Firefox, or In the event that trees hang over the fence, most states agree that the property owner may cut tree limbs and remove roots where they cross over the property line, provided that such pruning will not damage the basic health and welfare of the tree. Trees Overview The law allows you to cut back any branches or roots from neighbours’ trees that are encroaching on your property. Young founded Fallen Fruit, a local art collective which also maps the location of public fruit trees in L.A. and elsewhere. The tree may constitute a nuisance, by interfering with your use and enjoyment of your own property. A few branches of Sue’s apple tree extend over the fence and hang above the yard of Sue’s neighbor, Janet. The spreading of tree roots on my land damaged my neighbor's septic tank/swimming pool. While trees and neighbors can sometimes be a volatile combination, especially among neighbors who generally don't get along, it's important to know your rights and responsibilities before taking drastic measures. Encroachments: Unwelcome Invaders [PDF] A 2008 article from Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension which briefly discusses the issues a landowner may face with a neighbor's encroaching tree branches, roots or grass. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Google Chrome, The branches of a neighbor’s tree may hang over onto your property. If your neighbor took reasonable care to maintain the tree branch, and the tree branch did not seem to a reasonable person to be threatening to fall, then probably not. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. Florida's agricultural economy has been required to co-exist with rapid population and commercial growth in the state over the last twenty-five years. Utility companies may also have an interest in the tree's removal if the tree's condition threatens any of its equipment or causes a fire hazard. Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors For example, the Baltimore Orchard Project seeks to: Baltimore Orchard Project: About Us page. Each of you owns all of it, jointly. Trees can give your property shade in the summertime, a home for songbirds, and general beauty. So long as the tree trunk is wholly in the neighbor's yard, it belongs to the neighbor. Recent storms have caused small branches to fall into their yard. Posted on May 16, 2012 by Kristine Dunkerton. Phone: 410-366-0922 Microsoft Edge. The court will probably apply a reasonable care standard. Let’s think about an interesting legal question related to urban gleaning: Sue owns a large apple tree, which grows near the border of her property; the property line is clearly marked with a fence. "There's no written law about who owns the fruit that's hanging into public space, but there is a common law about neighbors," said Young. Florida law prohibits a neighbor from cutting down a neighbor’s tree or even entering a neighbor’s property without permission from the owner. The answer depends on what state Sue and Janet live in. And that depends on where the tree is relative to the property line (also known as the “boundary line”).. Basically, if the trunk and visible roots are wholly on your neighbour’s property, your neighbour owns the tree. Courts are divided on who can have fallen fruit, however, so check your local laws to see if you can eat any fruit … The apples belong to Janet, not Sue. If the tree trunk is not on the boundary, the fruit on the tree belongs to the owner of the tree. The email address cannot be subscribed. A simple call to a utility company may prompt them to remove the tree themselves. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location. Under this rule, Janet owns the branches that have trespassed onto her property, because everything within her boundary lines, up to the heavens, belongs to her. Real Est. Who owns the tree. In that event, you have the right to the fruit growing on branches that are on your side of the line. It’s not just individuals who could be a tree-keeper; it could be an organisation or body corporate. You are allowed to trim the tree branches up to the property line, but do not damage the tree or cross the boundary. However, some overhanging branches can only be removed from the other side of the fence. This page from self-help legal publisher Nolo discusses who has the right to pick fruit from a tree in someone's yard. I don't think they should dump every fallen branch into my yard. If my neighbor's leaves keep blowing into my yard, do I have a good nuisance claim? If my neighbor owns a fruit tree, and the branches hang over my property, can I eat the fruit? But trees also can be a source of tension among neighbors if they're not properly maintained, drop debris over the fence, or cause other problems. The question is: who owns the fruit on the branches above Janet’s yard? Stay up-to-date with how the law affects your life, Name How strange that the “trunk rule” means that a neighbor may cut down branches entirely but may not pick fruit from those same branches. Natural products: While it is tempting to pick the fruit from branches hanging over your property, you might consider asking your neighbor first, as that fruit still belongs to them. