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What rights do you have regarding your neighbor’s tree?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Uncategorized |

Ohio is perfectly situated for homeowners who have a green thumb or just a desire to spend time in green spaces to cultivate a broad range of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Deciduous trees typically drop their leaves during the colder Ohio fall and remain barren until spring brings them back to life, while coniferous trees are also called evergreen trees because they retain their needles and color year-round.

Both kinds of trees can beautify a property and offer other benefits, but they can both also cause headaches and have considerable drawbacks. Pine trees may acidify the soil and prevent other plants from growing, while deciduous trees dropping their leaves in the fall will necessitate a large amount of physical labor to remove them. Trees can also split or break, causing property damage or even injuries to others.

You have may have concerns about a tree on your neighbor’s property that is very close to the boundary line or has begun to encroach on your property. What rights do you have when it comes to a neighbor’s tree?

Your property line extends up into the sky

You don’t just own all in the land within your boundaries, but also the area above it. If the tree and its roots are firmly on your neighbor’s property, you do not share ownership of it. However, branches that encroach on your property are yours to address as you see fit. Provided you do not do so in a manner that harms or kills the tree, you have every legal right to trim encroaching branches or roots from a neighbor’s tree moving into your property.

Your neighbor has an obligation to monitor their tree and take action if it becomes dangerous or is in clear danger of falling over or causing property damage. If a healthy tree falls on your property and causes damages because of a windstorm, a homeowner’s insurance claim may cover your costs. If the tree is obviously dangerous, your neighbor — not their insurance company — may have the liability for the damage it causes. An experienced attorney can advise you based on your specific circumstances.