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Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 09:38AM
Hi everyone,

Anyone know the best way to figure out one's property lines? I've looked at my city's property viewer, but it's not intuitively obvious to see where the property lines are.

The issue, if anyone's curious-- my next-door neighbor, with whom I'm pretty friendly (and want to keep things that way!) has planted a tree in the area between our houses, next to the street. Stupidly, I'd thought that the tree would stay small, and not knowing much about trees, I didn't realize that what they'd planted is some kind of oak. If the tree had stayed small, I wouldn't have had a problem with it, but it's already starting to grow branches up and over my side of the property line, and also it is starting to grow up towards the power/phone lines. It also obscures my view of my car and the street with some of my Ring cameras, which I am definitely NOT happy about... defeats the whole purpose of the cameras.

I've contacted the neighbor about it, and they say that they'd planned to trim, but not until after the Spring season... they said they'd see what they could do to trim, but who knows when they'll take care of it. Frankly I'm a little surprised that they didn't speak with me first before planting it last year, given that it might lie along the property line.

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree... which is fine, had they asked me first before planting it. As mentioned, I do want to retain friendly relations with them, and it's also obvious that the spot where they'd planted it was intended to have something planted in that spot, but... planting an oak that close to both of our houses was maybe not a great idea? (On the flip side: trees absorb ground water, and around here, that's not a bad thing in terms of preventing flooding.)

What do you all make of this?




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: August West
Date: April 17, 2022 09:53AM
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.



“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in."
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 09:55AM
Quote
August West
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.

How have I answered my own question? The problem is that, without knowing for sure where the property line is, I can't make any definite assessment of responsibility.

I was hoping to figure out the property lines without having to do a survey, but if I must, then I must...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Rolando
Date: April 17, 2022 10:06AM
In Texas, if its on your side of the property line, you are free to trim it.

I've trimmed by neighbors tree branches that hang over my side.

If a neighbor's tree ie Roots in neighbor's plot, falls on your house, then they are responsible. Do you have a picture of the new planting for reference.

If you look about 1-3 feet from the street, you might find marker denoting the property line. A metal spike in the ground.



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)


"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: flareslow
Date: April 17, 2022 10:09AM
A survey may have been done when you bought the property if you are the owner. If so, look in your paperwork from the title closing attorney.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: April 17, 2022 10:20AM
PeterB,

Several things happening here:

A. The tree was planted by your neighbor. That means they both own it and are responsible for it. Doesn't matter if portions of the tree are on your property, i.e. branches and roots. The tree is still the responsibility of your neighbors.

B.Your neighbors were rude and unneighborly to plant a tree that risked encroaching on your property without discussing it with you. I'd definitely would've said something about the tree the day I noticed it.

C. Typically, the law allows you to trim any portion of the tree that encroaches on your property. Your neighbor doesn't actually have any say in the matter.

Some things to do:

A. Put your neighbors on notice in writing about your issues with the tree. Verbal is nice but you really need to have it in writing be it via hardcopy or digitally. Maybe send them a polite text saying, "Hey, we really need to do something about the branches of the tree. Can we schedule an appointment to have them trimmed?" That way, if the issue becomes a more problem your neighbor can't say you never said a word to them about it.

B. See if you can get a copy of the survey from the local authorities, i.e. village, town, etc. If that isn't possible, spend the bucks for one. It may prove very handy to have in the future knowing your neighbor has already proven once they aren't polite about respecting property lines.

C. Once you know the boundaries of your property, ask them to trim the tree and do to it in a timely manner. If they are unwilling to work with your time frame, assuming it's reasonable, ask if you can do it yourself. They may prove unwilling to foot the bill since they said they'd do it after the spring season.

D. If the branches are getting to close to the power lines, contact the local utility about them. They may send someone to evaluate the branches. If they are confirmed an issue, they'll send a crew to trim the branches since it is a potential power and safety issue and they'll do it at no cost to you or your neighbor. Note, the crew might not do it in the the nicest way possibly. They'll do it in the easiest and most utilitarian way.

Above all, definitely try and be nice about all of the above. May not be easy but definitely worth it.

