It sounds like this is the neighbors tree and you have its roots in your
yard? Is this true??
If so, careful here from a legal point of view. I am NOT a lawyer, but I am
a consulting arborist. It is my understanding that (depending on where you
are) you have the right to self-help if there is encroachment upon your real
estate by a neighbor's vegetation - above and below ground.
I.e. - "..it's his tree, he should keep it in his yard..." as it were. As
you know this is not easy to do with roots.
However, if you were to take some action to control the root encroachment
that results in the death of the tree, or that (Lord forbid) results in the
tree toppling over and damaging something or someone, you may have the
potential for a real legal problem.
My advice is to a good consulting arborist involved, and let this person
assess the situation, make recommendations in writing, etc. Money well-spent
IMO. I have seen, and been part of, many cases where arborists and attorneys
are called in after the fact and the conflict is full blown. Don't go there.
Mike LaMana, MS
Heartwood Consulting Services, LLC
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