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Old 01-30-2011, 02:43 AM   #1
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Hi,
A tree service on behalf of my neighbor, wants me to sign a form and give them permission to enter my property to trim my tree that overhangs my neighbors yard....50 feet in the air, by about 20 feet.

3 year old home, wooded lots.

Anyway, the neighbors are jerks (not worth explaining here).

I can only guess they NEED the permission to access my large oak tree that over hangs my neighbors yard. The only concern here is that they are afraid a branch will damage their new fence if it falls. The tree is in good shape, and their arborist said they will trim some and thin it off to lighten the branch and NOT do the clients wishes and take the whole huge branch off.

I actually have no problem with thinning...however...why should I sign off and incur ANY liability? The service will shimmy up my tree, and if they fall....I could get sued (no umbrella policy). I understand it is their right to trim to the property line if it won't kill the tree.....which is what my neighbor tried to do a year ago with some unskilled laborers...which I denied access to my tree at that time.

My neighbors are very abusive to their workers (have seen it in action) so I am worried that the crew will get intimidated by them once the boss (arborist) leaves and they will trim off a 12inch diameter, 20 foot branch anyway...possibly hurting the tree.

What is the positive of granting permission?

Thanks.

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Old 01-30-2011, 04:31 AM   #2
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


question: can't they enter the neighbour's property and cut the branch off from that side of the fence?
I'd be very careful about what you are signing. You have stated some valid concerns.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:13 AM   #3
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


The simple answer IMHO, don't sign, you have no obligation to do so, if the branch needs trimming it can be done from the other side of the fence, period.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:04 AM   #4
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


From the overall picture painted by your description I would say no.

But not too long ago I did grant a neighbor permission to take down some trees at the back of my property. He had to have all of the equipment enter on his property. (Not that relevant but I had a fence with an archway for a gate that no significant equipment could get under.)
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #5
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Quote:
The only concern here is that they are afraid a branch will damage their new fence if it falls. The tree is in good shape,
Ayuh,... So, say No...

When the tree drops debris, 'n destroys your neighbor's stuff,...
You can replace it,... No problem...
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


If the tree branch is healthy and in no obvious danger of falling, and it falls anyway, then generally (check your state laws) you are not responsible for damage to your neighbor's property even after your neighbor pleaded with you repeatedly to remove it. That is called an Act of God.

Now your neighbor could cut the branch off himself.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


They could bring in a cherry picker and do everything on their side....it'll cost more though.

In any regard, maybe your stipulation is that the entire tree needs to be trimmed and thinned out. Otherwise, your oak may look distorted, and this excess trimming on one side may throw off the balance of the tree and start to lean in the opposite direction.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:15 PM   #8
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Wow. I think I'd be leaning heavily towards "NO!" There are just too many potential liabilities here.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
If the tree branch is healthy and in no obvious danger of falling, and it falls anyway, then generally (check your state laws) you are not responsible for damage to your neighbor's property even after your neighbor pleaded with you repeatedly to remove it. That is called an Act of God.

Now your neighbor could cut the branch off himself.
I don't think a homeowner is responsible for anything if their tree falls on someone else's property and damages something.

I personally think any tree that can fall and touch any physical structure should be removed.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:43 PM   #10
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Hey,
Great responses...I appreciate it!
See the neighbor should have, as I did, handled any concerns about the trees when the builder was still around.
The neighbor hasn't lived in the home for 3 years, and finally came back and wants to trim the trees....which have probably grown 6 inches in 3 years....they are 100 year oaks. So the trees were the way the always have been.

Not sure if I mentioned....
The area is a wooded area, and the trees are "protected." If the trees die I am liable to replace them with the same size tree or trees (smaller, but more of them). Plus to remove a tree requires a $1500 permit.

So I am leery of letting someone trim, and possibly trim too much....killing the tree.

There actually is another offending tree that leans and does branch over their gutter about 10 feet above, by about 2 feet. That will be trimmed....that one they CAN access with a cherry picker and they will trim that without any consultation from me for sure~! I asked the town to "make" the builder remove that tree near their gutter 3 years ago....but the town refused...as I mentioned, these trees are "protected"...lol. sheesh.

