A tree belongs to the individual who owns the land on which it grows. However, if you own a property on which the branches of trees overhang, you are usually permitted to chop back the branches to the borderline. You don’t need to get the owner’s permission before removing overhanging branches, but it’s a good idea to inform them before doing so – they are less likely to complain about it.
If you do plan to get rid of overhanging branches, there are certain matters you should bear in mind:
If you think that a tree of your neighbors could be dangerous to your property and house – you should discuss it with your neighbor. If they are not willing to do anything about it or not allowing you to act, contact your local authorities.
Possibility of Damaging Property or Hurting Someone
If you damaged the property or injured someone while removing overhanging branches, the owner of property or the injured person may claim damage coverage from you. This is a good reason to employ a professional arborist to perform the job for you. You should also check that they are insured against property damages and injuries, before employing them.
Possibility of Damaging the Tree
If you damaged the tree while removing the overhanging branches, the tree’s owner could bring a claim against you for trespass or damages. If you aim to get rid of a substantial part of trees, hire a professional arborist.
Possibility of Trespassing
If you remove the trees branches beyond the boundary line without the permission of your neighbor, you will commit a trespass. Obtain legal advice if you are in doubt to figure out the boundary line.
Possibility that the Tree May be the Matter of Tree Preservation Order
If the tree in question is the subject of a tree preservation order, you may need to get permission from your local planning authority before doing any work on it.
Ownership of the Overhanging Branches After the Removal
The owner of the tree remains the owner of any branches, even after the branches have been removed. Therefore after removing the branches, you should return them, together with any fruit that is growing on them. If you fail to do, your act will amount to stealing.
Before removing the overhanging branches ask the owner what they would like to with the branches and any fruit growing on them, rather than throwing them back into their backyard. If you are unable to speak to the owner of the tree, write to them clearing up that you aim to dispose of the overhanging branches, for example, seven days of their removal.
If you’re seeking professional help or have questions, please feel free to contact us at Sexy Trees.