What constitutes a boundary or shared responsiblity tree?

Our neighbor’s tree is dead and the base of the tree may be less than an inch onto or over the property line. They want us to pay for 1/2 of the tree removal. Would we be responsible for doing so?

Asked on September 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It sounds to me as if the tree sits on their property and not yours.  A tree that truly sits on a boundry line SITS on the boundry line.  The financial responsibility would probably be theirs alone. But you should consider your relationship with your neighbor and decide if offering some amount as a contribution would be the best thing.  Good luck.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A shared boundary tree is when a tree essentially sits equally on two adjoining parcels. From what you have written, you are not responsible for paying any costs of the removal of the dead tree where the vast majority of it is on your neighbor's property under the laws of all states in this country.

If you wish to contribute $50 or so towards the cost of its removal that would be a nice gesture on your part but not required.

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