What recourse do we have if my neighbor plants a tree and bushes on my property without asking and just does not care about our opinion?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What recourse do we have if my neighbor plants a tree and bushes on my property without asking and just does not care about our opinion?

Our neighbor planted a tree and some shrubs on our property without asking us. My wife mentioned it to him and he said he checked first if it was his property. We checked our survey and called our surveyor and our surveyor told us how to check our property line. Using our surveyor’s direction, it definitely appears that the tree and shrubs are on our property. We called our town attorney and he said he cannot do anything and we must work it out. What recourse do we have if our neighbor just does not care about property lines or respect us as neighbors and just wants to do what he wants to do?

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can either tear up the plantings, wait to see if he take legal action (e.g. suing you for the destruction of the plantings), then in court, show (e.g. by surveys) that it's your property; or you can proactively bring a legal case against him for a "declaratory judgment" in which a court will determine where the boundaries are and whether he plant there. Only a court can confirm the boundaries; it's your choice whether you want to be the ones filing the lawsuit, or whether you want to take action and see if he files a lawsuit in return. In either event, do *not* let him just "confiscate" some of your land; years down the road, they can let him actually own that portion of your land, by "adverse possession."

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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption