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Can I trim neighbors fruit trees growing over my fence?

Long Beach, CA |
Filed under: Neighbor law

my neighbor has 5 fruit trees growing next to fence on there side. Im tired of picking up fruit on my side, trees are mature and some branches are on my side. My gardener is leery about cutting the branches growing on my side.So I always notify when we will cut them. Can we be held responsible? can I also hold them financially responsible?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

Although you technically may trim tree branches and roots that intrude into your property, you should do so cautiously. It is good practice to inform the neighbor and ask if they are willing to do it for you. Otherwise, you need to be very careful not to cause damage to the tree. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.

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Posted

Yes, but you have to be very careful here. In California, you do not have the absolute right to cut or remove branches from your neighbor's tree.

In the case of Booska v. Patel (1994) 24 Cal. App. 4th 1786, the California Court of Appeal 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. You must take into account the health of the tree before you start trimming, cutting or chopping. You might be liable for reasonable costs of replacing destroyed tree with identical or substantially similar tree.

Therefore, you ought to communicate with your neighbor before you take any action

Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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