Legal Question in Insurance Law in District of Columbia

Pruning of neighbor's trees that overhang my yard

There is one tree in a neighbor's yards that overhangs my yard. I would like to prune it so I get some sunlightin my yard. One arborist said that removing the branches that overhang my yard would kill the tree. In addition, I am worried about this tree, which is old, could damage my house, my neighbor's house or both. I have discussed this with the owner of the house next door but he has taken no action. If I have the branches removed that overhang my yard and the tree dies, am I financially responsible for any damage the tree might do or for the death of the tree?

Asked on 11/04/03, 5:58 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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Re: Pruning of neighbor's trees that overhang my yard

You may prune the branches which overhang your property, but only in a manner that is reasonably assured not to result in the death of the tree.(Which means it can only be done, if at all, by a professional tree trimmer.)

If you were to prune the tree on your own and it

were to die, and then fall to the ground, causing damage to your neighbor's property, you would in all likelihood be responsible for the damages.

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Answered on 11/04/03, 6:17 pm

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