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Navigating Trees and Property Lines During Storm Season: A Neighbor’s Guide

Navigate storm seasons with neighborly wisdom! Our guide covers property lines, shared trees, and responsibilities.
Trees are more than mere fixtures; they contribute to the aesthetic appeal of our homes and increase property value. However, when these arboreal wonders extend beyond property lines, it can lead to disagreements between neighbors. Additionally, if a tree falls, the costs for repair can be substantial. The following insights aim to address questions and challenges related to tree ownership:

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  1. Your Property, Your Tree: A tree near a property line belongs to the owner of the ground it grows on, even if it was planted by the neighbor. Property surveys can determine precise boundary lines.
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  1. Shared Tree, Shared Responsibility: When a tree straddles the boundary line, it becomes a boundary tree owned by both neighbors. Shared responsibility and agreement are crucial for maintenance and potential removal.
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  1. If a Neighbor’s Branch Hangs in Your Yard, You Can Cut It: Neighbors can trim branches that extend over their property but only up to their property line. Excessive pruning that leads to the tree’s death may hold legal implications.
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  1. Damage From Your Tree’s Wandering Roots Is on You: The owner is financially liable when a tree’s roots damage a neighbor’s property. Legal authorities might order the tree’s owner to cover removal costs.
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  1. No Picking Without Permission: While a neighbor can trim overhanging branches, picking fruit without permission is not allowed. The law on fallen fruit may vary, so local regulations should be considered.
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  1. Leaves in Your Yard Are Always Your Responsibility: Property owners are responsible for clearing leaves in their yard as leaves are considered a “natural product.”
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  1. You Probably Don’t Have Rights to a Scenic View: In many cases, you may not have rights to a scenic view if a neighbor’s trees obstruct it. Some communities may have view ordinances, so local regulations should be checked.
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  1. If Your Tree Falls in Your Neighbor’s Yard, You Might Not Be Liable: Natural causes leading to a fallen tree or limb place responsibility on the person whose yard it fell into. Negligence, however, can change this dynamic.
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  1. You’re Responsible for Trees on an Easement on Your Property: Property owners are generally responsible for fallen trees on an easement unless the easement agreement specifies otherwise.

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Understanding these aspects helps foster positive neighborly relationships during storm seasons and ensures shared responsibility. #NeighborlyRelations #PropertyOwnership #TreeCareTips

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