Can I trim my neighbor’s tree?

Translate this page
A young woman with brown hair wearing a form-fitting gray sweater shrugs.

11/18/2014 | Author: Legal Staff

Branches from a tree in my neighbor’s yard hang over our shared fence. These branches hang low and block a walkway on the side of my garage. Can I trim the branches back to the property line?

You have the right to remove the over-hanging branches, but that doesn’t mean you should run outside with your saw. If you damage the tree or violate any local ordinances regarding tree trimming and limb removal, you could find yourself liable for damages or facing fines.

Start by talking to your neighbor about the branches, and get his agreement on how you’ll trim the tree. Also, check with your city about any restrictions on pruning trees.

Have a question about buying, selling, or leasing property in Texas? Ask us. Not all submitted questions will be answered.

Categories: Homeowners
Tags: trees, homeowners, legal


Comments

Leonard DeBono on 12/17/2014

Typically not unless as David said the owner of the tree was notified of an unsafe condition and they chose not to correct it.  Owners have every right to take care of their own property and will assume liability if a dangerous condition causes damage on their own property.  That is what insurance is for.  Definitely want to try and be good neighbors and cooperate, but permission to trim on your side of fence is not required.

David Hageman on 12/17/2014

Cindi - No they do not have liability… UNLESS the tree is dying or in some other danger of falling AND even in that case you must have notified the tree owner in writing that you consider the tree to be a danger. I had a neighbor’s tree fall into my home, causing $70K in damages and it was all on me. Shortly after I wrote him a certified letter explaining the nightly one hour plus watering was damaging the trees and making them a danger to neighbors. The over watering stopped but the insurance deductible and claim were all mine.

Cindi Bulla on 12/16/2014

Does the owner of the tree (or property manager)have any potential liability to the neighbor for personal or property damage caused by overhanging limbs?


Leave a Comment

Read our commenting policy



advertise with us

Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

Advice for Consumers

4 signs the home you’re considering might need a foundation evaluation

Five reasons to include a home warranty with your home’s sale

What a pivotal moment in world history can teach us today

Subscribe

More advice for consumers