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Old 10-24-2019, 02:40 PM
 
2 posts, read 239 times
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I have several very large oak trees that are on my property, about 6-8 feet from the property line. The trees were not planted and were on my wooded lot when I bought the lot and built my house. My neighbor parks on what is mostly his land, however, directly over the roots of several of these trees. I asked him not to park and drive on the roots of the trees, as I understand this can eventually kill the trees. He did stop parking on my side of the property line as a result of my request, but continues to park on the tree roots that are on his side of the property line. Do I have any legal rights to stop him from parking on the tree roots and compacting the dirt around the trees? Do the trees have to die before I have any legal rights, or do I have the legal ability to prevent him from parking on the roots?
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Old 10-24-2019, 02:46 PM
 
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No clue but I'd bet my life savings that you have no recourse. He could cut out those roots if he wanted I'm sure.
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Old 10-24-2019, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
10,659 posts, read 7,769,391 times
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the tree roots are on his property.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,488,040 times
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You probably have the right to put up a fence ON your line, but the roots on their property probably have the same legal status as branches of your trees that overhang their land. IE: you have almost no rights.

The actual property lines are important, (and for this, I mean the actual lines as found by a licensed surveyor, and not some fence someone put up sometime). If you have the paperwork from when you bought the land, it probably has included a Plot Plan that will give you exact dimensions and border locations.

Before calling an attack lawyer, you might consider some other options. Call a tree specialist and confirm that the tree is at risk, and get informed advice about how to help the problem. IE: some way you can protect the tree without blocking your neighbors access to his own land.
Maybe suggest to him that if he lets you pay for a load of gravel to put on your neighbors land to cover and protect the roots, and you'll let him go back to parking on your land and off the roots, you both end up happy.

And, if it really comes to needing to know the law, check with an actual attorney, and not autonomous helpers on an open Internet forum (I include myself!). Call the local Bar Associate as they often have a referral service where they will give you several names of attorneys who handle similar situations, and some of those often do free 1st consultations. (IE: 15 or 30 min of phone chatting to see if you can be helped, and if by them).
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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I doubt if that's gonna hurt that tree anyway. You'd have to do more than park near a tree, even on the roots.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:12 AM
DPK
 
3,664 posts, read 4,000,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m378 View Post
No clue but I'd bet my life savings that you have no recourse. He could cut out those roots if he wanted I'm sure.
If he wanted sure, however I guarantee there's some legal stipulation somewhere that if his neighbor did that OP could sue and would likely win in court should the trees die. Removing the roots on one side of a tree can be a huge liability as not only will the tree likely die but it won't be able to support itself on one side. So depending on the environment it could list and fall over onto the owners property/house.

Tree law is really weird from what I understand. If a neighbor deliberately goes out of their way to harm someone else's tree, that neighbor can then be liable to compensate the owner of the tree for sometimes multiples of what the tree was worth.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:18 AM
 
1,657 posts, read 1,938,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPK View Post
If he wanted sure, however I guarantee there's some legal stipulation somewhere that if his neighbor did that OP could sue and would likely win in court should the trees die. Removing the roots on one side of a tree can be a huge liability as not only will the tree likely die but it won't be able to support itself on one side. So depending on the environment it could list and fall over onto the owners property/house.

Tree law is really weird from what I understand. If a neighbor deliberately goes out of their way to harm someone else's tree, that neighbor can then be liable to compensate the owner of the tree for sometimes multiples of what the tree was worth.
The neighbor can say it's a tripping hazard. OP has ZERO recourse. They can remove the trees and plant something different if it's a concern.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:34 AM
 
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I know when it comes to branches, you can remove anything on your side of the property line. I see no reason why roots would be any different.

What if you wanted to put an addition on your house or expand your driveway and it's legal and within setbacks? I don't think your neighbor's tree's roots can put a halt to that.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:36 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
29,579 posts, read 64,087,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmt41318 View Post
I have several very large oak trees that are on my property, about 6-8 feet from the property line.
My neighbor parks on...
The solution is not about what's legal or not.


It's about knowing and talking with the people who live next door.
Maybe some coffee or beer, the occasional burger off the grill and all that...
with the goal to have them become an actual neighbor.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:43 AM
 
2,637 posts, read 2,854,446 times
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I believe negotiation is the only way out of this. I doubt you can get an injunction from a judge, so your only recourse would be to sue after the tree dies (if it ever does). A suit will certainly absorb your own time, and you might find that getting a lawyer to take your case on contingency is impossible (meaning you'll have to pay him or her up-front), and even if you win (unclear) the monetary award you get won't put your tree back in place... and furthermore you'll be living next to a very angry neighbor until either you move or your neighbor does.

If you really want to go down the path of litigation, take Ed_RDNC's advice and go talk to a lawyer. Otherwise you can try a civil mediator. Or take MrRational's advice to engage your neighbor constructively.
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