Robert
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 10:32AM
Unfortunately, I don't think I have photos from when they first planted it. Partly because it was during corona times, when I was (and still am) barely venturing out from the house. I didn't say anything to them about it at the time partly because I wasn't myself sure about where the property lines were, and also partly because I didn't want to make a stink about it. Also, I didn't know that it would be getting considerably bigger. I do agree that it was unneighborly of them to plant it without discussing it with me first.

I'm also not sure that it IS their property, if planted on the property line... from what I can tell, the law here seems to suggest that it is co-owned (with co-responsibility for it) if it's on the property line.

I'll see if I can find the property line information in the deed.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: chopper
Date: April 17, 2022 10:37AM
If you want to retain friendly relations with them then kindly ask them to trim your side of the tree back. And then drop it.

How much can an oak tree grow in one year? Is it planted over a septic tank?
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: April 17, 2022 10:40AM
PeterB,

Sounds to me then you need to get the survey done _and_ speak to an attorney to have him/her confirm exactly what the law in your area says about both ownership and responsibility for the tree.

Robert
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 10:59AM
It grew pretty significantly in the last year. What started out as a sapling is now sending up branches in all directions, touching what I think are either power lines or telephone lines, or both.

I have asked for them to trim, as stated. I must don't know when (if) they're going to do it.

No idea if it's planted over a septic tank -- I don't think we have those here.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Forrest
Date: April 17, 2022 11:04AM
Check you local ordinances first. Where I live, the ordinances are posted online and there is no charge to view them. For reference, you are not allowed to plant or replant a tree between the curb and sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, you cannot plant a tree within 10 feet of the curb.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: srf1957
Date: April 17, 2022 11:12AM
If you live in someplace weird like Portland Oregon . You have to get permission from city arborist to even trim a tree .
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: btfc
Date: April 17, 2022 11:58AM
If it is messing or about to mess with power lines the power company will have something to say about it.

Definitely check the deed, sometimes there is a description of the corner markers.

More and more I see GPS coordinates both in deeds and county property records, but not everywhere.

On one of my properties. I was able to locate the other three corner markers by using Google Earth’s indicated position for the known one and accounting for the offset on Google Earth’s shown location for the others.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2022 12:41PM by btfc.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: April 17, 2022 12:12PM
[property.nola.gov] will have basic outline of the property. You can overlay their aerial image to get a rough idea where they are. The planning department might be able to tell you where the closest survey monument is to use as a reference.

ArcGIS can be more accurate online but it might be off by 3 feet.
[portal-nolagis.opendata.arcgis.com]



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 17, 2022 12:33PM
1: You made a reasonable request. You’d like the tree trimmed.

2: Neighbor gave a reasonable answer. After the Spring.

3: Your post sounds like you accepted his answer but now want quicker action.

4: As already mentioned, a proper SURVEY will show exactly where the property lines are.

5: As already mentioned, you need to learn & understand applicable ordinances.

6: Check with the utilities involved; they’re likely to be up on this topic & they want to avoid service interruptions.

7: Did either of you engage the services of a professional arborist? If not, you should.

8: At this stage, ANY way you do this is likely to piss off your neighbor

9: We’re here to help BUT remember; All advice here is worth what you paid for it. Good Luck. I hope you do better with the new neighbors.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: digby
Date: April 17, 2022 12:45PM
The utility company WILL trim it if it gets ANYwhere near the power lines (it's 6' in our city, and they're chop-happy here).
You could alert them, which might speed up the process.

Now for the psychology of it: you said you "didn't want to make a stink". I'd hang onto that thought, and stay stinkless.

We have neighbors who planted a tree years ago, and now it's interfering with the view of the lake from our porch. And I retired so that I could spend quality time with my lawn chair on that porch.
It's been tough, but in an effort NOT to become a crotchety old man, I'm accepting the tree, and rarely daydream about sneaking over there with a ski mask and a chainsaw...

So I'm accepting my lack of control over everything that annoys me, and appreciating my neighbors for their good points (so, everything but that damn tree! Uh, oh, where are my blood pressure meds?).
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 01:19PM
digby is pretty on the mark here. Generally speaking, I have a very good relationship with these neighbors, and would prefer to keep it so ... for lots of reasons. Both of us have been very good neighbors to each other, generally speaking, so I don't want to ruin that. (The planting of the tree is, I would say, an exception to their being considerate neighbors; and in fairness to them, they might have been misinformed as to what the property line is, though I do still think that they should have consulted with me first, regardless-- since the tree being there will affect my property too.) They are reasonable people, and so am I (at least so far as I'm concerned!).

