Ask a Lawyer – “Can I trim the branches of my neighbour’s tree if they overhang onto my property?”

A property owner has the right to trim branches or other parts of a neighbour’s trees which overhang or encroach onto his own property. This is considered the right to ‘self-help’ and is a remedy to the potential nuisance caused by the encroachment.

There are limits to this right, and a property owner may not be permitted to take any action which damages a tree to the point of destroying it, including a tree which has roots straddling the boundaries of properties.

It is also important to keep in mind that a property owner does not have the right to enter the property of a neighbour at any time, even if he is attempting to trim trees which have encroached onto his own property.

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