How far is the trunk from your property? A. The roots of a tree … If the tree is causing actual damage such as roots uplifting a deck or branches pushing down a fence, the owner can be held liable for “nuisance”, that is allowing his use of his property to damage the property of another. Roots from my neighbor’s tree have grown under the driveway of my house in Astoria, Queens, causing the asphalt to heave, buckle and crack. This Would this tree cause damage to your car if it fell on it? Or can you sue with just an estimate? Is he Do you park a car in your driveway? If the trunk is far enough that you can safely chop roots, just have the arborist do it.The arborist will know if its safe and will/should know if its legal.If you want your driveway repair sooner than later, then do it. Your post has been removed for the following reason(s): Any and all posts advocating breaking the law are subject to immediate removal. Learn more about these laws and others at … While they did remove multiple roots, there was no way for us or them to connect it to the neighbors tree at that time. High Court confirms relevant test when determining liability for tree root damage Khan v LBC: High Court confirms the relevant test when determining a tree owner's liability for tree root damage In my previous article "Rooting for Trouble" (October 2012), I discussed the issue encroaching tree roots and the claims that arise as a result of damage caused by the roots However, if the damage caused a secondary issue like your pipe bursting and water enters your home suddenly, then you might be covered for the water damage . If I park in my driveway tiny amounts of oil like drops are getting attached to my cars. My neighbors complain that the tree in my backyard is too tall; do I have to trim it? But the worker also cut (i.e., hacked with a chain saw) property. Then bill/sue the neighbor. In Booska v. Patel , 24 Cal. which it had authority to do per CA Civil Code �3346. In the Costa case, that was to the tune of $45,000. In California, trees belong exclusively to the owner of land where the trunk of the tree is located, even if the tree’s roots or branches extend into another … It is his, and his complaint seems suspiciously reinforced by the reputation that precedes him. Your neighbor may agree to take it down. Severing roots, especially roots that are large enough to crack a driveway, is a great way to destabilize a tree both in terms of health and balance, and you could easily end up owing the neighbor the value of the mature tree (which can run into the tens of thousands). roots from the neighbor’s tree caused damage to his prop-erty (41 So.3d 989, 989 [Fla. 4th DCA 2010]). If you hack at the roots, the tree will be unstable, and could die, or fall over. If you feel this was in error, message the moderators. If my neighbors tree roots are damaging my driveway and causing a safety hazard, and I have a driveway repair company trim the roots back, am I liable for any damage that may occur to his tree, including falling? Then consult a property lawyer regarding what your legal recourse is regarding repairing and protecting your driveway against future damage and what liability your neighbor has. In most states, you could hack at the roots all you want. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. If they trunk is far enough that you can safely chop roots, just have the arborist do it. tree. equaled $22,530. An arborist once told me that trees are basically the same above ground as the are underground--think of an hourglass. a property owner sued a neighbor. the appellate court agreed with the trial court except it did not (allowing award of fees when hiring unlicensed individuals who cause Read Booska v. Patel and Rony v. Costa. Now the property owner's damags totalled $45,060 in Total actual damages To avoid an unpleasant dispute (or your neighbor trimming your tree on their own—and possibly botching the job), talk with your neighbors and find out exactly how much tree trimming would do the trick. We rerouted the water as a temporary fix as opposed to pulling up our driveway. I have sort of the opposite problem. injury performing a service that requires a license). In the 1994 case of Booska v. Patel, a California appellate court held that a neighbor does not have the absolute right to cut encroaching roots and branches so that they end at his or her property line. Our neighbors are saying that our tree, which is 5 feet from a shared block wall, will damage the wall 20 years from now. agree that attorney's fees should have been awarded because the subject Trees can be a big source of tension between neighbors, which is why there are detailed laws governing tree disputes. Roots causing damage to my neighbors driveway and side yard I purchased a home about 8 months ago. California Legal News Reports Index. Press J to jump to the feed. In both cases, the neighbor cutting at roots (or branches) of their neighbor's tree had to pay their neighbor for damage to the tree. It’s likely he made the same assertion to the previous owner who apparently didn’t think to divulge it to you under the disclosure portion on the sales contract, possibly because he wanted to hide the fact or because it had little or no merit. A real estate attorney? What can I do that is within my jurisdiction? Claims for damage resulting from tree roots are brought in nuisance rather than trespass despite the fact that the tree roots will … The Court Nuisance? Looks like the general consensus is to first consult an attorney who specializes in this issue. A big tree on the condo’s property has roots encroaching onto my property. Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. Would he have to get the work done and then sue them? reasons. IANAL but I'm in CA and have been through this on the other side, DO NOT do anything to the tree, trees are heavily protected here and you can be fined a huge amount for damaging one that you don't own, even if it is infringing on your property. My neighbor informed me that the roots from my Giant Birds of Paradise are causing damage to his driveway, walkway and foundation. summary, in California, trees are well protected. They are trying to get us to cut down a very tall tree voluntarily. Then repair your driveway. The trial court then doubled the actual damages Also, the tree roots are disturbing the waterproof membrane on my home's foundation thus allowing underground water to enter into my garage. A neighbor’s trees, branches or roots are encroaching into your property. Check with an arborist. Your neighbor is however responsible for any damage his tree causes to your property. How do you decide which "wins", the driveway or the tree? Trespass? If a tree causes damage to a neighboring property, the person who owns the tree may be liable if the party who suffered the damage can prove negligence on behalf of the property owner. Laws vary somewhat but most states say that if the roots of a homeowner’s tree damages a neighbor’s drive or home, then that’s the n… This. I live in California btw. If its 30 feet away, you're probably in good shape. And those roots can Then, on top of that, the court awarded attorneys’ fees per CA Code of Civil Procedure �1029.8 Maybe just fix the driveway? My SO cut some roots of a tree in our yard, and the tree promptly fell over the first time it rained. What's the cause of action? The property owner sued A place to ask simple legal questions, and to have legal concepts explained. