Wow, trees in dispute are really making headlines lately! Let’s talk about this for a moment. Now for the disclaimer:
THIS IS IN NO WAY LEGAL ADVICE, AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS SUCH, IN ABSOLUTELY NO WAY, MANNER OR FORM, HEREWITHTO, OR AFOREMENTIONED BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. I, THE READER OF THIS ARTICLE, WILL IN NO WAY, SUE THE PANTS OFF OF (enter my name here) FOR ANY AND ALL DAMAGES DUE TO NEGLIG….. You get the idea…
Now then, can you cut the branches that shade your (legal) pot garden from the stately 40″ California Black Oak that resides in your next door neighbor’s backyard?
How about a Leyland Cypress “hedge” on a property boundary that blocks your view of Grizzly Peak, but provides a sanctuary from prying eyes for the said neighbor whilst hot tubbing in full nakidity?
Better yet, are you liable for incurring the cost of a joint removal/pruning/consultation on a tree that sits ON a property line, shared by both owners?
Square one, the first two words you should sticky note to your fridge are “prudent” and “reasonable,” as these are going to be flung around a courtroom like a Frisbee on a warm summer day.
Square two, “negligence,” and “damage/s,” these are what will sink you (and your pocketbook) in front of a judge or jury.
So, can you cut anything that encroaches over and onto your property?
What about UNDER your property? Roots and stuff?
I NEVER cut ANYTHING without asking the owner of the tree, ever…
Let’s assume your view / pot garden / hot tub is some way, “compromised” (a great arguing point, in a court of law) from a tree that is NOT on your property. Yep, you could send a letter (certified, of course), from an attorney, (certified, of course), along with an assessment from an arborist (certified, of course), that will be willing to show up in court and articulate the reasoning showing damages due to a lack of reasonable and prudent actions regarding said tree…
You could invite your next door neighbor, owner of the “tree from hell,” over for a glass of Upper Five Tempranillo, coupled with a selection of cheeses. Preferably, something blue, Rogue Creamery “Smokey Blue,” comes to mind, to discuss matters that align with the arboricultural issues at hand….
In short, communication is the key!
Shorter still, yes, you can cut anything on YOUR property!
BUT, and there is always a but, you can be LIABLE for causing damage to a tree that you don’t even own!
My take on this matter?
The best wine is cheaper than the worst attorney…
Casey P. Roland Tree Care