Who Is Responsible for an Overhanging Tree?

November 13, 2020 11:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Overhanging trees can be stressful. The responsibility of cutting overhanging tree branches is not always intuitive, which can cause conflict between neighbors in Newton, MA. Laws can also vary depending on where you live, so it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities. If a tree’s trunk is on your property, but its branches extend over your neighbor’s yard, who is responsible for those branches?

Trimming your neighbor’s tree

In Massachusetts, if a tree trunk is on your neighbor’s property but the branches extend over your yard, you have a right to trim the overhanging tree branches. You are not required to, but sometimes branches may block too much light or leave debris on your roof that you’d rather not deal with. In those cases, you are permitted to trim your neighbor’s tree back to the property line, but no further.

Your responsibilities

If there is an overhanging tree whose trunk is on your Newton, MA property, you don’t need to cut any healthy branches that extend into your neighbor’s yard—that’s up to them. However, you do have to make sure there are no unhealthy branches on your overhanging tree. You’re responsible for maintaining the health of all the trees on your property. If you neglect your yard and aren’t aware that there are dead or dying branches on some of your trees, those branches may fall and cause damage to your neighbor’s property.

For example, say you noticed that a tree on your property had died but hadn’t gotten around to having it removed yet. In the even that a storm came and knocked the tree into your neighbor’s house, significantly damaging their roof, there’s a good chance you’d be liable for paying for that damage. So, if you notice that a tree in your yard is unhealthy or dying, don’t procrastinate in trimming any dead branches or removing the entire overhanging tree!

Damage caused by healthy trees

Though less common, there are times when a healthy overhanging tree may cause damage. Perhaps a storm causes healthy branches to fall, or even takes down a whole overhanging tree. In those cases, even if the tree trunk is on your property, you are not liable for any damage done to your neighbor’s yard. The damage was not caused by any neglect on your part, so you can’t be held responsible for it.

Be a good neighbor

Though it’s easy to see how an overhanging tree might cause issues between neighbors in Newton, MA, knowing your rights and responsibilities can help prevent occasions for conflict. The professionals at BBD Tree Service can help you deal with any of the problems that an overhanging tree presents, including determining if any of your tree branches are unhealthy and need to be trimmed, removing dead branches or cutting back any overhanging tree branches from a tree whose trunk is in your neighbor’s yard.

Before calling BBD Tree Service, just be sure to chat with your neighbor and let them know your plans. There’s no need for an overhanging tree to cause any conflict between respectful neighbors.

Categorised in:

This post was written by Writer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *