Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

Neighbor cutting other neighbor's trees

Trees in my yard are overhanging my neighbor's yard. She wants me to cut them back. One branch was touching her roof which I promptly had removed.

My neighbor says she wants to cut back the branches from my tree that are over her yard and send me the bill. I believe this is against the law and that she can only trim my tree with my permission and at her own expense. Is this correct? She is also asking that I clean up the leaves in her yard. It's autumn, leaves fall. I don't think I need to do her yard work for her. She is the owner of this house which is rental property for her. Her tenants have a gardener that does the yard work for them.

Are there any laws regarding this issue?

Thank you.

Asked on 11/30/00, 5:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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Re: Neighbor cutting other neighbor's trees

The trees belong to you. To the extent the limbs or roots invade your neighbor's airspace or soil, they are at least technically trespassory. Your neighbor can remove the limbs that overhang her property, but in California the courts generally would not allow the neighbor to collect her costs of removing the "trespassing" limbs from you.

The closest to on-point statutes are Civil Code sections 833 and 834. Beyond those, case law controls.

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Answered on 12/04/00, 2:08 am
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq. The Law Offices of Norman Gregory Fernandez & Associates
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Re: Neighbor cutting other neighbor's trees

If your trees our overhanging into your neighbors yard than you are legally trespassing into your neighbors property. She can remove the trespass without your permission, and recover the cost of doing so! Your neighbor might also recover punitive damages against you if they were to go to Court because this is considered an intentional tort!!

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Answered on 12/04/00, 5:36 pm

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