It can be a bit of a pain when your neighbor’s tree branches start encroaching on your yard. After all, it’s your property and you should be able to enjoy it without having to worry about dodging tree limbs every time you step outside. So, can you throw those branches back over the fence into your neighbor’s yard? Let’s find out below:
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Can I throw neighbors tree branches back in their yard?
No, it is not legal to toss the limbs back into their yard. This action could be considered as “fly-tipping of garden waste”, which falls under property law. Fly-tipping is defined as an illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a license to accept it. In some cases, this act could also be viewed as trespassing because you did not take the proper steps to resolve your duties of possession of the property before taking any action.
A glance at the law
The law to put it frankly is quite bizarre when it comes to the legality of your situation. Let’s say hypothetically that your neighbor wanted to take you to court over it (this would only happen in very extreme circumstances) this is what could potentially pan out.
If you find that your neighbor’s tree has dropped limbs in your yard – this is where you stand… The limbs (tree branches) are your neighbor’s property but your responsibility. Meaning, you are not allowed to throw the limbs back into your neighbor’s yard and, according to the law, are not allowed to throw them away either. If you throw the limbs back into your neighbor’s yard then this is technically fly-tipping and trespassing. If you dispose of them, you are committing theft because they belong to your neighbor.
What you are legally supposed to do?
The law imposes that you contact your neighbour through site, voice or a legal letter in the mail asking he/she if they would like to keep the limbs or, if not, if you have permission to dispose of them yourself.
If your neighbor chooses to keep the limbs then they either have to come and collect them with your permission (it has to be with your permission or else it is trespassing) or ask you to throw the limbs back over to their side of the property – i.e. back over the fence.
What you should do
To ensure you don’t get into any legal trouble, make sure you double-check your local laws and regulations before taking any action. If you are still unsure, it is always best to contact a local lawyer for guidance.
At the end of the day, your best bet is to just talk to your neighbor about the situation. They may not even be aware that their tree branches are causing an issue. Oftentimes, a friendly conversation is all it takes to resolve the matter without any legal wrangling.
Take A Look At The Property Line
You should always know where your property line is before taking any action. This way, you can be sure not to cross any legal boundaries and avoid any potential conflict with your neighbor.
There are a few different ways to find out where your property line is located. The most accurate method is to hire a professional land surveyor. However, this can be quite costly.
Another option is to look at your property deed. This document should have a map that shows the property lines. Or, you could try contacting your local planning department. They may have records that show the property lines for your area.
Once you know where the property line is, you can make sure not to trespass on your neighbor’s land when removing tree branches or taking any other action.
The tree is mainly on the neighbor’s side
In this case, your neighbor is responsible for the tree and any damage it may cause. This includes branches that fall on your property.
You should still talk to your neighbor about the situation and see if they are willing to remove the limbs for you. If they are not willing or able to do so, you may need to hire a professional tree service to remove the branches from your property.
Be sure to get some quotes from different companies before making a decision. And, make sure that the company you choose is insured and licensed. This will protect you in case anything goes wrong during the removal process.
The tree is mainly on your side
If the tree is mainly on your side of the property like the main portion of the trunk, then you are responsible for it. This means that you are responsible for any damage the tree may cause, including branches that fall on your neighbor’s property.
You (should from a moral standpoint) remove the branches from your neighbor’s property and dispose of them properly with their permission. You should also talk to your neighbor about the situation and see if they are willing to help with the removal process or pay for part of the costs.
The tree is in the middle of the property line
If the tree is located right on the property line, then both you and your neighbor are responsible for it. This means that you will need to work together to decide how to deal with the tree and any branches that fall on either side of the property line.
The best course of action is to talk to your neighbor about the situation and see if you can come to a mutual agreement. You may need to hire a professional tree service to remove the branches and clean up the area. And, you will likely need to split the costs with your neighbor.
These are just a few of the potential scenarios you may face if tree limbs fall on your property. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before taking any action.
Getting Rid of Tree Branches on Your Own
Perhaps you have come to an agreement with your neighbor to remove the tree branches on your own – if you have an elderly neighbor then this of course would be the kind thing to do.
- The first step is to assess how big the job is and how much time you realistically have to dedicate to it. This will help you determine whether you need to rent a ladder, chainsaw or other equipment.
- If the job is small and you have the necessary tools, then you can likely get it done in an afternoon. However, if the branches are larger, then you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member.
- Be sure to wear the proper safety gear, including gloves, goggles and a helmet if necessary. And, be sure to follow all safety instructions that come with any equipment you rent or borrow.
- In order to avoid having a pile of branches that takes weeks to get rid of, take some time beforehand to research when your city picks up yard waste.
- Another option is to find a yard waste drop-off site in your city, if there already is one available. Keep in mind that you’ll need to cut the branches into smaller pieces before taking them to the drop-off location.
- Another option is to use the branches as firewood. If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove, then this is a great way to get rid of the limbs. Just be sure to let them dry out thoroughly before burning
I hope this article has helped you better understand what to do if tree limbs fall on your property. Let’s summarise the above:
- No, it is not legal to throw branches back on your neighbor’s property.
- This is considered as “fly-tipping of garden waste”.
- Although your neighbor’s tree branches hang over onto your property, you are responsible for them.
- You are technically committing theft if you dispose of your neighbor’s tree limbs.
- contacting your neighbor and asking if they would like the limbs or, if not, giving you permission to dispose of them yourself is your best option.
People Also Ask
Can I throw my Neighbors hedge cuttings back?
No, you may not simply throw your neighbor’s hedge cuttings back if they hang over onto your property. This act is considered as “fly-tipping of garden waste”, and although the waste technically belongs to your neighbor, you are still responsible for it. If you dispose of the hedge cuttings without permission from both yourself and your neighbor, you could be facing Theft charges. The best option would be contacting your neighbor and asking if they would like the hedge cuttings or, if not, giving you permission to dispose of them yourself.
What can I do about my Neighbours overhanging trees?
If your neighbor’s garden is being encroached upon by overhanging branches, they are within their rights to cut them back. However, if they simply don’t like the way your tree or hedge looks, it is up to you whether you want to trim them.
Can you ask Neighbor to cut trees down?
If your neighbor’s trees are blocking your sunlight, you can ask them to cut them down. However, if they are simply aesthetic and not causing any harm, it is up to the neighbor whether they want to trim them or not.