As a homeowner, you have control over the landscaping on your property, and can do as you please in terms of maintenance and layout. But what do you do when someone else’s landscaping starts to interfere with yours? The answer to this question varies from case to case, and depends on several factors. But in all cases, you want to be polite and do the right thing. Continue reading for some advice on what to do if your neighbor’s trees are overgrowing onto your property.
First Get Permission
When your neighbor’s trees are growing over into your yard, the first thing you want to do is discuss it with them. Regardless of your relationship with your neighbors, you need to get them involved. You must always ask their permission to cut or trim away overgrown tree limbs, because A❫ the trees are on their property, and B❫ it is the polite and respectful thing to do. Also, if you cut their tree limbs without permission, and it causes damage to the tree, you could potentially be held liable for any damages caused to the property as a result. So liability is another consideration that’s important to address. By politely bringing the issue to your neighbor’s attention, you open the door for a sensible and friendly conversation, which increases your chances of finding an easy solution. They may even decide to trim their trees themselves after you mention the overgrowth, thus eliminating the need to do it yourself!
Safely Trim and Cut
Once you have permission from your neighbors to take care of the overgrowth coming from their yard, it is important to safely trim and cut the tree limbs in order to protect the tree from unintentional damage. Improper tree trimming and pruning can deprive a tree of nutrition, thus affecting its overall health and growth potential. To get the job done right, you’ll need a pruning saw, a step stool, and utility clubs. Here’s some tips for getting started:
🌲 Position your ladder where necessary. You may need to cut branches from your neighbor’s yard rather than your own to get better access to limbs. Choose whichever spot is safer for working.
🌳 You may need a partner to hold the latter for you while you work, but be sure there is no one around or standing below your work space when you are making cuts. Fallen tree limbs can cause serious injuries to people and pets.
🌲 When making your cuts, be sure to start sawing from the bottom and go up. Sawing from the top down can cause the tree limb to tear away, which can be damaging to the tree.
🌳 Using your pruning saw, make the first cut directly in front of a leaf node or before the branch separates into two. Make the second cut directly above the first cut, but from the top of the branch.
🌲 Cut large branches back at least one foot past your fence or property line. It only takes two or three months for tree limbs to grow back, so you want to be sure to cut back far enough so they don’t grow directly back over your property line again.
🌳 To finish, simply smooth out the edges of your cuts using your pruning saw.
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