U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-24-2012, 05:27 PM
 
6 posts, read 11,616 times
Reputation: 13

Advertisements

Hello,

My neighbor has a tree right on his side of the property line that hangs into my yard. The tree blooms dark berries of some kind (might be blackberries) and in the spring it just rains these berries onto my roof, which then roll forward into my driveway or backwards onto my deck. The deck is completely blanketed by these berries in just a couple days. They stain the deck, driveway, and anything else they land on. It turns the yard into a soggy, goopy mess of berries. Some of the branches touch the side of my house.

I'm pretty sure the law allows me to trim any branches that hang over into my property (at my expense) with or without his approval. My question is this: Pretty much the entire tree hangs over; only the base and about the first 15 feet of the tree would be considered in my neighbor's yard. If I were to cut down all the branches, it would effectively ruin the tree. It would just be a 15 foot trunk with no branches. Do I need my neighbor's permission to basically ruin the tree? Would he be able to sue or otherwise take legal action if he does not like what I want to do?

I do plan on talking to him about it, but I only recently bought my house and have never met my neighbor and I don't want this possible negative altercation to backfire. I'd like to have all the information before I approach him. Is the law on my side? I am in Herndon (not the town), Fairfax County.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-24-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,938,746 times
Reputation: 3857
Wow, that's a tough one. I don't know for sure what the law is there, but I've always heard that one has a right to alter neighbors' trees where they hang over one's own property--but if it would kill his tree, I agree that a friendly chat with him is indeed a great idea, just to avoid tension later.

At the same time, branches touching your house, berries staining your deck--that's pretty clear-cut. The berries are damaging your property, and the branches might do so if left untrimmed. He really should not give you any opposition whatsoever.

And they do sound like blackberries. They're falling off the trees in a lot of places right now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2012, 05:54 PM
 
1,256 posts, read 3,512,806 times
Reputation: 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
And they do sound like blackberries. They're falling off the trees in a lot of places right now.
Mulberries maybe?

==========

There is more than one solution to the OP problem. It might not be necessary to cut anything.

==========

Mulberries are yummy - if freshly picked - they do NOT keep well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2012, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
11,358 posts, read 20,150,912 times
Reputation: 16326
I think it must be mulberries, blackberries are bushes and wouldn't be taller than the house. I agree though that you are permitted to cut what overhangs your property - why not meet your neighbor? Might be a very nice person and he/she/they would offer to do it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2012, 08:01 PM
 
270 posts, read 801,399 times
Reputation: 172
This is a tricky area of the law that has been changing. The basic common law rule is that you have the right to trim any branches or roots that invade your property, but you don't have the right to trespass onto your neighbor's property to do it or prune the tree so far back that it dies. Of course, you have to pay for all this. Beyond that, it gets complicated. The Virginia Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that the owners of a ginormous Sweetgum tree were liable for damage to their neighbor's property.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2012, 05:06 AM
 
Location: Manassas, VA
1,559 posts, read 3,170,243 times
Reputation: 839
Yeah, its mulberries right now. We still have another month at least before the blackberries come into play. Mulberry trees can be super tall. I'd trim the tree....but I'd also be picking up all the berries and making a pie
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2012, 06:01 AM
 
7,925 posts, read 9,636,584 times
Reputation: 13927
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermonter16 View Post
....but I'd also be picking up all the berries and making a pie
I heard the best way to harvest the mullberries is to lay a clean white sheet under the tree, and then shake the s*** out of the tree. I need to try this with mine. So far, the mullberries' only use has been to turn my white dog purple (he likes to lie under the tree).

I hear you can dry them out, too.

Mulberries are supposedly good for your liver, kidneys, cancer prevention, and premature grey hair!

10 Health Benefits of Mulberries
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2012, 06:15 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,938,746 times
Reputation: 3857
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
I heard the best way to harvest the mullberries is to lay a clean white sheet under the tree, and then shake the s*** out of the tree. I need to try this with mine. So far, the mullberries' only use has been to turn my white dog purple (he likes to lie under the tree).

I hear you can dry them out, too.

Mulberries are supposedly good for your liver, kidneys, cancer prevention, and premature grey hair!

10 Health Benefits of Mulberries
We have a lot of wild ones (assuming Flamingo13 and Vermonter16 are right that this is what they are) growing near highways in Arlington. I routinely eat 'em right off the tree while walking our dog.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2012, 06:48 AM
 
1,784 posts, read 2,982,096 times
Reputation: 1270
Better buy your neighbor a 12-pack instead of just a 6-pack.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2012, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
2,835 posts, read 1,429,479 times
Reputation: 2272
I'd just go over and talk to him. If I had a new neighbor and I had a tree that was annoying to them over their property line, I'd rather he/she just come over and meet me and then talk about it and I'd be more than happy to oblige and trim it for them.

You don't wanna do it yourself and cause awkwardness with your neighbor w/o talking to him first.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:10 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top