Mike wants to trim tree on property line


Mike: I bought a house in Sanford three years ago. We have a tree that is on a property line, that’s an ear tree. It’s rather large tree, and what’s happening is it’s I’m starting to notice some cracks in my block, and I cannot access the back yard. It is on the side where I access backyard to park my trailers. What kind of liability do I have if I start trimming those roots out in order to stop them from continuing growing under my foundation?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, Mike, let’s start with this. An ear tree is just a big weed, it is an ugly, messy tree. So why don’t you get your neighbor, and you guys split the cost and just cut the thing down?

Mike: Okay, well, we have differences on this issue. He doesn’t want to do anything with it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: So Mike, you have the right to trim any roots or branches that come over your property line. However, it must be reasonable. So if you’re telling me you’re going to cut the roots, and by the way that’s going to kill the tree, you can’t do that.

Mike: Okay, do I have to notify him in advance of my intentions to trim the tree?

Attorney Tom Olsen: No, the only way you would have to notify him is if you needed to go on his property to do this trimming. As long as you stay on your property, you do not need to give him any notice.

Mike: Okay, so then I go to tree service and find out whether or not, if I do cut these roots, it will kill the tree. What happens if I do cut the roots, I’m able to do it without killing the tree, and then we have a hurricane, and the tree falls on his house?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, if he can prove that because you cut those roots, that tree fell over on his house, you would be liable again, Mike.

Mike: Okay, that sounds good, I appreciate it.