If the branches eventually get trimmed, I'm fine with that. They've been alerted (by me) to the problems, I'm just not sure how long it'll take them to do it, and/or if they really see why it's a problem. If nothing happens within, say, a month ... then I'll have to pester them a bit more about it, if for no other reason than that the branches hitting the utility wires could be quite dangerous.

If I'd known what type of tree this was, and that it would be getting substantially larger, I would definitely have said something to them about it much earlier... but then, they should probably not have been planting something without speaking with me first. (As a side note: they have another large tree in their backyard which is definitely bordering on a different neighbor's backyard; this tree has some branches that also overhang my yard, and they've gotten someone to tend to that tree and the neighbor even apologized to me that I was having to deal with the leaves... so again, relatively conscientious, good neighbors, other than the current tree situation.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2022 01:20PM by PeterB.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 17, 2022 01:22PM
“ I was hoping to figure out the property lines without having to do a survey, but if I must, then I must...”

I saw someone use an app that got close. I don’t know how absolutely accurate it was.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: gadje
Date: April 17, 2022 01:45PM
Hi, just curious: what do you plan to di it it turns out the tree is a few inches inside your property?
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 17, 2022 01:47PM
1: You made a reasonable request. You’d like the tree trimmed.

2: Neighbor gave a reasonable answer . After the Spring.

3: Your post sounds like you accepted his answer but now want quicker action.

4: As already mentioned, a proper SURVEY will show exactly where the property lines are.

5: As already mentioned, you need to learn & understand applicable ordinances.

6: Check with the utilities involved; they’re likely to be up on this topic & they want to avoid service interruptions.

7: Did either of you engage the services of a professional arborist? If not, you should.

8: At this stage, ANY way you do this is likely to piss off your neighbor

9: We’re here to help BUT remember; All advice here is worth what you paid for it. Good Luck. I hope you do better with the new neighbors.



ALL very good points.

Start out easy, because if you go in heavy duty, it's tough to walk that back.

Talking to an arborist or even someone knowledgeable at a nursery might explain why your neighbor wants to wait until spring — probably it's better for the tree to trim then and not sooner.

You could casually, if not done already, mention about having a clear view of your car via camera, and any other concerns, before the trimming starts.

After it's done you can asses whether or not it meets your goals.

But that means your camera view is obscured in the meantime...

The first thing I'd do is #5 — learn and know the applicable law for this.

If the tree is on his side of the fence, it's very likely that it's on his property, not yours.

It could happen, and probably does from time to time, that a fence wasn't erected on a property line but on one side of it.

But a fence and a tree on your property?

You can't know that without a definitive survey done by the city or county, whoever has purview.

Your deed and paperwork may have that info, but you want a clear official document.

An app might give you a ball park idea, but I wouldn't bother.

A legal, definitive document is the best option, and really the only one you can depend on.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

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We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: April 17, 2022 02:44PM
Quote
Rolando


If a neighbor's tree ie Roots in neighbor's plot, falls on your house, then they are responsible. Do you have a picture of the new planting for reference.

That is very state specific. In WI it would be the opposite unless the owner was grossly negligent in clearing a dead tree and was warned/cited previously to clear it.



C(-)ris
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: bfd
Date: April 17, 2022 03:08PM
Like pines, oak trees should only be trimmed during the late fall and winter. Trimming oak trees after that risks fungal diseases like oak wilt. Once that sap starts running heavily, trimming is not at all recommended for either pines or oaks. Sorry for the bad news, but check with a certified arborist. They'll likely tell you exactly the same thing ± a few weeks...

The idea that your neighbor will get around to it mañana doesn't bode well for the health of the tree. And that would be even worse for your situation.

Good luck…
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 17, 2022 03:55PM
Thanks all for suggestions.

