What are my legal rights pertaining to my neighbor’s Cottonwood tree realeasing its “cotton” during the summer

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What are my legal rights pertaining to my neighbor’s Cottonwood tree realeasing its “cotton” during the summer

We live in suburban Chicago and my neighbor has an enormous tree that produces this persistent “cotton-like” discharge that is not only all over my lawn, flowers, etc. but gets into my house, garage, cars, etc. The tree is officially deemed a “nuisance” tree by our village but I don’t imagine I can force them to remove it. My questions is, can I hold them resposible for cleaning up my yard, home and vehicle interiors?

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

No. Shedding leaves, seeds, or others is just what trees do. There is nothing negligent or deliberately tortious criminal (such as vandalism or trespass) in a neighbor's tree releasing natural tree materials. Without negligence or a deliberate improper act, there is no liability. Putting  up with this sort of thing is, unfortunately, part of suburban living.


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