Having a large tree on your property can make it more attractive to potential buyers. It can also help create shady places for yourself, your kids or your pet to rest while outside on a warm day. However, you will also be responsible for making sure that the tree doesn’t cause damage to another person’s property.
Should I Clean the Fallen Leaves?
As a general rule, you are only responsible for raking leaves that fall on your property. Your neighbor will generally be responsible for cleaning any leaves that fall on his or her property or that blow onto his or her property from your yard. Likewise, your neighbor is responsible for keeping gutters and downspouts free from leaves or other debris regardless of where they come from.
Do I Need to Trim the Branches?
Pruning may seem cruel, but it improves tree health. Furthermore, it can reduce the chances that a branch will fall through another person’s home or on another person’s car. Generally speaking, you are responsible for any branches or other portions of a tree that end up falling on another person’s home, car or yard. However, it may be possible to take action to avoid damaging the tree or having to make a homeowner’s insurance claim. For instance, some trees may be relocated further away from your neighbor’s home or other property. This may be the best solution for smaller trees or those that don’t have deep roots. It may also prevent fallen foliage from blowing into the neighbor’s yard.
Can My Neighbor Trim the Branches?
Typically, your neighbor has the right to trim any portion of a tree that extends onto that person’s property. However, that individual cannot cut the tree down or take any action to damage it. If your neighbor damages your tree while attempting to trim it, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Compensation may include the cost of a new tree or any damage caused to your yard in the event that the tree falls on it.
It is critical that you take steps to keep your trees neatly trimmed and in good health. Sick or dead trees are more likely to tip over or have their branches ripped off during a snowstorm or high wind event. If you don’t feel comfortable maintaining a tree on your own, a professional may be able to do so for you.
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