Legality of trimming tree limbs that hang over property lines (Florida)

FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,303 Moderator
I've always been under the impression that if a tree limb from a neighbor hangs over into my yard that I was free to trim it within the confines of my property lines. Legally, is this accurate? Is the trimming responsibility on me or the owner of the tree? 

The reason I ask is that our neighborhood is bordered by an adjoining neighborhood's private drive that runs behind about 8 or 9 houses in my neighborhood. The neighboring homeowners have asked our HOA to trim the trees and the HOA is considering a special assessment to pay an arborist to do the work. I'm not one of the houses that borders the adjoining neighborhood's drive and am of the opinion that if "we" have to pay for it then that financial responsibility should fall on the backs of those within our neighborhood who own the trees. And if "we" aren't legally bound to pay for it, then the adjoining neighborhood is free to do their own trimming.

Anyone in the know?
"Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
-- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida

Replies

  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 4,228 Captain
    edited May 31 #2
    I think you can trim any limb that hangs over your property without anyone's permission however, if you point out to your neighbor that the limbs from his tree are posing a treat to your property does that mean he has the responsibility to get them trimmed? I would think not but, if the tree limb falls on your house and you knowingly pointed out that it was a danger and did not trim it your insurance company could deny your claim since you did nothing to prevent a known issue. Couldn't they?

    IMO, the guy that wants the limbs trimmed should be responsible for it.

    I also think that if you are a member of a HOA then you have to do what they want, don't you? But I'm not a lawyer or a member of an HOA so never mind.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • treemanjohntreemanjohn Posts: 2,847 Captain
    Your property lines extend straight up. You can cut anything that hangs over your property without recourse. You can also dab RM 43 on the fresh clean cuts if it's a huge pain
    We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends President Trump
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 1,491 Moderator
    Fletch, I'd ask an attorney. There are some odd laws in this area.
    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)
  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 23,982 AG
    You need to ask an attorney. Your question isn't can you trim limbs hanging in your yard, which you can. The question is can a neighbor force you to trim limbs hanging in his yard. I don't think so, but I wouldn't trust my opinion if it was me.

    Your homeowners association should be the one asking an attorney.




    Mini Mart Magnate

  • cadmancadman Home of the Gators Posts: 23,982 AG
    The only question you should ask is can the HA pass an assessment to pay for work on private property.
    Are you sure the trees aren't in the common area? The association should only be responsible for trees in the common area. 

    Mini Mart Magnate

  • leadheadleadhead Posts: 90 Greenhorn
    I see this issue every day. Anything hanging over your vertical property line you have the right and responsibility to trim. If the tree is a danger and the owner has been notified then that is a little different. 
  • HeatwaveHeatwave Posts: 1,997 Captain
    cadman said:
    The only question you should ask is can the HA pass an assessment to pay for work on private property.
    Are you sure the trees aren't in the common area? The association should only be responsible for trees in the common area. 

    I think the trees are on the long driveway, private owner that lives behind his neighborhood. Thus, long driveway, with trees that hang over the 8 or 9 adjacent properties backyards. ? I would think one answer here is correct, if you want them cut from YOUR property (your neighbors) then they can take care of those. Maybe you like the shade and don't want them cut from yours.
    It sounds to me like 1 or 2 people who don't like them want everyone else to pay for cutting the trees that hang over their property, and while at it, do them all. If this is the LEADER of the HOA, you may not have a voice...

