Is It Illegal To Cut Your Neighbor’s Tree Branches Hanging Over Your Property in Texas?
Here in Texas, we’re all about loving thy neighbor. Southern manners go a long way, but sometimes you can find yourself having a disagreement with your neighbors that can make you lose your religion, so to speak. I once had a neighbor who used to love to play loud music at night, and I was a light sleeper. Needless to say, some words were exchanged.
Sometimes our neighbors annoy is in more subtle ways, like not quite taking proper care of their yard. In some cases, branches from trees on their property can hang over our yards, potentially endangering structures, power cables, or even kids and pets.
If diplomacy doesn't work, you might find yourself picking up a branch trimmer yourself and hacking those branches off, but can you get in trouble for that?
ARE YOU ASKING FOR TROUBLE?
Being a new homeowner, I wanted to know if I could get in legal trouble for cutting my neighbor's branches if they hang over my yard.
I did some Googling, and it looks like there is some wiggle room here.
First and foremost, you should talk to your neighbor before doing anything. Just let them know the branches that are hanging over your property are causing problems, and ask nicely if they'll either trim them or allow you to.
If that fails, you can do some trimming. However, there are some things you need to know.
TRIM AWAY, BUT...
According to wphk-law.com and ehargravelaw.com, you can trim the offending tree, but only to the property line. However, you need to be careful not to trim in any way that endangers the health of the tree. Your neighbor could actually have a case against you if you kill or majorly damage that tree, believe it or not.
You cannot trespass on your neighbor's property while doing the trimming, and the cost of the trimming falls on you (maybe that's not fair, but your neighbor actually isn't under any legal obligation here).
For an extra layer of diligence and protection, you may want to check local ordinances and reach out to your local government just to be sure.
KEEP IT CLASSY, TEXAS
If you notice that your branches are intruding into another person's yard, do the courteous thing and offer to trim them or hire someone to do it. That's just the classy and neighborly thing to do. Your neighbor may even offer to help. Don't be the problem neighbor.
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