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Old 03-11-2010, 09:44 AM
571 posts, read 1,219,143 times
Reputation: 509


My neighbor's homes in our neighborhood are about 10 feet apart. We all have deep backyards (.25 acre). The neighbor planted a pine tree 3 years ago 3 FEET from his house on the corner! That means the pine tree is only 7 feet from my house and the branches are already touching my house.

The main issue will be gutter cleaning. Our gutters are too tall to clean ourselves and we have to hire a professional to clean them once a year. There are no other trees that close to our home so our gutters don't get full easily until now. The tree is now just tall enough to hang over the lowest gutters.

It bothers me that the tree touches our home (I don't want mold growth on the roof from the lack of sunlight that the tree is encouraging), I also don't want the roots to cause a crack in our foundation in 10 years, even more my neighbor's water line runs right beside the tree...so you know what's gonna happen in 10 years...bad for them, I also don't want the hassle of hiring people to prune the part that touches our home and to clean the gutters more frequently.

I'm I being crazy...or am I right? The tree is 10 foot tall and on my neighbor's property, but branches are currently touching my home, what should I do?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:49 AM
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 4,222,357 times
Reputation: 824
Check your local ordinance - neighbor might be required to maintain pruning - meaning he pays to have it trimmed or does it himself. If the root system becomes invasive, he is often responsible for having it removed. This is not always the case, but with a quick search of City Government you can find the answer. As far as the gutter goes...I think that's going to be left to you. 'Never heard of someone having to tend another person's gutter.

Have you spoken with the neighbor or is it one of those uncomfortable situations?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:58 AM
Location: WA
4,377 posts, read 16,120,293 times
Reputation: 3561
Normally you can prune anything extending into your property. It may not solve your gutter issue but you can minimize damage from contact.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:28 AM
Location: South Bay Native
9,759 posts, read 15,980,335 times
Reputation: 13914
I don't know about your city's ordinances, but anything that grows onto my property line I can hack off at will. If the neighbor's fruit trees branch over and grow onto my side, I get to keep the fruit too.

Definitely check with the proper authorities in your area first, though. Once you know what the law is, then I would recommend going over to the neighbor and letting him know that you'll be cutting back his tree in the portion that has grown onto your property.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:44 AM
Location: In The Outland
6,033 posts, read 8,663,544 times
Reputation: 3535
Plant one on your property that will be sure to touch his house when it grows and send him a message that way.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:09 PM
Location: Philaburbia
27,573 posts, read 41,171,070 times
Reputation: 43041
I'm confused. The tree is 10 feet tall, seven feet from your house, and branches are touching your house? Is it a square tree? What are the branches doing to your neighbor's house?

Next ... The tree is only 10 feet tall and the branches in your gutters already? And that's too high for you to clean the gutters yourself? Two or three steps up onto a ladder ought to do it.

Something ain't right.

That being said ... You're not right. Your neighbors can plant a tree wherever they please on their property.

What you can do first is ask the neighbor to prune the offending branch. If he/she refuses, ask for permission to go onto the property and do it yourself. If the neighbor still refuses, then you can prune whatever you can without going over the property line.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:27 PM
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 4,222,357 times
Reputation: 824
Trees and Neighbors FAQ - Real Estate
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:43 PM
Location: Arizona
1,034 posts, read 2,969,011 times
Reputation: 1313
#1, ask the neighbor to prune the tree and talk to them about considering relocating it.
#2, install gutter screens over your gutters to prevent debris from cloggin them up so frequenly. This may lengthen the time between service calls from your gutter cleaners.
#3, enjoy the tree. Living in AZ, I love it when my neighbor's trees overflow into my yard. It makes things greener, attracts birds and other critters, and offers shade. But we just don't have enough trees around here.

Good luck!
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:49 AM
5,015 posts, read 10,001,935 times
Reputation: 3351
Check with your town to find out what kind of ordinances you have. You'll probably have to discuss the issue with your neighbor and ask if they can prune the tree, but depending on your town, you might be able to do it yourself. Most likely you can. It can be difficult living in such close quarters with your neighbors on small lots like yours, but your neighbor should be held accountable for any potential damage to your home from his tree, if his tree is hanging over your property. You might also talk to your insurance company regarding your homeowner's policy, and see what they suggest.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:27 AM
8,653 posts, read 11,774,456 times
Reputation: 4475
Pull it up before it gets any larger, but do it around 2 AM so you don't get caught, then blame it on the neighbor teenagers....

I'm just kidding you....
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