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Old 06-12-2015, 02:53 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,948 posts, read 55,692,297 times
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Hopefully someone had a similar problem and can answer my questions or let me know about the local laws.
I tried to google it, but didn't found answers to all my questions.

I have several old and huge pecan trees on my backyard. They are beautiful and give my yard a great shade in Summer. Few days ago, a quite large limb fell on my neighbor yard (no damage), and incidentally (?) a Code Enforcement truck was driving the back alley. I received a notice tucked into my front door that there is "possibly" a dead tree, and I need to contact them.
My neighbor (very friendly relationship, or at least I thought so) denied calling them, and I offered the limb removal and clean-up at my cost.
Now, I have few questions: (so, when I contact them, I will have right answers)
1. Are my trees their business?
2. Can they make me to cut down a perfectly fine, old and beautiful pecan tree, only because they suspect that the tree is "dead"?
3. How can they determine that a tree is "possibly dead" when it looks healthy to me? Should I get someone to check on that? Who is going to pay for it?
3. Can they ask me to mutilate the beautiful tree canopy, so it does not grow over my neighbor and the alley (property line)? The tree is very tall, and not obstructing anything, including the power lines.

What I should know and/or do?
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Last edited by elnina; 06-13-2015 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:03 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,615,101 times
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Well, in my area, and in my experience....


Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
1. Are my trees their business?
Only if infringing on their property.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
2. Can they make me to cut down a perfectly fine, old and beautiful pecan tree, only because they suspect that the tree is "dead"?
No, but they can make you trim it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
3. How they can determine that a tree is "possibly dead" when it looks healthy to me? Should I get someone to check on that? Who is going to pay for that?
An arborist, on your dime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
3. Can they ask me to mutilate the beautiful tree canopy, so it does not grow over my neighbor and the alley (property line)? The tree is very tall, and not obstructing anything, including the power lines.
Definitely!


YMMV!
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:24 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,876 posts, read 42,076,783 times
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Typically, and it may vary between states, anything over the property line can be trimmed back to that line by the infringed upon property owner.

Unless the tree is in imminent danger of falling (say pulling out of the ground and leaning) you can't be made to cut down a healthy tree.

If a limb falls off your tree and damages the neighbor's house his insurance will be the covering mechanism. Unless, your tree is an obvious danger and you've ignored it.

The electric company will usually trim limbs overhanging its right of way.

Your neighbor can not force you to cut down a healthy, non-dangerous tree.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,522 posts, read 47,675,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Typically, and it may vary between states, anything over the property line can be trimmed back to that line by the infringed upon property owner.

Unless the tree is in imminent danger of falling (say pulling out of the ground and leaning) you can't be made to cut down a healthy tree.

If a limb falls off your tree and damages the neighbor's house his insurance will be the covering mechanism. Unless, your tree is an obvious danger and you've ignored it.

The electric company will usually trim limbs overhanging its right of way.

Your neighbor can not force you to cut down a healthy, non-dangerous tree.
^^^This is correct. Pretty much universal law across the country. You can plant any tree you like on your ppty. The only exception is if tree planting is controlled by HOA CC&R's. If some of the tree grows over the ppty line that owner can trim it back at his expense only to your ppty line. He/she is not allowed to kill it. If the tree is rotting/dying and you have been made aware of it, and that tree falls and does damage, you can be held responsible for not taking care of the problem before it did the damage.
If you get a citation/notice of any danger and to remove it the agency will notify you probably with a registered letter and give you usually 90 days to take care of it, or if it's in eminent danger to health/welfare/ppty then you may be required to remove it immediately.
If you think there is nothing wrong with the tree get a certification of such by a licensed registered arborist and submit it to the agency involved.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:56 AM
 
2,600 posts, read 6,093,397 times
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Texas Tree Ordinances

Texas Tree Ordinances
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:12 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,948 posts, read 55,692,297 times
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^^^ Great link!!
Thank you ALL for the replies. I still wonder about LOCAL laws and individual experiences with Code Enforcement.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:26 AM
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Location: Ohio
16,822 posts, read 33,200,060 times
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This link may be helpful, elnina. Tree Preservation

In my experience checking out an issue with neighborhood trees, the SA city arborists were very patient and willing to answer my questions. (A link to the contact info for the staff is on that page.) At this point, you may not have any questions you need to take to them, but I thought this tip would also be useful to others who have basic questions about SA's city tree ordinances.
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Old 06-13-2015, 12:21 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,948 posts, read 55,692,297 times
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^^^ This is very helpful!! Thank you!
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Old 06-13-2015, 02:52 PM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,426,090 times
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Default Always,

Try to keep neighbors trees cut back , if they don't. I have had a very large branch off my neighbors tree fall on my garage before. Luckily the thing was constructed of 2x12"s and no damage occurred.
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Old 06-14-2015, 04:33 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,948 posts, read 55,692,297 times
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Its really very hard to cut back a very large pecan tree that grows on the corner of my yard. I can't make it look like an Italian cypress
I guess, I will have to see if the tree could be thinned to allow it to get full sun. The huge load of pecans could be also a reason for limb breakage.
Thank you all for good tips!
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Last edited by elnina; 06-14-2015 at 04:49 AM..
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