What are my legal responsibilities if the roots of my treeare growing under my neighbor’s property?

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What are my legal responsibilities if the roots of my treeare growing under my neighbor’s property?

My neighbor is trying to sell her house and today came to my door to inform me that the roots from one of my trees have been growing under her carport and garage causing some buckling. Her real estate agent wants me to take down the tree and have the roots dug out. She’s has had an offer on the house, but the buyer is concerned about future problems caused by my tree. While I feel for her and would like to help I’m wondering what my legal responsibilities are in this instance?

Asked on August 31, 2011 Oregon

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the roots of the tree on your side of the property line have caused some issues with "buckling" on your neighbor's property you have no obligation to correct the resulting problems if you did not plant the tree allegedely causing the problem under the laws of all the states in this country.

The tree roots (assuming they are actually causing any problem) are the result of a tree that started years ago either through a planting by a prior owner or through nature. You as the current property owner have no duty to remediate absent some order from the court that your tree is some sort of a nuisance.

Your neighbor or any new owner can cut the roots of your tree on their side of the property so long as the cutting does not damage your tree. If they damage your tree by the cutting of its roots, they are responsible to your for any resulting damages.

Good question.


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