Last edited by bergerdude; 01-31-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


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Originally Posted by bergerdude View Post
Hey,
Great responses...I appreciate it!
See the neighbor should have, as I did, handled any concerns about the trees when the builder was still around.
The neighbor hasn't lived in the home for 3 years, and finally came back and wants to trim the trees....which have probably grown 6 inches in 3 years....they are 100 year oaks. So the trees were the way the always have been.

Not sure if I mentioned....
The area is a wooded area, and the trees are "protected." If the trees die I am liable to replace them with the same size tree or trees (smaller, but more of them). Plus to remove a tree requires a $1500 permit.

So I am leery of letting someone trim, and possibly trim too much....killing the tree.

There actually is another offending tree that leans and does branch over their gutter about 10 feet above, by about 2 feet. That will be trimmed....that one they CAN access with a cherry picker and they will trim that without any consultation from me for sure~! I asked the town to "make" the builder remove that tree near their gutter 3 years ago....but the town refused...as I mentioned, these trees are "protected"...lol. sheesh.
Time to put some copper nails into those protected trees.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:39 PM   #12
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


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Originally Posted by bergerdude View Post
What is the positive of granting permission?
Nothing, there are no positives to granting permission, only liability to gain.

As far as I know, in the US, The only way you could be liable for your tree falling is if you were outright negligent in it's care. e.g. if it is dead and half eaten by bugs, sits like that for a year and you fail to remove it, then it falls on the neighbors hours, your likely liable.

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Originally Posted by bergerdude View Post
trim off a 12inch diameter, 20 foot branch anyway...possibly hurting the tree.
I say no trimming. Let them futz with it from their yard if they must, but I would not grant permission for them to access your property.

However, from the trees health standpoint, this is a 100 year old oak right? Not a chance your going to hurt the tree cutting off a single 12" limb, especially this time of year. It's way too big of a tree at that age to be affected by the removal of one limb, assuming it is healthy in general.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:14 PM   #13
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Quote:
Originally Posted by bergerdude View Post
Hey,
Great responses...I appreciate it!
See the neighbor should have, as I did, handled any concerns about the trees when the builder was still around.
The neighbor hasn't lived in the home for 3 years, and finally came back and wants to trim the trees....which have probably grown 6 inches in 3 years....they are 100 year oaks. So the trees were the way the always have been.

Not sure if I mentioned....
The area is a wooded area, and the trees are "protected." If the trees die I am liable to replace them with the same size tree or trees (smaller, but more of them). Plus to remove a tree requires a $1500 permit.

So I am leery of letting someone trim, and possibly trim too much....killing the tree.

There actually is another offending tree that leans and does branch over their gutter about 10 feet above, by about 2 feet. That will be trimmed....that one they CAN access with a cherry picker and they will trim that without any consultation from me for sure~! I asked the town to "make" the builder remove that tree near their gutter 3 years ago....but the town refused...as I mentioned, these trees are "protected"...lol. sheesh.
How about asking a tree company to send out an arborist for a free estimate to get a real professional opinion about the tree?
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:16 PM   #14
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


Deny permission. Then send them a letter indicating your desire that they not touch the tree. In virtually all cases they have the right to cut anything that overhangs their property to the propery line. By your sending them the letter...if they do cut it resulting in unintended consequences, the letter "might" provide you a bit more protection. In virtually all cases if part of the tree falls without your doing anything to contribute to the event and results in damages to their property you will not be found liable.

PS. NEVER underestimate the arrogance of jerks and their ability to turn things around to try and screw you....ESPECIALLY when it comes to property (line) sorts of issues. I'll never understand why but that's an area that SO many people get real stupid about for no reason IMO.

Last edited by piste; 01-31-2011 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:01 PM   #15
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Neighbor wants to trim my trees


It's better to make peace than war....after all, those are people who live next door and could make your life a living hell too.

The best thing is to work with your neighbor to resolve this. Relay the message to the tree company that you want the neighbor to call you. Let it go from there....that's his in to try to make peace.

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