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. Sue seems to always have more apples than she can eat, and Janet would like to pick the apples that hang from the branches of Sue’s tree over Janet’s yard to share with her neighbors. If, however, the tree branches that are shedding the leaves are hanging over your yard, or the tree trunk is encroaching on your property, then you have a right to trim those branches up to the property line. Other states have followed a different rule, which establishes the ownership of the tree and its branches, fruit, and roots solely by the location of the trunk. And lastly there is a wild grape vine hanging down in a local stores parking lot. A storm knocked down my neighbor's tree limb onto my property, damaging my house/car/swimming pool/yard furniture. If an encroaching tree was planted, not wild, the neighbor may sue. In this circumstance, you will need to get permission from next door. In some states, the owner of a tree retains ownership of the fruit even when it extends onto a neighbor's property. In no event will the author, her employer, or the publisher be liable to you or anyone else for any action taken in reliance on the information in this blog or for any consequential, special or similar damages incurred, even if advised of the possibility of such damages. My neighbor asks us to pick them but we don't for the rambutan harvested from our own trees are more juicy and delicious. How to Start & Maintain a Nonprofit Organization in Maryland, Application for Legal Training or Workshop, How to Start & Maintain a Nonprofit Organization in Maryland – Online Workshop, Tax Time for Nonprofits 2020 Online Workshop, How to Obtain Assistance from Community Law Center. Janet could also dig up any roots that have crossed to her property under the ground, because the traditional property ownership rule states that she owns her property down to the center of the earth. Under this rule, Janet could not collect the apples that hang over her property, and she also could not prevent Sue from coming onto Janet’s property for the purpose of collecting Sue’s apples. We recommend using Are you a legal professional? A few branches of Sue’s apple tree extend over the fence and hang above the yard of Sue’s neighbor, Janet. This blog is not intended to do harm to, defame, libel, or malign any religious or ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or government entity. [Loosely translated: “for whoever owns the land, it is theirs all the way up to the heavens and down to Hell.”]. The practice of cutting overhanging branches is defined as ‘abating a nuisance’. Janet could, however, treat the branches as a trespass on her property and either sue for trespass and receive damages from Sue or cut the branches down that hang over her property. The tree belongs to the person in whose garden it grows. If the trunk is located entirely on A’s land — even if most of its limbs and branches extend across the boundary or its roots encroach onto B’s land – A owns the tree. They say it is my responsibility to pick up after my tree. Contact a qualified attorney to help you address difficulties with your neighbors. Design by KTDCreative Copyright © 2020, Thomson Reuters. The rule about picking fruit get a bit cloudy when it comes to your neighbors' fruit trees that happen to hang over into your property. No. Even if the leaves cause damage, like clogging your gutters or pipes, you have no legal claims against the owner of the tree. A lawyer can review the facts and provide information tailored for your specific circumstances and local laws. My neighbor dug up his yard, and in the process killed a tree that's just on my side of the property line. If your neighbor doesn't remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable. When a neighbors tree branch is over hanging an adjoining property line, the adjoining property owner has an absolute right to cut the branch up to the property line. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. No. ... "I had a neighbour whose mangoes was hanging over my fence … If the trunk of the tree extends over the boundary, this does not give you the right to chop it down. A neighbor may only sue if the tree is noxious. One major issue that arises between neighbors in fence disputes is whether both parties are equally responsible for the costs of maintaining and repairing a fence that is located on the property line between the adjoining properties. You could file a nuisance claim, and if the court finds that the true is a nuisance, the court may order the tree removed. Cuttings and fruit belong to the tree owner. Ornamental or landmark trees can have a value of between $20,000 and $60,000. Partner with  individuals and organizations to plant trees, orchards and food forests for the benefit of the community. With approximately 19,000 livestock farms in the state, along with horse farms; orange groves; croplands of soybeans, sugarcane, cotton, and peanuts; and many other agricultural and livestock facilities, livestock and farming have a significant impact on Florida's economy. However, Hawaii courts have held that any part of a plant or a tree that is within your property line is yours, fruit included. ... even when it is hanging over a fence above a public footpath. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. On the other hand, if the tree was not properly maintained and your neighbor knew or should have known that the tree or its branches posed a threat, then your neighbor could be liable for the damages caused. So in California, and any other states that follow the traditional rule, Janet may pick the apples that hang above her property to share with her neighbors. However, utility companies are exempted from this prohibition, under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes. Vermont follows the same rule in Skinner v. Wilder, 1865 WL 2196 (1865). Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions, NEW Edition! Search. Hi r3jcorp, it's true that according law of the land, we have the right to pluck our neighbor's fruits hanging on the branches growing over our fence. I have a large maple tree in my yard and some of the branches hang over my neighbor's yard. If you have a neighbour’s tree hanging over … All information in this blog is provided “as-is,” with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. 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