One of my neighbors has a giant maple tree overhanging my side yard. At 72
years young, I still mow my own grass. I keep my own trees trimmed so I
don't have to do the duck & weave while mowing. I asked my neighbor if he
would mind if I trimmed his tree because of the obstacle it creates. It's
not like I'm going to be climbing on a ladder to trim this thing, but just
so it doesn't smack my glasses off. The young man let go with some four
letter words, with finishing he will sue me if I touch his tree. What
happened to the country we used to live in? Do I have to put up with this?
The law in this part of the world allows you to cut off any branches
that overhang your property, providing that you don't offend tree
prerservation orders. The owner of the tree retains ownership of
anything that you cut off including fruit. That means the cut branches
go back over the fence.
Check your local laws first and good luck. Sounds like you have a
pretty rotten neighbour.
Call your homeowner insurance agent. He will know the legalities in your
area. I had a situation like that and cut down a hundred year old tree on my
neighbor's property. When they sued me for $250,000 my homeowner insurance
company paid all my legal expenses and the $10,000 settlement
Do you have a pre-existing feud with this guy? Normally people don't
cuss at someone who politely asks to trim a tree crossing the property
line. Even if there is something you aren't telling us I am going to
help you out as best I can because you are on the alt.home.repair forum
and your neighbor isn't.
Here is how I would handle the problem. I would send my neighbor a
written request by certified mail to cut the grass under the tree on
your side of the yard since he "will sue you" if you "touch the tree."
I would allow the grass (only under the tree) to grow until it is
considered a nuisance according to the city regulations. Then your
other neighbor who you are on good terms with can complain to the city
and they can write you a citation. You can then go into court with the
citation and a copy of your letter and subpoena your neighbor. Explain
to the judge that you are unable to cut the grass under the tree any
longer, offered to trim the tree, and offered to allow your neighbor to
maintain the grass under the tree. What more could you do? The judge
my ask your neighbor to allow you to cut the tree, tell your neighbor
he has no right (if he doesn't) or even reassign the citation to your
neighbor since you would have cut he grass had the neighbor not scared
you out of it with all the cussing.
Hope this helps,
How is pissing on the neighbor's shoes going to help things? It could
backfire as well. If such a letter was sent, and the neighbor agrees
to mow the lawn under the tree (already questionable character), Smitty
has now created a situation that is worse than before. He's given
permission for the neighbor to come onto his property on a regular
basis and maintain it.
Having to use a neighbor to collaborate against another neighbor,
having people subpoenaed and wasting time and money in the judicial
system is not the way to go about this...unless you want to inflame
things and piss everyone off and become the neighborhood pariah.
I don't like the current legal system. I hate it. However, we are
forced to work within the system which is provided. I don't like my
taxes either and think the government should spend much less -- but I
pay them. It only takes one of the two sides to force the legal route.
The neighbor is going to take him to court if he touches the tree. If
he is sure the neighbor is bluffing he would have just cut the tree and
been done with it. My suggestion allows the case to be brought in
front of a judge without anyone suing anyone. The worst that could
happen is someone is required to pay a small fine for letting the grass
grow 1/4" too high.
I don't care if my neighbor comes an extra 5 feet into the edge of my
yard with a running lawnmower to cut my grass under his tree. The
neighbor doesn't have permission to be on the property otherwise or in
other areas not under the tree. I also don't think that the neighbor
would take him up on the offer. If he did, who cares, let him cut the
grass under the tree. Problem solved.
Hope this helps,
Hey Smitty. As the saying goes, don't wrestle with pigs, you'll only
get dirty and the pig likes it! Whenever I run into such a person who
is so tremendously rude for no apparent reason, I figure their homelife
must be pretty miserable and they feel compelled to take it out on
Local statutes may very but the rule of thumb is that you may trim
branches overhanging your property as long as you don't trespass and as
long as you don't damage the tree. A trim to clear branches to mow
your lawn unimpeded isn't damaging the tree. Lopping off all the
branches on your side to make a point, and killing the tree some months
down the road, is.
This web page gives a pretty good overview of the issues if you want to
read up on it. http://tinyurl.com/88ehl
For a little levity on the same topic read this reply from the
_moderator_ of a legal newsgroup. Be forewarned, if you read the whole
thing you'll probably get a headache! http://tinyurl.com/ajg4j
In alt.home.repair on 17 Jun 2005 17:31:08 -0700 "RicodJour"
Best advice I've read.
WRT other posts, even if it is true that the neighbor continues to own
the limbs and the fruit, since there is no valuable fruit from a maple
tree, I wouldn't put the branches back on his land until he asks for
them. :) Otherwise, it's like adding insult to injury.
If I thought the guy might really get angry, I might call the local
cops in advance and find some sergeant or higher to suggest how to go
about it. Get his name and the date and time you called.
I'd put the branches where he won't see them and he probably won't
even notice that it's been trimmed.
It's good that he only threatened to sue you. Once he starts to do
that, he'll learn he has no case, especially for limbs that aren't
even 6 feet off the ground.
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
You could always decorate the branches that are hanging over with beer
cans, nice and high so he can see them. I am sure after a few months of
seing this mess, he might get the point and trim them for you ;-)
I had a couple of neighbors arguing about trees and shrubs growing over
each others property lines. The city code enforcement came out and
settled it for them. Then the city girl saw my avocado tree growing
over one of the neighbors' yard. So she knocked on my door. She told
me that I had to clear what was over the property line. I told her that
I thought it was the neighbors responsibility to clear the tree. Nope!
My responsibility. So I cut it straight up the property line. Didn't
look so good. Besides, the local power company had been topping it
every two years and it hadn't given me any fruit for the last 8 years or
so. So I cut it down completely. No more problem! That's in my city.
Your mileage may vary.
This is Turtle.
Well me i would just cut them and tell him to bite me if he said anything.
well if you wanted to , you could invite a few mean ass types over to be around
in the yard while you cut them and he will keep his mouth shut. You can check
with any bar in town owner to see about getting 3 or 4 bad asses for a few hours
to come over while you cut the limbs. Find out what they drink and have a good
amount of it.
Tell me where you live at and i can send a few People over to have a drink with
you while you cut the limbs. I live in south Louisiana.
Anything like a low limbs like that can put your eye out and i would cut them
because of them being a danger for me and others.
Not such a bad idea. I'd get out the chain saw, but I'd also take some steps
in case of retaliation. You may want to tell the story to the police, check
to be sure you can cut them (I'm 99.99% sure, but I'm not a lawyer) and tell
them when you are going to do so.
Are the branches overhanging (or partially overhanging) a public walkway
endangering people walking under it? If so, call the county inspector. In a
lot of municipalities the owner of any such tree can be cited and made to
This is Turtle.
Here is one to add to it. You tell him well i had to cut the limb because i was
putting up a metal portable carport to park my truck under and the limbs were in
Also I forgot one thing here. i got into falling trees in a hurrican and here is
Louisiana if a tree falls from the next door neighbor and lands in your yard.
the person's yard that the tree landed in is responciable to clean it up. Now
here comes the part to fit here.
If a tree is on your neighbors land and limb stick over to on your land. You are
responciable to trim and maintain any part of the tree that is over or on your
land. You can trim or do as you please with any bush or tree that is hanging on
or above your land. Now for leaves falling off it. You can cut the limb on your
side but you have to let the leaves fall as they please from any limbs on the
other fellows land.
P.S. I would still tell him to just Bite Me and cut them.
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