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Neighbors tree has become a nuisance !

Fort Walton Beach, FL |

My neighbor has trimmed his oak tree in his yard to the point that the only thing left remains over my house/yard , if i cut it to our property line there would be nothing left and would kill the tree , he has told us to pay for the service but doesn't want it removed but there would be nothing left . we live in florida and i know we cannot kill the tree but it is becoming a daily job looking after his tree leaves on my kids play thing as well as stuff that stains everything including our boat , it hangs over the power line coming to our house as well , my pool stays dirty , we can't seem to stay on top of all the debris that it comes with , now it is rotting my roof . My ins. company has ask that it be removed to insure that it doesn't fall on my house if a hurricane comes , he refuses to have it done and i would like to know what my options are in this matter? Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Attorney Answers 2


You can't trespass on his property to remove the tree. The power company will usually come and trim the tree at no charge if it is growing through the power lines. Try calling them first. If that doesn't work I would suggest you file a claim in small claims court asking for an injunction to have him remove the tree. He has created a hazard by trimming it drastically and not removing it completely, which, by the way, requires a permit from the county.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at

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Under Florida law, you may trim any branches or roots that intrude onto your property at your expense.

As long as you have someone who is competent to do the task, you are generally not liable if the tree dies. I think this would be particularly true if he has cut the tree back that far..

However, if your jurisdiction has a tree trimming ordinance, you should be sure that the person you hire to trim the tree is properly qualified, and that any necessary permits are obtained.

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Is there any way we can get some of the cost back from the owner of the tree since it has caused a lot of damage to our roof and boat? The tree service owner quoted us 1,500 just for the limb removal on the front tree the back tree over our shop is 600 more . Then with the cost of roof repair and fence damage it's right around 4,000 now. We are at a loss as to what should be done. We must rent our home out aug of next year, my husband wil retire from the air force and i would hate for our renters to have to deal with what we have . Also is there someone that enforces yard debris like falling fences and poison ivy/oak , i try to push it back over on his side because my son that is 2 happens to be allergic to it, but he just throws it right back over. This is really becoming stressful for my family as we try to keep our property nicely kept but it seems to be a loosing battle. If you can give any info as to how we can recover any of the cost for damages or other wise i would really appreciate it.

Robert Lincoln

Robert Lincoln


Not under normal "damages" principles. If the neighbor is violating some ordinance, you might be able to get damages, but generally in Florida, you bear the cost of trimming the tree over your property. A thorough review of applicable codes, any declarations for your subdivision, and more details might produce some other basis for recovery, but you will quickly pay an attorney more than the $4000 you are talking about. On the other issues, I would call code enforcement if your neighbor is throwing yard waste into your yard or if your neighbor's fence is falling down into your yard.

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