Tree Owners’ Rights And Responsibilities

You may think that owning a tree is as easy as one-two-tree (I mean, three). A Chinese Proverb once said: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Well, before you start digging a hole and planting your seedlings today, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities as a tree owner.

According to FindLaw, in one of their discussions entitled Conflicts Involving Trees and Neighbors:

Landowners are responsible for maintaining the trees on their property. Legally, they have two duties: make reasonable inspections and take care to ensure the tree is safe. Therefore, if a reasonable inspection shows that the tree could be dangerous, your neighbor is responsible for the tree removal. If your neighbor does not remove the dangerous tree, and the tree does in fact cause damage, your neighbor can be held liable.

The article lists some common questions that may arise between neighbors disputing about a tree, and to mention a few important points about the topic:

You have the right to trim your neighbor’s tree branches that extend past the property line. Take extra precaution though because if you accidentally damage, destroy or harm the tree, it may cost you up to $60,000 depending on its replacement value. Hire a professional tree trimming expert to avoid such sky-rocketing expenses.

So how do we know who owns the tree and who holds the responsibility for it?

tree label

Cestria: Trees are the property of the owner of the land on which they grow. . . Common law does not require tree owners to prune or maintain their trees – even if they are dangerous. It just places the liability on them should someone suffer damage if they fail to do so. As a dangerous tree could cause a lot of damage, prevention is better than allocating blame.

According to

Naturally occurring trees are also generally the responsibility of the owner of the land on which they grow. The level of responsibility is determined by the context. A tree growing in a residential neighborhood would require more duty of care than a tree in a more rural setting.

Gardening may be a task taken lightly by most people. It’s like a walk in the park for others but it is nice to know that a tree entails not just a lot of fruits (pleasures) but also a lot of falling leaves (responsibilities). Tree maintenance is relatively not easy especially if you are not an experienced gardener. Our friendly and well-experienced professional arborists are available to assist you with your tree care service needs.