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Can you legally trim a tree on your property line?

| Jun 19, 2021 | Real Estate Law

A beautiful, mature tree on your property can add a lot to its value. Its natural features can also add to your enjoyment of your home through beautification, shade and even fruits are flowers.

Unfortunately, a tree that your neighbor plants on the property line might be a nuisance to you if it hangs over onto your property. It could drip sap, damage your paved driveway or even drop branches on your lawn. Can you hold your neighbor accountable for the impact of their tree on your property?

Property owners aren’t responsible for natural features

There are no laws that talk about tree damage across property lines, but court precedent sends a clear message. Owners can’t reasonably predict weather that could knock a healthy branch out of a tree.

Unless there is clear neglect, damage caused by a tree likely won’t be your neighbor’s legal responsibility. You may have to take preventative measures yourself. Do you have the legal right to do anything about your neighbor’s tree that darkens your garden or constantly drops leaves in your pool?

Connecticut law allows you to carefully trim branches and roots

A tree that sits right on the property line probably has both branches and roots that extend onto your land. You have the legal right to carefully trim roots and branches that cross the property boundary.

Caution is necessary, as your neighbor could hold you accountable if your trimming efforts kill the tree. Additionally, if you trim the tree at a point over the property line, your neighbor might be able to take action against you for that as well.

Verifying the boundary and ensuring that you are cautious and how you trim can help reduce the likelihood of property litigation related to your tree trimming effort.