    If you want yours done, get it done before they hire some expensive arborist to do it. If not, protest that you don't want yours done, put it out there ASAP before slapped with the bill.
  • tjensentjensen Posts: 68 Greenhorn
    Your property lines extend straight up. You can cut anything that hangs over your property without recourse. You can also dab RM 43 on the fresh clean cuts if it's a huge pain

    Won't that kill the entire tree?
  • mplspugmplspug Lake Mary, FloridaPosts: 6,433 Admiral
    ^^^  :D

    Captain Todd Approves

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain
    The glyphosate may kill the limb back to about the tree trunk, but I doubt that it would kill the entire tree. It would be necessary to ring the entire tree trunk with an axe cutting down into the living wood tissue then spraying it well all around with the herbicide to kill the entire tree. And by-the-way: if you are up to speed in your knowledge about glyphosate, well, never mind!
  • treemanjohntreemanjohn Posts: 2,847 Captain
    tjensen said:
    Your property lines extend straight up. You can cut anything that hangs over your property without recourse. You can also dab RM 43 on the fresh clean cuts if it's a huge pain

    Won't that kill the entire tree?
    Yes that's why I said if the trees a huge pain. 41% Glyphosate will kill trees and the X factor in RM43 is Imazapyr. It doesn't play games.  
    We’re like the piggy bank that everybody is robbing, and that ends President Trump
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,289 Officer
    Chances are if the limbs are crossing over the line........so are some roots. A shovel or machete to expose the inside of the root and then a little 41%.......may give more of a desired outcome. ;)

    Of course "I" wouldn't know that fer sure. :D:smiley:

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • FletchFletch Merritt Island, FLPosts: 2,303 Moderator
    edited June 10 #14
    Heatwave said:
    cadman said:
    The only question you should ask is can the HA pass an assessment to pay for work on private property.
    Are you sure the trees aren't in the common area? The association should only be responsible for trees in the common area. 

    I think the trees are on the long driveway, private owner that lives behind his neighborhood. Thus, long driveway, with trees that hang over the 8 or 9 adjacent properties backyards. ? I would think one answer here is correct, if you want them cut from YOUR property (your neighbors) then they can take care of those. Maybe you like the shade and don't want them cut from yours.
    It sounds to me like 1 or 2 people who don't like them want everyone else to pay for cutting the trees that hang over their property, and while at it, do them all. If this is the LEADER of the HOA, you may not have a voice...

    If you want yours done, get it done before they hire some expensive arborist to do it. If not, protest that you don't want yours done, put it out there ASAP before slapped with the bill.

    The trees are not in common areas. Our neighborhood has a single sreet that runs East to West and dead ends at the Indian River. 9 houses on south Side of street and 9 on the North side. The drive of the adjacent neighborhood is parallel and South of our drive (behind the houses on the south side of our street). It is the trees of the houses on the south side of our street that are overhanging into the drive of the neighborhood south of us. I live on the north side of our street. 

    My biggest gripe was that my homeowner's association had even considered a special assessment to pay an arborist to do this work. No way I was going to pay extra to have my neighbors trees trimmed. They can trim their own **** trees or pay an arborist out of their own pockets.

    It appears that this thing is working itself out. A few of my neighbors are trimming the trees for the adjacent neighborhood. But based on comments above and some further research I've done, we don't have to do anything. The neighborhood to the south of us should be trimming the limbs that hang over into their property.
    "Ninety percent I'll spend on good times, women and Irish whiskey. The other ten percent, I'll probably waste..."
    -- Tug McGraw on getting a raise

    Get Down Fishing Charters - Port Canaveral, Florida
  • td.td. Posts: 4,695 Captain
    Hey Fletch, if it comes down to it, the new Dewalt cordless chainsaws are awesome and not expensive.  You could solve the issue very rapidly without hiring anyone.  Mine goes thru branches/trees with as much power or more than my gasser.i
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Posts: 1,867 Captain
    edited June 10 #16

    The roots of a hardwood tree can extend 2 1/2 times the length of the limbs or what we call the "drip line" of the tree. This was proven through a research project that we took part in on the Ocala National Forest to determine the killing effect/range of soil active herbicides on hardwoods.

    I'm not aware of any legal aspects relative to limbs across property lines, but I bet it could get really "sticky" if you considered the consequences of what would happen if ground active herbicides were used in this situation! Somebody call Morgan & Morgan and see what they say!! 

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