Need help with a neighbor's newly plated trees

A new neighborhood was built behind my property on what was a farm. One of the new neighbor's adjoining my property planted a row of Leyland Cypress trees just two feet inside his property line. I planted a row of them ten feet from the three lines so I will be able to mow around them when they mature. The neighbor's trees are going to grow over the line by several feet, restricting my mowing. I am seventy years old with some health issues and I don't feel that I will be able to, or should have to, keep his trees trimmed. I talked to him about the situation and he said he is planning to keep them trimmed, which I don't think is going to happen. Any ideas on what can I do to get him to move the trees?
Thanks.
Frank
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There's probably nothing you can do to compel him to move the trees. Any plant that encroaches on to your property, you are allowed to trim however you see fit. If you apply any chemical which would kill the trees, you could be liable for the cost of their replacement. What you can do is tell your neighbor that when the trees do encroach on your property, you are going to give him one chance to trim them, then you are going to hire a tree service to trim then and you are going to send him the bill. If he tells you he won't pay it, tell him you'll be more than happy to let a judge decide in small claims court.
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Sorry. That should say PLANTED

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I'm not sure exactly what the problem is here, unless you have limited yard space on your property. Don't these trees add value to both properties in terms of privacy and scenery? More than half the tree will be on his side. And your neighbor paid for them.
If you do have limited space, then this is a problem, as leyland cypress can grow to 60'+ and 15' across. In this case, there are other screening trees that would have been better choices.
As for mowing issues, no matter where you plant them, unless they are way inside his yard, you still can only get so close to them on your side with a riding mower, leaving an uncut area.
If you really must do something, then I would try explaining to your neighbor that you have the right to trim the trees where they extend over the property line. Explain that with them two feet from the line if they are trimed they will likely die because there would be relatively little left of half the tree. Plus they will look like hell on your side, but soundsl like he may not care about that. If that doesn't work, then as a last resort, maybe a letter from your lawyer explaing the above.
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As I said in my original post, I planted a row of Leyland Cypress at the rear of my property five years ago to form a screen. I planted mine ten feet from the three property lines so I will be able to mow between them and the lines. His trees will eventually grow to meet mine, restricting my mowing. I have one acre of property, so space is not the issue. If he had a large oak or other shade tree crossing the line, I would not have a problem with it. It's the low level growth that bothers me. I don't impose on other people's property and expect the same of them. I just don't want someone to think they can use my property as theirs.
I did explain the situation to him and that if the trees are trimmed to that extent they will probably die. My health issues will put me in a position to hire someone to do the trimming and hauling the trash. I don't feel that I should be put in that position.
I'm feel I'm a good neighbor, helping my neighbors whenever they need me. I have a fully equipped woodworking shop and a welder and I gladly use them to help my neighbors without charge.
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The whole thing still makes little sense to me. Most people plant privacy screens that are close to the property line and then just mow up to their side of it, not both sides, with a wasted buffer strip on the far side. It's also less work. The trees, while planted on one sides property, often have branches that extend a reasonable distance into the other party's property. This only seems fair, as both parties are benefitting from the privacy screen, so to have it take up some space from both sides is not unreasonable.
If I had your lot size with plenty of space, I'd be very happy with the privacy screen your neighbor has provided. Legally, you can trim it to your line, but I fail to see why anyone would want to do it. BTW, how big is your neighbors yard compared to yours?
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On 28 Apr 2004 06:42:50 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net (Chet Hayes) wrote:

