If branches on a tree in my neighbor’s yard hangs into my yard, dropping leaves into my yard and gutters and rests on power lines, whos responsibility is it to correct(prune/trim/cut down) the tree?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If branches on a tree in my neighbor’s yard hangs into my yard, dropping leaves into my yard and gutters and rests on power lines, whos responsibility is it to correct(prune/trim/cut down) the tree?

If branches on a tree in my neighbor’s yard hangs into my yard, dropping leaves into my yard and gutters and rests on power lines, whos responsibility is it to correct(prune/trim/cut down) the tree?

Asked on July 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A homeowner bears the responsibility to maintain trees on their land.  If the tree trunk is entirely on their land they own it.  If it is on both your lands ( the boundary lines) you both own it and neiterh can remove or prune it without the other's permission, and especially do any type of pruning that would damage the tree as a whole.

However, you have the right to prune back any branch that comes over your property line. But don't prune past the border and you need to get rid of the branches yourself. 

If it is a fruit tree don’t even think about picking any fruit. The fruit of a tree belongs to the owner. You can usually take the fruit that falls in your yard. But don’t try to outsmart the law by pruning branches just to get the fruit.

And remember: some trees are ornamental and can cost a lot to replace.  Don't get yourself involved in a potential lawsuit.

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A homeowner bears the responsibility to maintain trees on their land.  If the tree trunk is entirely on their land they own it.  If it is on both your lands ( the boundary lines) you both own it and neiterh can remove or prune it without the other's permission, and especially do any type of pruning that would damage the tree as a whole.

However, you have the right to prune back any branch that comes over your property line. But don't prune past the border and you need to get rid of the branches yourself. 

If it is a fruit tree don’t even think about picking any fruit. The fruit of a tree belongs to the owner. You can usually take the fruit that falls in your yard. But don’t try to outsmart the law by pruning branches just to get the fruit.

And remember: some trees are ornamental and can cost a lot to replace.  Don't get yourself involved in a potential lawsuit.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption