What to Do When a Tree Has Overgrown Your Fence

By: albertaarb - January 13, 2016


Good fences make for good neighbours, but when a tree reaches over from one yard to another, it takes more than a fence to mend this potential problem. Overgrown trees that poke over your fence and into your yard may be annoying, but you shouldn’t assume that you automatically have the right to go ahead and change the tree as you please.

To Whom Does the Tree Belong?

Before you consider taking any action whatsoever, the first thing that you need to determine is the owner of the tree. The laws concerning overhanging trees differ according to whether they reside on public or private property.

If you’re unsure, there’s often a phone number that may be contacted to determine whether the tree is a public or private entity. If the tree is on public property, there’s a good chance that you will not be allowed to do anything whatsoever.

For example, the city of Calgary has bylaws that state “cutting, removing, moving or pruning of The City of Calgary trees is prohibited unless City permission is granted.” The laws of this metropolis go on to state that the bark may not be broken, items may not be attached nor signs affixed to the tree. You’re not even allowed to spray anything other than water on the tree. In this case, you’ll need to contact the city to prove that the tree must be altered.

Private Property Trees

Depending on the jurisdiction in which you live, there may be no laws specifically regarding private property trees. Calgary has no private property tree laws, although they demand that your property doesn’t have any growth that interferes with the sidewalk, alleys or roadways. Nonetheless, private ownership of trees tends to revolve around the property upon which the tree grew.

Neither you nor your neighbour are allowed to make any changes to the other person’s property. If you go ahead and chop branches of trees that are hanging over your yard, there’s a good chance that you’ll be sued for negatively affecting the enjoyment of your neighbour’s property and vice versa.

The best course of action is to open an honest dialogue with your neighbour about how their tree negatively affects your property. If it’s your tree in question, make sure to keep branches reasonably trim to prevent a pointless property conflict.

Professional Arborists Prevent Tree-Related Conflict

Contacting an expert when it comes to property issues for trees is the best way to move forward if you’re unsure what to do about overgrown branches.

At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with any tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property.

Click here to contact us or call the number at the top of the page for a free, no-obligation estimate of your job.

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