It happens pretty frequently. A homeowner looks out their window, and all they can see is their neighbor’s tree dropping leaves or branches all over their yard. Or they can’t see anything at all because a neighbor’s tree is overgrown with branches extending over their home or garage. If this is the case, it’s essential to know how to deal with a neighbors tree to maintain a good relationship while keeping you out of trouble with the law.
Can You Prune A Tree That’s Crossing A Property Line?
The answer to this question all depends on where you live. Before you do anything, it’s essential to check with your town, city, and state municipalities for regulations concerning trees and property lines. In some areas, homeowners are entitled to prune parts of a tree that overhang in their yard as long as the work doesn’t damage the tree. However, the best thing you can do is talk with your neighbor and ask them if they would mind having the tree pruned or if you can hire a certified arborist to do it instead.
Can I Cut A Branch Straight Up Over A Property Line?
While this is primarily okay for a boundary hedge, a large tree rarely responds well to random pruning cuts on its branches. This type of pruning not only makes a tree susceptible to disease and insect infestations but it could also eventually kill the tree. If you prune a tree’s branch that overhangs your property and the tree dies, you run the risk of non-compliance to a municipal ordinance along with starting a war with your neighbor.
Can I Have My Landscaper Cut The Tree Back?
If you decide to take matters of pruning a neighbors tree into your own hands, it’s best to get permission from your neighbor before hiring a Milwaukie tree care professional to perform the work. Unlike landscapers, ISA-certified arborists like Westcoast Tree Care are members of professional associations and are insured and certified to perform the work. They will also have the training, equipment, and experience to get the job done safely and correctly. Last but not least, if a neighbor does have concerns, having it done by a certified arborist might put them more at ease.
Recommended Steps You Should Take:
- Figure out who owns a problematic tree and where your property line is located. These things need to be certain because you can’t just take the best guess as fence lines may have been moved over time. Sometimes if a tree is especially large or valuable, it’s best to have your property professionally surveyed to make certain of ownership.
- Have a qualified Milwaukie tree care professional assess the situation and write up specifications on what should be done. This is usually a little more complex than stating that a tree’s limbs need to be cut back to a property line. Instead, their work will include professional standards to assure procedures being proposed take into consideration the health and safety of a tree. You should also obtain a copy of their current liability insurance policy and check their references as well.
- Last but not least, one of the most important things you should do when dealing with trees on a property line is getting the tree owner’s consent to get any tree work done. It is not okay to ignore this step or tell a Milwaukie tree care professional to go ahead with the work if it’s not your tree. Cutting or removing a tree without the knowledge or consent of its owner can lead to disputes that end up in a court of law.
Westcoast Tree Care
In conclusion, the best thing you can do is speak to a Milwaukie tree care professional with the experience, expertise, and equipment to assess, prune, or remove a tree. If you’d like more information, contact Westcoast Tree Care by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733 today. We will take the time to walk your property, speak with your neighbor, and provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation quote.