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Old 04-15-2011, 07:28 AM
 
Location: East Coast, USA
2 posts, read 19,888 times
Reputation: 17
Question Planting Near Property Lines

I want to know what the law is concerning how close you can plant trees or shrubs to an adjoining property line with a neighbor?? Some years back I wished to plant a row of the tall green cedar trees (cypress?) that many plant to form a natural fence, because these are not friendly people that have caused much trouble in past years which I don't wish to deal with again. I don't like seeing them and I don't wish for them to be able to look into my back yard. My husband said that if I wanted to put trees down he'd have to plant them something like 6 feet off the property line - which wouldn't have left very much to our small back yard. Yet now those same neighbors have planted Red Tip Photinias all along near the property line. While I don't begrudge them planting anything in their yard - I'd like to have the right to plant what "I" wanted in mine - yet if I follow the law then I feel they need to to. So what IS the law as to planting trees or shrubbery near adjoining property lines and how far back does one have to plant??
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: in the bushes. I can see you!!
3,338 posts, read 3,774,724 times
Reputation: 3586
plant on your property.

that's the *only* guideline I ever worry about.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:06 PM
 
5,150 posts, read 3,223,304 times
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Technically you are not allowed to broach someone's property with plants, fences or the like but there is a tenant (I forget what it's called) that if you don't complain fast enough you basically surrender the issue.

An example would be if someone built a fence five years ago and you figure out when a survey is done that it is 6 inches over on your property. Since it didn't bother you for five years the law basically blames you and mitigates your remedy.

Fences might make good neighbors but if you already have issues then it's going to get worse with stuff growing since plants generally do not respect property lines.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:19 PM
 
1,367 posts, read 3,501,800 times
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I think with plants/trees you can plant as close to the property line as you want, however the neighbor could technically do as they please with any part of the plant that encroaches into their yard. So if the tree grows bigger, they could cut all the branches off up to the line and I believe even destroy the roots up to the line too (if they wanted to be real jerks).

I researched this when I thought some old trees on our yard may have been on the property line... luckily our yard is 10 ft wider than we thought!

That seemed to be the consensus though, so I'd just make sure that if the trees are going to be say 4 ft radius when full grown you plant them at least 2 ft in so they stay on your side.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:38 PM
 
1,664 posts, read 1,510,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCharlotte View Post
.....An example would be if someone built a fence five years ago and you figure out when a survey is done that it is 6 inches over on your property. Since it didn't bother you for five years the law basically blames you and mitigates your remedy.....
I don't think this is the case in NC. I know some people who bought house, found out their neighbor's fence was 3 ft on their side of the property. Told them to tear it down, when they didn't, they tore it down for them. i.e. If someone puts something on your property, it becomes yours to do with as you please.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:37 PM
 
5,150 posts, read 3,223,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yantosh22 View Post
I don't think this is the case in NC. I know some people who bought house, found out their neighbor's fence was 3 ft on their side of the property. Told them to tear it down, when they didn't, they tore it down for them. i.e. If someone puts something on your property, it becomes yours to do with as you please.
What you are saying isn't contrary to what I said. My point is mitigation and who has to do what. It would be harder to sue them to MAKE them tear something down that's been there for 5 years even if it was sold. But, if you got your own tools

Could be trickier with a tree though I don't know that either. I just know there are so many weird laws nowadays as to when it's OK to take down a tree on your own property.

I had a neighbor plant a new tree right on the border of our front yards. Of course it is now partly on my property. The stupid thing is that he planted it so when it grows it is in the shadow of another tree above it. They are going to clash at some point. I don't care but if someone has to do something about it you better believe it's going to be him.

But for trees it's tougher because you're actually killing something.

Probably the only time you can "easily" get away with the fence destruction is when moving in fresh because you're already done the survey.

Destroying property without being 100% sure could lead to trouble in court. Obviously if you have a disagreement like this it's not very friendly and peeps could be sue happy.

Also, if you "just wake up" one day 5 years after a fence was put up when you lived there, it's going to be harder to explain if you go and destroy it. That was really my point. I wish I could remember what the tenant is that I'm thinking of.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:32 PM
 
1,664 posts, read 1,510,239 times
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You are allowed to remove the part of the tree that crosses your property line.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
198 posts, read 352,087 times
Reputation: 132
We have very large holly bushes that line our property. When we bought the house and had a survey done, we realized that the bushes were basically planted RIGHT on the line (just a tad off to our side) and have since grown over the line, roots and all. There's no way to move them.

We needed to fence our yard, but could not fence the bushes in, because then the fence would have been on our neighbors' property. So we put the fence just inside the bushes.

My husband, an attorney, knew that the fenceline COULD be construed (after a long period of time) as our understanding of our property limits, so we wrote a memo for our files that said, basically, "We know that our property includes the holly bushes, but because they have grown over the property line, we could not fence them in. This in no way implies that we are not responsible for, or do not continue ownership of, the remaining strip of property and bushes on the other side of the fence."

Then we explained the situation to our neighbors, gave them a copy of the memo, and filed the original with our homeownership papers. That way if, years down the road, our neighbor sells his house and the new owner makes noise about the property line, we can whip out the memo and prove that we did NOT relinquish rights to that strip of our land.

I can't remember exactly how long my husband said the statute is -- I think it was 10 or 20 years.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:42 PM
 
1,664 posts, read 1,510,239 times
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I have to correct myself from above. It's called Adverse Possession and in NC, it appears to be 20 years.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:10 PM
 
3,756 posts, read 5,742,592 times
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Get this one. Had a neighbor plant on our side after we had a survey done. Will be interesting if I move the fence, all the plantings are for naught.
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