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the legaladvice community. When Tree Roots Burrow Under Your Sidewalk or Driveway Some homeowners have trouble with their tree roots when they grow under their sidewalks, driveways, patios, and other shallow, concrete structures. Tree roots constantly seek a water source, in doing so, they can spread very deep or very shallow and in a very large radius from the trunk. Where the roots of a tree causes damage to a neighbouring property the owner of the tree can be liable, under the law of nuisance, for such damage. Removing this tree would adversely affect the appearance of my home from the street. From the sound of it, the cost to repair your driveway, which you'd eventually have to do anyway even without the tree there, is far less than what you'd incur to litigate this. But if the actions damage the tree, you might be in trouble. damages. That said, you can send your neighbor a letter letting them know that the tree is causing damage to your property, and that they could be held responsible for it. Trees are very well protected in California it seems. Check with an arborist. California law makes it very clear that you do NOT have the right to sever the roots or otherwise harm the tree, even if it is growing in part on your property. Get an estimate of the cost to repair the damage and a further (separate) one for cutting back the roots and installing a wall below ground to force them to regrow deeper. cut on the tree owner's property. 3346 allow a tree owner to recover up to three times the cost code section did not apply on the facts of this case for technical So, my question is, what can I do about a neighbors’ tree roots causing damage in my California neighborhood?” Sorry to hear you’re dealing with this problem, Lucy, and I know it might feel like this little soggy mess is unique to you. And there is no point in trying to plead ignorance, you would still be A week later, Mark and the neighbors signed an agreement that they would hire the tree expert to cut down the leaning tree, chop up the fallen branch and clean the debris for … On appeal, What type of attorney would handle something like this? Basically, you need to meet with a California real estate lawyer and measure the costs/benefits of taking care of the roots versus some other course of action. The roots from this tree have also broken through my lovely lawn as well to the point where the root has come up in some parts on top of the lawn. Given the prior costs of messing this up, there is no way you should proceed without hiring an attorney first. substantial parts of the tree and that were on the tree owner's for wrongful injury to timber and won the trial. But it's the patio that I am really annoyed with. nuisance.”1 In the context of neighbors and their trees, the branches from your neighbor’s tree that rub against your roof or the roots that push up your sidewalk are considered a nuisance. 4th 1786 (1994), the plaintiff claimed his neighbor negligently cut the roots of his tree which in turn necessitated the tree's removal. You are clearly going to want a licensed professional with liability insurance, and you are going to need to make sure that insurance covers you if there is a claim. Fines for damaging a TPO protected tree are severe - up to £20,000 for destroying a tree even up to £2,500 just for causing damage such as cutting through roots. The most dramatic and obvious example is a tree that is felled during a storm and falls on your house or a vehicle parked in the garage or driveway. Here is how to kill tree roots without killing the tree. If the tree is cracking the driveway, presumably it's close enough that any real construction could then cause damage to the tree. You don't live in most states... you live in California. of repairing the damaged tree. Welcome to the club—neighbors who have a dispute about trees. It doesn't sound like you can have it both ways. Users who post such advice are at risk of a summary ban. land. Conflicts involving trees and neighbors are best resolved through communication, but there are laws covering these types of situations. The tree roots are dislodging the concrete pavers in my driveway. awarded damages for the replacement value of the part of tree that was California tree law between neighbors requires a landowner be responsible for maintaining a tree's foliage in a hazard-free condition. California law makes it very clear that you do NOT have the right to sever the roots or otherwise harm the tree, even if it is growing in part on your property. When tree roots are growing up out of your lawn, clogging your pipes or lifting up sidewalk it’s nice to be able to kill those roots without killing the tree. Further, damages were awarded They state that they don't want the tree cut down, and we told them that all we wanted were the roots to be cut that were on our property (or under). If a tree falls across property lines then it may also fall across power lines that separate your yard from your neighbor’s yard. My neighbor, of 5 years, is threatening to sue me in an attempt to get me to cut down a tree planted about 25 years ago and kill it's roots. Do you have the absolute right to cut or remove those branches from your property? My neighbor’s tree is damaging my cars. Does it matter if the tree preexisted the driveway? aesthetic value of the tree. unlicensed day laborer to trim a tree which was encroaching over his It's your property. Willow trees are one of the worst offenders when it comes to tree root damage. Then bill/sue the neighbor. Whether the issue is one of: (1) roots lifting driveways; (2) trees dropping debris; or (3) trees blocking views, it is important not to underestimate the complexitiesRead More The damage where the roots of the tree have been growing into would not be covered because roots do not grow overnight, this is gradual damage. 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