Can I legally trim back a neighbor’s tree limbs that are encroaching on my property and covering my own plants?

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Can I legally trim back a neighbor’s tree limbs that are encroaching on my property and covering my own plants?

My neighbor has a big oak tree growing just over our property lines but on his side. Several large lower tree branches have now grown way over into my yard covering up my own bushes and plants and blocking out sunlight. Do I have the right to have those branches cut back with or without my neighbors permission? He has told me I can’t without his permission.

Asked on August 28, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

He does not have the right to encroach, or have his tree encroach, past the property line into your property. You can trim back any limbs intruding into or over your property, but only up to the property line, no further. And if you (or whomever trims for you) is in some way negligent or careless and ends up injuring or kililng the tree, you can be held liable for the cost to remove and replace it, so care is warranted.


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