Trimming Trees On Neighbor Fence Lines

We get a lot of questions related to the issue of how to handle tree trimming needs on a tree that is shared by two neighbors. This situation arises when a tree that has its trunk on your neighbor’s property and has part of the tree canopy hanging over your property or vice versa. Or, your tree is planted on your property but the branches and limbs overhang into your neighboring property’s air space. These are common occurrences and we’d love to explain some of the choices you and your neighbors have. Read more about how to be a good neighbor while getting these trees to look much better….

At Brents Tree Service we come across this type of situation daily. When we have a tree that needs trimming but the trunk of it sits on your neighbors property, the first thing you should do is ask your neighbor about that tree. We always recommend being a good communicative neighbor. Asking him/her if there would be any issues on trimming the overhanging branches. If they say that they are fine with you trimming those branches and limbs then ask if they are interested in having the entire tree trimmed and balanced. Unfortunately when only trimming one side a tree, in some cases the tree can become unbalanced and have potential of breaking or cracking during a windstorm. Explaining this logic to your neighbor may entice them to invest into the protection of that tree in question.

Even if you are told by your neighbor that they do not want you to trim their tree’s limbs and branches that overhang onto your property’s air space, then legally you are still allowed to proceed with the trimming up to your property line but not crossing over. We always recommend leaving a “buffer-zone” just incase to avoid any type of issues with a neighbor that doesn’t want you to trim any of the branches from his trees (even though you’re legally within your rights to do so).

Now what if your tree that is planted on your property has over grown into your neighbor’s air space? Again, communicating with your neighbor before any trimming is done is always the best approach. If the neighbor is undecided about allowing you or a company you hire to come on to their property to trim over hanging limbs then explain what can happen if a tree is left unbalanced. Leaving the tree to be trimmed only on one side can increase the chances of property damage to the neighbor’s property during an inevitable wind or thunder storm.

Overall, being a good neighbor is the best anyone can do in these situations. “Do to others and you would like other to do to you” is the best approach. Isn’t that the “Golden Rule”? Definitely applies to trees shared by neighbors as well!