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My Neighbor Wants Me To Cut Down A Tree

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My new neighbor wants me to cut down a tree she says is damaging her property and she wants it removed. If you want to prune, chop or cut down your neighbor’s tree without his permission, it is advisable to consult a solicitor before doing so. Even if you like the tree and want to prune it on your own property, Clinton says it’s best to ask permission to allow pruners in your neighbors “gardens. My neighbor came up and said she would have an overhanging branch of a large tree removed in her garden because it could end up in my garden. Sources: 1, 2, 6, 22

If it is your neighbour’s tree, talk to her and write your concerns in writing before you take the next step. If this does not work for her, send her a letter to tell her that the tree is a problem. Sources: 3, 16

Felling your neighbour’s tree without her knowledge or consent will only lead to a neighbourly dispute that could take you to court. If your tree is a problem or invades your property, try to solve the problem by friendly conversation. Sources: 7, 17

If your tree is a nuisance, i.e. endangering you or causing undue interference with your property, as it sounds, you may have the right to go to court and seek a court order requiring your neighbor to prune or remove the tree. You can file a lawsuit demanding several things, including that your neighbors cut down branches, get permission to cut them down, and that you receive the cost of pruning. Sources: 9, 16

If you wait and see what happens and point out to your neighbour that the tree is a danger, you may be able to prove that he has been negligent in damaging your property or someone else’s property. To avoid liability, tree pruners should consider taking less drastic measures to avoid a lawsuit, such as removing a tree from a neighbor’s yard. First, they should talk clearly to their neighbour about the trees and the problems they cause and suggest that he cut down his trees. Sources: 12, 16, 18

Forget for a second who is behind the neighbours’ tree: you can cut down a tree without the permission of the council. If your town or your local council says it is OK to prune the tree, you can remove the branch from any tree that enters your property. If the neighbour’s branch is too high to hang over the adjacent boundary, he cannot cut it back, but the neighbouring owner of the land has the right to cut down any branch that crosses the boundary. You can also only cut along the land line with the consent of the owner of this property and only at the same time as your neighbor. Sources: 2, 4

If the tree is on the side of your property, you can cut it down, but if it is hanging over your yard or your neighbor’s branch is hanging over the yard, the branch cannot be cut back from the property. If you cut off the branches, it cannot be killed, and if the trees die, your neighbors can try to make up for the damage from your offense. The damage caused by the roots of your tree could be an issue for legal redress, so you would not have the right to cut down your neighbour’s tree. You can’t kill a tree without the permission of the owner of the property and only at the same time as your neighbors “tree. Sources: 0, 2, 20

If you take your neighbour to court over the tree / fence issue, you must do something. You can claim for the cost of removing your neighbour’s tree, and if it drops leaves in your garden, you will have to pay. Sources: 8, 21

I read with interest what your neighbour can do about trees that are within the boundary of the property. I eat fruit from a fruit tree owned by my neighbour with branches hanging over my property, but my neighbour complains about what the tree looks like without having to cut the branches off outside the boundary of the property. Sources: 5, 13, 19

Virginia law allows the neighbor’s branches to be cut when they enter his property. If the limbs or branches of your neighbors “tree reach beyond the boundary of the property, you may prune the area that hangs over your land. However, if the branches or limbs of a neighbor or one of his trees are outside the boundaries of the property, you are not allowed to prune them. Moreover, the neighbor may not cut back the areas that hang over or below his property, even if they are within the boundaries of his own property. Sources: 8, 14

If you have concerns about pruning branches or roots outside the boundary of the property, it is a good rule of thumb to inform the tree owner before pruning. Sources: 10

You may not enter your neighbor’s property to prune or remove trees or other plants without first obtaining his or her consent. If your neighbor’s tree invades your property, you have the right to cut off its branches. You can also prune branches that hang in your garden if half of the trunk is on the side of your neighbor and the other half is on the side of your neighbor. However, if the trunks of the trees are on his property, you are only allowed to cut them if you participate in them, and you have no right to cut branches that exceed the boundary of the property if they do. 

Cited Sources

#1 Guide to Neighbors and Tree Dispute Laws

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