Skip to main content

A neighbor's tree by my fence has grown until its trunk is pushing the fence over across the line. Can I force its removal?

Springfield, OR |

The fence was there before the tree was planted. To repair or replace the fence the tree would need to be removed or the fence would have to be built off to one side or the other of the property line.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 1


I once had a yard maintenance company even out my lawn. Thy used a pick axe to take out some of the tree roots that were breaking the surface. Didn't hurt the tree at all. I would call someone that knows how to do this without killing the tree - then tell your neighbor that you will pay for the service to reduce this surface root to level out the fence - give them the info on who is going to do the work so they can be assured that it won't kill the tree. Hopefully they will agree to this and your problem will be solved.

You can estimate the size of a tree's root system by looking at it's canopy. As a rule of thumb the root system is bigger then the canopy. A tree can usually survive the removal or reduction of a single root just fine. But you also need to know something about the type of tree as not all trees are hardy. Trees tend to send roots to the surface in search of water when they are not getting deep watered. So you also might want to see how to set up something that feeds water more deeply to the tree to help prevent future problems if that is a possibility.

Another solution might be to adjust that section of fence so it just sits higher and is not being moved by the tree root. It is usually better to work with your neightbor to find a creative solution that you both can live with then run off to court suing people.

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

Orion Jacob Nessly

Orion Jacob Nessly


Particularly good advice considering how costly neighbor and property line disputes can get and the fact that you will likely be be living next to them for quite some time.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer