Is Your Neighbour's Tree Posing a Risk to Your Yard?

By: albertaarb - September 21, 2015

Alberta Arborist

If your property shares a boundary with a neighbour's property, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to trees and hedges.

It can be uncomfortable to discuss these things. Especially if a tree needs to come down. But you are, after-all, responsible for trees on your own property.

Property Damage

One of the biggest and most obvious risks is property damage. If a tree is large enough to reach into your yard, there is a chance of branches or limbs breaking off in a storm or when they die.

The damage here could include damage to buildings, your land, or even physical harm to a person, depending on where it falls. Generally speaking, you have a right to cut back any tree branches that reach onto your property, but it would probably be best to discuss this with your neighbour before doing so.

If any damage is done by a neighbours tree, they may be liable for any damages that are incurred, so it’s in their own interest to work with you to keep their trees under control.

Problematic Roots

Another, much bigger threat, comes from invasive root systems. Invasive roots will drain moisture from your soil, and could cause catastrophic damage to any garden or plants you are caring for.

It is possible, although unlikely, that the root system may even reach under the foundations of your house, endangering the whole house, especially in times of drought. As a result, your home could be badly damaged, costing you thousands to repair. If this is a concern for you, talk to your neighbour and/or a construction professional to address your fears and work out a compromise.

A Tree Blocking Your View or Natural Light

Additionally, if a tree is sufficiently large enough, it could also block natural light, potentially depriving your garden and plants of sunlight and negatively affecting their growth, and lowering the price of your house if you wish to sell at a later date. If the branches reach into your yard, you are entitled to trim them back to see if that helps.

In the worst case scenario, you may need to sit down with your neighbour and discuss removing the tree, explaining your difficulties or concerns and highlight any issues they may not be aware of. Give your neighbour as much notice as possible to avoid the pressure of immediate action.

Unfortunately, some issues, such as damage to the foundation of your house or extensive property damage, may force immediate action, but those are usually a large enough issue that your neighbour will agree without any issues.

Are Your Neighbour's Trees in Danger of Falling?

If your neighbour's trees are in danger of falling onto your property, you should contact professional tree removal experts as soon as possible. With over 22 years experience in dealing with all kinds of trees and conditions, Alberta Arborists can help you identify whether or not a tree branch should be removed, and then we’d use the proper techniques and professional equipment to ensure that your branches come down in the absolute safest manner possible. 

For more information about our tree services, visit our website, or contact us for a free, no-obligation quote, and protect yourself, your tree, and anyone else on your property!

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