The basic fact is that there is a row of the same trees on the original poster's (OP) property. The neighbor doesn't need his trees. They are redundant. The trees on the OP's property will not cross the line, leaving more of the neighbor's property avaolable to him.
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Frank,
No matter how good of a neighbor you are, there are always those who just don't care about anyone else. This is why we have lawyers. You shouldn't be inconvienienced by your neighbor's landscaping and it sounds as if this will definitely happen. If you prune back your neighbor's trees to the extent the trees die, you could possibly be liable for their replacement. I still believe your neighbor should have to either take care of his trees himself, or failing this you should be able to pay someone to do it at his expense.
If you are unsure about what to do, I would suggest consulting with a lawyer. I would suggest going to a real estate lawyer, because they would be most likely to have experience in such matters and be most familiar with property encroachment issues. A consultation and a letter on the lawyer's letterhead (if needed) should only cost whatever the lawyer's hourly rate is. Real Estate lawyers' hourly rates typically run about $75 per hour. A letter from the lawyer to your neighbor explaining your intent to hold him liable for whatever expenses his trees cost you would let him know how serious you are about the issue and may in itself correct his behavior. In the event you are forced to sue him in a couple of years, you will have proof that you tried to resolve the issue with him very early on.
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After reading POPPOP's post, I now realize we're talking about a double row of trees. I realized the OP had also planted rows of trees, but I didn't realize that one row was along the same line as the neighbor.
So, there is one line of trees 2 feet inside the neighbors property and another 10 feet inside the OP's. I still don't see the problem. Now you have a double row of trees only 12 feet apart forming a privacy screen. These trees can grow to 60ft by 15ft. They will overlap, forming one continuous privacy screen. Why would anyone want or care about mowing between them, trimming etc.
Before I wasted money on lawyers, I'd do an internet search. It won't be hard to find plenty of info that will validate the right to do trimming over your airspace, but at your own cost.
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Some neighbors suck. It is the luck of the draw I suppose. I have a guy next door that thinks about 4 feet into my property is his. He isn't going to be happy when I put up that privacy fence. Maybe you can put up a privacy fence on just that property line. Any ideas on what would happen to the trees if this was done?
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I have thought of a fence, but then again the victim has the burden of protection against intruders. Some people that have replied to the thread said that since I have more property than the neighbor, that I should be willing to let it go and that I will benefit from the trees. First, I have a row of trees that are more than five years ahead of the neighbor;s and they are the ones I will benefit from. His are redundant. Second, as far as me having more property, that's what I am paying for and I want FULL access to it, even if only to mow it. I had a next door neighbor who thought the property lines meant little and he used my property to turn on when mowing his grass. If my grass was longer than his, I wound up with a scalloped edge along that line until I mowed it. Both of my next door neighbors and I do not cross the lines when mowing and we don't even blow the clippings on each others property. They are great neighbors. I wish the one in back was the same.
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wrote in message

That's one of the reasons why I'm glad I moved into a neighborhood with a homeowner's association. We work out problems like yours within the community.
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Frank K. left a note on my windscreen which said:

Here in the UK you are entitled to trim anything overhanging your property line - it is a legal requirement, however, that you give the cuttings to the owner of the tree afterwards.
I would give him fair chance to trim the trees for you. It is far better to settle anything like this in a friendly manner before resorting to more threatening behaviour.
If nothing gets done then possibly seek more sound legal advice than you may find here on a newsgroup. You will probably find that you are within your rights to hire someone to trim the trees and present the bill to your neighbour, providing you gave your neighbour a reasonable amount of time to do the job. But don't take my word for it - seek legal advice if you cannot settle the matter amicably.
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Stoneskin

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In a situation like this in the US, in general, you can trim tree growth overhanging into your airspace, but there is no legal obligation for the neighbor to pay for it.
Unless the OP has a small lot, which I didn't get the impression was the case, I don't see what the real problem is. He gets a nice privacy screen between the properties, paid for by the neighbor, with less than half the tree width winding up on his property. Sounds like an already amicable solution. Though, if I were the neighbor, I might have talked to the OP first, to discuss what I was planning to do.
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Frank K. wrote:

Does your municipality or county have property line easements on which you aren't supposed to plant trees or erect anything?
Are there overhead or buried utility lines along the rear property line?
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Good thought. I will check with the county. I do know there is a prescribed measurement from a property line in which you cannot build. Not sure how it applies to vegetation.
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