Before you can even think about removing a tree in your property, you need to make sure that there will be no legal ramifications for doing so.
The law says that trees belong to the property owner no matter if the boughs or roots extend to the adjacent lot. On the other hand, trees that grow on the peripheries of two properties are regarded as co-owned by both neighbors. The two owners must agree on actions to be undertaken prior to any tree removal procedures. The two co-owners are held accountable for property damages resulting from such trees. This makes it necessary for everyone to understand legalities about this particular issue before cutting down any tree.
Tree Cutting Policies
Make it a point to get in touch with the local government that has authority over the place where your property is located. Ask for a copy of tree cutting laws together with an application for removal. You may be asked to supply information such as the type of tree, dimensions, property lines as well as a sketch of your house and lot. The local government office will also advise you of the trees that require tree removal permits. You may also be charged a minimal application fee. Fill up the necessary form so an inspection can be scheduled in case a permit is granted.
Rules on Infringement
All twigs that go over border lines can be considered as violation of air space and can be cut down by the affected owner. Only the branches or roots but not the entire tree can be trimmed. As a gesture of courtesy, you can ask the permission of the land owner before you start the actual process. However, this is not a legal requirement.
Responsibility of Tree Owners
The tree owner is held responsible for possible injuries or destruction of property caused by negligence in dealing with unstable trees. On the contrary, the owner has no legal or financial obligation if a strong tree falls on the neighbor’s house, car or any material possession because of storms or any natural causes. The expenses will be covered by the insurance plan of individual property owners. The property owner must undertake all measures to ascertain that old, fragile or unhealthy trees do not result in property damages or injury to other people.
Tree cutting is carried out primarily to beautify the appearance of properties or enhance existing gardens or landscape. Nevertheless, bear in mind that trees are an environmental resource that you should try to preserve. Aside from beautifying your home, trees improve the quality of the air that human beings breathe. Likewise, it provides food and shelter for birds and influences the soil’s stability along with water flow.
People who resort to tree removal simply for aesthetic purposes can be charged in court and meted fines or prison terms if found guilty. You can be subjected to civil suits for chopping twigs, destroying roots or cutting down an entire tree. Legal proceedings are often protracted, quite expensive, and affect the defendant emotionally. Hence, it is advisable to settle a tree cutting disagreement before it turns into a legal battle. It is practical to reach a compromise rather than quarreling with your neighbor.