The tree may constitute a nuisance, by interfering with your use and enjoyment of your own property. It has been there all summer and finally is full of fruit that could be picked at any time. Find out what to do about a neighbour's tatty fence. The spreading of tree roots on my land damaged my neighbor's septic tank/swimming pool. The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about disputes involving neighbors and trees, including the right to trim encroaching branches and how trees relate to (and sometimes define) property lines. If you have a neighbour’s tree hanging over … Design by KTDCreative In some states, the owner of a tree retains ownership of the fruit even when it extends onto a neighbor's property. Regardless of if there is property damage, a landowner may sue her neighbor to make that neighbor trim the branches that encroach the landowner's property. "Noxious" means that the tree must be inherently dangerous or poisonous, AND the tree must cause actual damage. In that event, you have the right to the fruit growing on branches that are on your side of the line. "Serious harm" usually requires structural damage. Please try again. A 19th century Connecticut case states: “If a tree, the trunk of which stands on the land of A, extend some of its branches over, and some of its roots into, the land of B, A and B are not joint owners or tenants in common of such tree; but it is, with such overhanging branches and the fruit thereof, the sole property of A; and if B gather the fruit from such overhanging branches and appropriate it to his own use, he is liable in trespass to A.” (Lyman v. Hale, 1836 WL 66 (Conn.). 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. The answer depends on what state Sue and Janet live in. In this case, you may have questions about your rights regarding the portion of the tree that is on your property. However, the law only allows tree trimming and tree cutting up to the property line. In the case of a "boundary tree," all of the property owners own the tree and share responsibility for it. Who owns the tree? [Loosely translated: “for whoever owns the land, it is theirs all the way up to the heavens and down to Hell.”]. § 14:15 (3d ed.).). ... even when it is hanging over a fence above a public footpath. Partner with  individuals and organizations to plant trees, orchards and food forests for the benefit of the community. Favourite answer If the tree hangs over the property line onto your side, then you own every branch, leaf, and fruit that hangs over the line. Google Chrome, The question is: who owns the fruit on the branches above Janet’s yard? Posted on May 16, 2012 by Kristine Dunkerton. 3355 Keswick Road, Suite 200, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-2650 | Last updated November 05, 2019. 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. California follows Blackstone’s rule, stating that Janet can cut the branches off, if she wishes, or recover damages for trespass from Sue (Grandona v. Lovdal, 21 P. 366, 369 (1889).). Trees Overview The law allows you to cut back any branches or roots from neighbours’ trees that are encroaching on your property. Email: [email protected], © 2020 Community Law Center, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. No. Even if the leaves cause damage, like clogging your gutters or pipes, you have no legal claims against the owner of 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 that falls off the tree. No. Learn more about FindLaw’s newsletters, including our terms of use and privacy policy. If you don’t know who owns the land, you can find out in the freehold land register under the Land Title Act 1994. By law, you have the right to trim branches and limbs that extend past the property line. Who owns the tree. When you have a disagreement with your neighbour about a tree, what you can do partly depends on who owns the tree. The neighbor owns the tree. I have seen three boys take fruit from the tree. However, some overhanging branches can only be removed from the other side of the fence. Disclaimer: While the author makes every effort to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on this blog, the accuracy of some information is subject to change and cannot be guaranteed. 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. If you've spoken to your neighbor about the tree issue, and he hasn't done anything about it you do have laws that protect you. If an encroaching tree was planted, not wild, the neighbor may sue. However, utility companies are exempted from this prohibition, under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes. If my neighbor owns a fruit tree, and the branches hang over my property, can I eat the fruit? 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. "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. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. 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. 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. When the tree trunk is divided by the property lines of two or more people, it is referred to as a "boundary tree." What should I do? 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. Trees can give your property shade in the summertime, a home for songbirds, and general beauty. Anyone who engages in tree removal, tree cutting, or injury to the tree without the owner's permission is liable for compensating the tree owner. I caught the neighbor throwing the branches over the fence into my yard. Real Est. The apples belong to Janet, not Sue. Update: P.S. If a fruit Tree is hanging over a fence are you allowed to grab the fruit? Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. A fruit thief caught in the act has sparked outrage, but there are ways to forage legally. One creative way in which community organizations are feeding people in the city is through gleaning uneaten and unwanted fruit from trees on public land and in private backyards. if it is a crime sorry to say i did nothing. Visit our professional site », Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors Unless the tree's trunk actually sits on the property line, the fruit of a tree will usually belong to the tree's owner. We recommend using If there is not a fence or wall separating your property from your neighbor’s property, then you need to make sure before you cut or prune a tree that you know exactly where your property line is. You can put them back on their property, taking care not to cause any damage, or ask for them to be removed. When you have a tree near the property line between your yard and the yard of your neighbor, its branches may overhang the adjoining space. What you can legally do yourself. Phone: 410-366-0922 Get a Free Initial Legal Review of … Also, in California, “[i]f [Janet] has a right of ownership in the branches, as distinguished from the mere right to cut them off to the extent that they ‘encroach’ on his or her property, [Janet] also has an ownership right to the products attached to the overhanging branches,” in this case, the apples on the branches of Sue’s tree that hang over Janet’s land. Copyright: Text, photos and other materials found on this website are the property of CLC, except where otherwise noted. If my neighbor's tree branches hang over my yard, can I trim them? Do I have to compensate my neighbors? Courts have upheld that a homeowner’s tree rights extend indefinitely upward on his property line, and those rights are protected from invasion by an adjoining landowner. 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. 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. Cuttings and fruit belong to the tree owner. If… The following are general rules regarding overhanging tree branches. What if the trunk of your tree is in your front yard? I take the fruit off the branches over my fence. First, though, it’s always best to talk to your neighbour to see if you can agree on a solution. Courts are divided on who can have fallen fruit, however, so check your local laws to see if you can eat any fruit … If the tree trunk is not on the boundary, the fruit on the tree belongs to the owner of the tree. You could file a nuisance claim, and if the court finds that the true is a nuisance, the court may order the tree removed. 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. The fruit of the tree belongs to the owner of the tree, so don't pick any of the fruit. Responsibility for an Overhanging Tree. My neighbor dug up his yard, and in the process killed a tree that's just on my side of the property line. You are allowed to trim the tree branches up to the property line, but do not damage the tree or cross the boundary. Are you a legal professional? 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. Each of you owns all of it, jointly. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Who owns a tree? Alterations, Replacements, and More. 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. Resolving issues with neighbors and trees requires a delicate touch. Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions, NEW Edition! Firefox, or 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. Most of a large tree hangs over my yard, but the trunk is in the neighbor's yard. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. If your neighbor doesn't remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable. And while you’re at it, can you cut all the roots that are in my lawn?” If I had a dime for every time someone asked me that question, I’d be the better looking version of Bill Gates. 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. is it a crime? 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. 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