Neighbor cut down my tree - background of the cut trees HV4DPDP scaled e1607628589205

How Do I Know If A Tree Is Mine Or My Neighbors


Looking at the 1.80 meter high tree, I wondered who would be responsible for the destruction of my house if the tree fell. If a tree falls on my neighbour’s property, is my insurer liable for the damage caused by that tree? Sources: 1, 5

There is a very high fir tree, which is only about 5 meters from my property, and my neighbor complained about what the tree looks like after I cut down a branch on the property line. If my neighbour owns a fruit tree, I can eat the fruit from the branches hanging on the property. If my neighbours take me to court over a tree / fence issue, I have to do something. Sources: 6, 8, 16, 17

Firstly, you should talk clearly to your neighbour about the tree and the problems it is causing and suggest that he trim his tree. If it is your neighbour’s tree, talk to them and write your concerns in writing before you take the next step. For example, if a sick tree falls on my neighbour’s roof or property boundary, I should write him a letter. And if they can’t make it with me, I can send them a letter to tell them that the trees are a problem. Sources: 0, 3, 4, 9

If the tree or part of it falls on my neighbour’s property and it shows obvious signs of illness or rot, I am liable for the damage caused if it complains to the town about the danger. If I wait to see what happens and they put a notice on a tree that is a danger, I can prove that they have been negligent if that tree damaged my property or someone else’s property. However, if I find that my actions ultimately killed my neighbour’s tree, they will not be liable to me for the damage I have caused. On the other hand, the neighbour is liable if the trees are not properly maintained and he knows, or should have known, the threat posed by the tree and its branches. Sources: 8, 9, 12

It may seem unfair that it is my neighbour’s tree that has damaged my house, but I am not liable for the damage to my property. Sources: 15

If my neighbour has done something to his tree that causes him to fall, I cannot blame him, but if he has done something to it that caused him to fall, he is not responsible. If you can prove that your neighbour was aware that his trees were a danger and he refused to fix the problem, he may be responsible for the tree falling on your common property. If a tree falls on a shared property boundary, your neighbours are responsible if you can prove that they were aware of the danger of their tree and refused to fix the problems. Sources: 4, 11, 13

If you have a sick or damaged tree on your property and your neighbour’s house is damaged, you can try to prove negligence. If a tree or part of it falls on your property, it is your responsibility if the tree has been well cared for and shows no signs of disease or rot, but if it has fallen on your property or if you informed it weeks before the storm that it is a danger and that it has done nothing and that it flew away during Irma, it is responsible for the damage caused by the dead treeSources: 10, 12, 15

In most states, the damaged neighbor has no claim against the owner of the tree, but can sue you for pruning or felling the roots and damage to his property. Of course it goes both ways: If a tree or branch hits the neighbour’s house through no fault of your own, you can apply for homeowner’s insurance. But if it falls on your property boundary, do nothing until you contact your insurance company. If it falls on your neighbour’s tree, there is no insurance that can cover the damage to your property or that of your neighbour or his family. Sources: 4, 8, 14

Finally, the best way to solve tree problems with your neighbour is to talk to him or her. If you know you have a tree that is above your property, talk to it to discuss the matter and if it interferes with your property, try to resolve the problem with a friendly conversation. And if you think that it is possible that a neighbour’s tree might fall on your tree and pose a threat to your yard, ask the local council if any action can be taken. Sources: 2, 7, 18, 19

If you own the tree, any decision you make about it should be made with your neighbor, and any change to the tree usually requires the consent of the owner. If you have a tree right on your property boundary, your neighbors do not own it and if they do, they should make the decision with you. 

Cited Sources

#1 Guide to Neighbors and Tree Dispute Laws

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