Trees can be a beautiful piece of aesthetic for your space. They are mostly placed within the environment. But sometimes trees can grow and become so big that their branches sprout to other spaces beyond the space where it was planted.
If your neighbor’s tree branches out into your yard, you need to have an understanding of your right and how best to tackle the situation so you don’t build bad blood between yourself and your neighbor. So, can I throw neighbors tree branches back in their yard?
No, you cannot throw neighbors tree branches back in their yard because it is seen as a “fly-tipping of garden waste” and is punishable under the law. It is illegal to throw neighbors’ tree branches back into their yards.
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Can I Throw Neighbors Tree Branches Back in Their Yard?
In the US, you cannot throw neighbor’s tree branches back in their yard because there is a part of property law that guides against it. It is seen as “fly-tipping of garden waste” and it is very much punishable under law. It is seen as ‘an illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a license to accept it.’
As much as the tree branch is on your property, it is your responsibility to clean up and fix your space. Unless you have personal reasons relating to a feud or annoyance, then throwing back the branches of the tree is like trying to send a personal message which further strengthens and elongates the feud.
As much as your neighbor has every right to demand his branches, it still doesn’t make sense to throw tree branches into their yard or backyard. Rather, you can ask them if they want the branches or if they are okay with you throwing them away.
As regards this, the law states that ‘any branches cut off belong to the person on whose land the tree originally grew.’
Can My Neighbor Throw Branches Back?
When it results in this, it’s more personal than it is a case of keeping the environment clean. Throwing the branches back is ethically and legally not right.
In cases like this, there is an underlying issue where both neighbors have a personal feud that they have refused to resolve.
So throwing branches back and forth is fuel to extend the fire of the discord. If extended, it could lead to a court case.
The best is to have a conversation with your neighbor, have a conversation, and settle it out. On both sides, throwing tree branches into each other’s yard is very wrong.
Who is Responsible When a Neighbor’s Tree Falls in Your Yard?
In a case like this, two scenarios come to play. But before that, you need to know:
Who is Responsible for the Tree
After setting this, you need to know what is responsible for the damage and this is where the two scenarios come to play
Act of God
In American states, the act of God means damage or accident which happens is no fault of yours. It could be cases of natural disasters such as snowstorms, hurricanes, winds, etc.
If the tree damage is a result of a natural disaster, then you will have to report it to your insurance company so you can be compensated for your damage.
Your neighbors do not take the cost as they are not solely responsible for the damage. It wasn’t their fault.
If the tree falling is a result of negligence or a direct human fault. Then your neighbor bears the cost of fixing the damage.
What to do if a Neighbor’s Tree is Affecting You
If this is the case, you can do any of these
1. Discuss the Issue with Your Neighbor
Before taking any step, this should be your first move. Speak to your neighbor about your concern that his or her tree can be potential damage to your property.
You can also seek permission from him to take it down or trim it as the case may be. In order to prevent misunderstandings, you can come up with an agreement to share costs between you and your neighbor.
If your neighbor refuses to budge, you can do is write a letter regarding the issue. This letter serves as a piece of evidence that shows how much you have expressed your concerns.
2. Report to the Officials
If your neighbor refuses to budge after explaining or speaking to him or her, then reporting either to the city officials or the homeowner association isn’t a bad idea. This is when you call the city on your neighbor.
A tree that is potentially damaging can be a violation of city or community laws so this will give your neighbor a sense of seriousness to address the issue or face serious consequences.
3. Document All the Damage Caused by the Tree
If the tree falls due to a natural occurrence, then your neighbor is not responsible for that but if it is due to your neighbor’s negligence, make sure to document it. Take snapshots of it and meet with the officials to report the case.
Disadvantages of Having Neighbor’s Tree Branches in Your Hand
- You Constantly Have to Clean Up Your Yard: Due to natural occurrences, the falling of dried leaves or overripe fruits can be an annoying thing to do. Holding such responsibility can cause resentment for your neighbor especially as the leaves or fruits falling in your yard do not make them legally yours.
- Your Properties Become Unsafe: Another disadvantage is putting your property in a dangerous spot. If for example, a windstorm occurs, there’s a tendency for one of the branches to fall apart and land on your property. Your window area, ceiling, or front yard can be affected, and that costs money to fix.
- You Have to Deal with Birds or Rodents: If your neighbor’s tree is one that constantly produces fruit, you might have to deal with birds that come for shelter or rodents who come up to take the fruits. The aftermath of this is that you would constantly battle birds’ poo and chirpings. If you are not comfortable with this, then you are definitely at a disadvantage.
Nobody likes their property damaged or constantly piled up with dried leaves or poo. So as much as possible, maintain a friendly demeanor with your neighbor so that when it happens, you can easily walk up to him or her to talk about it freely. They can be very nice to offer you free clearing services for you or even choose to cut the hanging branch before any damage happens.