…And I don’t like it. What is the deal here. It’s his tree but it’s hanging on my side and it’s bothering me. When a tree crosses property lines, that tree is considered shared property. Trees don’t really seem to be as concerned about property lines as we do. In fact, I’d say that on almost every property I visit, there is at least one tree that spans over a property line. Unfortunately, people don’t always have agreeable opinions about the trees. If you have a neighbor’s tree hanging over your property there are a few things you should know.
First and foremost, you have a right to maintain your property. If that tree is threatening your house, landscaping or any other identifiable asset, you have legal right to maintain the tree to protect your property.
The key word here is “maintain” the tree. If you compromise the life of the tree without just cause your neighbor will have a right to come after you.
One other important factor is that ownership of the tree is given to the person who owns the property where the trunk resides. If one of your neighbor’s trees has branches hanging on your side of fence, he can still remove the entire tree even through part of it is over yard. Trespassing is a whole different story; the tree would have to be removed with out accessing your yard unless you give permission.
If the trunk spans the property line the the tree is truly a shared tree and you both have equal ownership. Things might get ugly if you can’t both agree on a solution. There is no written law regarding trees. Only legal precedent.
Ultimately, if your intentions are wholesome and you are just trying to take care of you property, then trim away. If things are getting ugly, you should get a written recommendation from a qualified professional arborist.