a right to use the tree. So, if one owner wants to trim the branches, they may do so as long as they do not injure the health of the tree. If one owner wishes to remove the tree, they can only do so if it becomes a nuisance or poses an immediate danger to others.
If a tree is cut down on my property by a neighbour how much money should I receive in damages?
The first thing to do is verify that the tree was on your land. If a neighbour cut down a tree on your property, you have rights and can sue the neighbour. Before taking any legal action, however, you should consider the cost and hassle of litigation.
If the tree in question was growing on your land, then cutting it down without your permission would be considered trespass. In this case, you could sue for trespass, which is a tort (a civil wrong). Torts are handled in a civil court, not a criminal court. Only law enforcement officers can prosecute crimes.
There are two types of damages that may be available to you: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate you for your loss; they’re awarded based on what the judges or juries think is fair given the circumstances of the trespass. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their behaviour; they’re awarded when judges or juries believe the defendant acted with malice or a disregard for others’ rights.