The 647th Neighbors trees thread

PaulR

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Sorry, too lazy to search.
Fence between properties, neighbors arborvitaes etc have grown so tall and fat on their side of the fence, they are encroaching ~5 feet over and past the fence onto my property. Creates difficulty mowing and dense shade where my grass can't grow/mossy etc.

Is it legal to trim his trees in my "airspace"?
or depends on the town/ call the building inspector/tree warden person?
or "don't be a d!ck and just talk to the neighbor"?

Thanks in advance.
🤓
 

Choctaw

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All of the above? Talk to the neighbor, explain the difficulty mowing, suggest that you'd like to do some judicious pruning. Depending on the type of tree and shape, it may look pretty odd if you shave everything hanging over the fence.
 

CATI

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Neighbors tree is dead. It hung over my fence.
Big branch fell through my fence.

I talk to them about it and they said that it was my branch since it was over the property line.

I paid $$$$ to clear cut the property line and half the stuff died on neighbors side.

legally. I did very little research but I do not if you do it incorrectly a mature tree is crazy money in a judgement

The solution. Is probably talk to the neighbor or have the wife mow the lawn. Or get a wife that will mow the lawn
 

Chevy 2 65

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Ask them if you can cut back whats over on your property. If the refuse, poor gas on the tree and fence, light it and sit back with a cold beer.
Kidding.

Talk to them, but get it in writing if they say it's ok for you to trim the bush. :p
 
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Sorry, too lazy to search.
Fence between properties, neighbors arborvitaes etc have grown so tall and fat on their side of the fence, they are encroaching ~5 feet over and past the fence onto my property. Creates difficulty mowing and dense shade where my grass can't grow/mossy etc.

Is it legal to trim his trees in my "airspace"?
or depends on the town/ call the building inspector/tree warden person?
or "don't be a d!ck and just talk to the neighbor"?

Thanks in advance.
🤓

Yes
 

Ref1968

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Massachusetts law recognizes a right of self-help by which a property owner can cut the limbs or branches of a tree that invade his property as long as such cutting is done at the property line. 'A neighbor has the right to remove so much of the tree as overhangs his property.


Massachusetts Law About Neighbors and Trees
Macero v. Busconi Corp., Civil No. 99-03577E (Middlesex Super.Ct.), 12
Mass. L. Rep. 521 (2000). "Massachusetts law recognizes a right of self-help by
which a property owner can cut the limbs or branches of a tree that invade his
property as long as such cutting is done at the property line. A neighbor has the
right to remove so much of the tree as overhangs his property....This court finds
that this right to self-help is not confined to those parties who can show that their
property was sufficiently damaged to justify their right to exercise self-help. The
remedy is open to any party whose property is invaded by intruding boughs and
roots."
Michalson v. Nutting, 275 Mass. 232 (1931). The owner of a tree is not
responsible for the damage its roots cause to neighboring property, but the
neighbor's "right to cut off the intruding boughs and roots is well recognized."
 
Last edited:

kevin9

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So legally you can cut everything on your side. However, it might be better to talk to your neighbor and come up with a trimming/thinning/pruning approach that will give you your yard back and not leave the trees looking like they've been mohawked.
 

greencobra

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when my neighbor gets sluggish cutting his hedges that run alongside my driveway and my truck is getting scratched by errant brush that creeps into my airspace, i take out an old camp saw and start hacking away on his bushes. no words are spoken, i just give him a side ways glance while i toss the gnawed off brush onto his property for clean up.
 
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Just hire the tree cutting companies that PSNH uses.....they're shave a straight line up one side of the tree right on the fenceline top to bottom just like they do along the roads
then OP will look at a brown squared off arbor vitae. Solves the mow problem but creates and eyesore.
 

PaulR

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Thanks everyone.
Since it's a double-line of arborvitaes deep onto his property, unseen by him, I may do some light-moderate trimming, then get talking to him about the larger trees that threaten my building on a longer term scale.

P
 

Enzo

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I had the same situation. The shrubs were maintained by the previous owner but after they divorced nothing was done to maintain the house or yard for several years. A young couple buys the house two years ago and virtually guts the house and rebuilds. The yard was not a priority for them and understandably, so I didn’t make a big deal of it.
A month ago the guy is telling about all the work they’ve done and wants to tackle the neglected yard. I point out how far the shrubs are onto much property and offer to help him cut them back.
The next day he’s out there cutting back the shrubs. I come out with my hedge trimmer too and we cut back over 100 feet of o shrubs in no time.
I suggest you talk with your neighbor first. Won’t tell you what my plan B was if he was uncooperative……
 

AHM

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Talk to the guy first. He might offer to trim them himself, so you don't damage them.
See my hedge anecdote.

trim away!!!

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fencer

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Totally legal to trim to the property line. You don't need to ask, but you might want to let him know.

HOWEVER. Many trees should not be trimmed during the growing season and should only be trimmed when dormant. Especially trees that are not very hearty. You should try to avoid trimming blue spruce, for example, in the summer.
Arborvitae can usually withstand pretty substantial pruning at all times of the year, but cutting 5' at one time may be a problem.
You should also clean or sterilize your pruning tools.
 

whacko

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Sorry, too lazy to search.
Fence between properties, neighbors arborvitaes etc have grown so tall and fat on their side of the fence, they are encroaching ~5 feet over and past the fence onto my property. Creates difficulty mowing and dense shade where my grass can't grow/mossy etc.

Is it legal to trim his trees in my "airspace"?
or depends on the town/ call the building inspector/tree warden person?
or "don't be a d!ck and just talk to the neighbor"?

Thanks in advance.
🤓
You can cut anything back to the property line. Period.
 

Roof gunner

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I actually went threw it this weekend. My neighbor went out got himself a spiffy new chainsaw last weekend. I was working on my house when I herd it start up. Mind you there is 15 yards between our houses that is already pretty sparse in the privacy dept and this dope never says hello to me or my lady. So I walk rite up to him so he has to shut the saw off and I ask him , how far are you going with that ?!! He mumbled for a second and disappeared around the other side of the house for the rest of the day. Don’t b one of those guys who cuts down 5 acres before you turn around to take a look !
 
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