The property maps I'm seeing so far suggest that the property line runs straight down between our houses, which means they planted the tree exactly on the line. They really should not have done that without discussing it with me first, and from what I see of the laws, doing so (if what I'm seeing for the property lines is correct) makes the tree both of our property AND responsibility. It already has branches that hang over onto my side of the property, and again the law I'm seeing says that I'm within my rights as a property owner to trim the stuff that's on my side... but I'd rather not go down that route yet, for the reasons many of you have already brought up. In the meantime, I've documented with photos.

I'm (frankly) still a little bit in shock that they decided to do this without speaking to me first, and furthermore that they planted an oak ... which they must have known could get huge, and cause all sorts of problems where they planted it-- not just for me, but potentially for them as well.

Did I also mention that I have terrible allergies, and oak is one of the worst offenders here! Yes, they're beautiful trees, but... I would definitely have picked something a lot smaller.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 17, 2022 04:28PM
Possibly the neighbor didn't realize it would encroach on your side of the fence.

Possibly he did and just didn't GAF.

Possibly he thought the fence was on the property line and that the tree he bought was his, once planted on his side of the fence.

Possibly that tree he bought and planted became community property between the to residences, but that doesn't seem likely.

A lot of possibilities because of information you don't have, before making any assumptions or conclusions.

If the neighbor is at all likely to balk at your questions/requests/demands you may have as this progresses.

You'll need to know your ground much better than now, if you're to stand it.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: gadje
Date: April 17, 2022 05:21PM
move
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: gadje
Date: April 17, 2022 05:22PM
why some poeple mentione the fence? the OP did not mention any fence.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2022 05:23PM by gadje.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Speedy
Date: April 17, 2022 06:33PM
Quote
C(-)ris
Quote
Rolando


If a neighbor's tree ie Roots in neighbor's plot, falls on your house, then they are responsible. Do you have a picture of the new planting for reference.

That is very state specific. In WI it would be the opposite unless the owner was grossly negligent in clearing a dead tree and was warned/cited previously to clear it.

Same in my state. Any part of the tree extending to our property is ours to deal with. If a branch falls on our house, our problem. Same deal with negligence.

A neighbor planted a tree on our property and one straddling the property line. This happened because we didn’t stake the lot corners. Our cable company (Charter) had come in years before and laid cable and installed pods. As time passed, we all erroneously used the pods as lot corners.

Eventually the one neighbor decided to build a detached building on his lot. This required a survey because he wanted his building to be as close as allowed to the edge of his lot (10 feet, I think). Up went the surveyor’s stakes on his lot and ours which I paid no particular attention to (stakes can go on non-builder’s property for various reasons).

Then one day shortly after I saw he had a sprinkler company pull up his sprinkler system and move it. Very odd. I asked him why he moved his sprinkler system and he explained that it was on our property. We gained about 15 feet on his side - but lost about 10 feet on the corner we share with our other neighbor. We also gained one tree and another half of a tree that sat half on our property from the first neighbor.

However, the neighbor who had gained 10 feet of ‘our’ property had planted a whole row of conifers on his neighbor’s lot (yep, our neighbor lost land on his lot on the far side away from us) which were also left. Fortunately that final neighbor (who gained all the conifers) lived on a corner lot and the screwups stopped.

Now we have one stake which we all use to determine our corners (the original survey marker from before any homes were built is iron and is buried under several inches of added soil and has been lost again). The end result was that our neighbor on the side away from the neighbor who did the survey ‘lost’ land to the neighbor on the far corner who gained land. Nobody particularly complained.

A dozen years later we had a sprinkler system installed and paid about $600 for a new survey. After that, once again the original marker’s location became lost as the years passed.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: jh
Date: April 17, 2022 08:09PM
What specie of oak tree is it?

From Google:

Oak species found in Louisiana include post oak, Shumard oak, Nuttall oak, water oak, swamp chestnut oak, blackjack oak, overcup oak, laurel oak, bluejack oak, southern red oak, white oak and live oak. Other varieties in the region are the willow oak, sawtooth oak, cherrybark oak and turkey oak.

The specie can determine how it grows and if it is close to the home what problems it may cause with its limbs and leaves falling--assuming they do fall in New Orleans.

How close of are the homes to each other? Once the tree continues to grow and depending upon how long you live there large oak limbs over you home may be a concern. Since you live in an area prone to hurricanes you might want to consider what the potential danger might be.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: srf1957
Date: April 17, 2022 08:43PM
A little Tordon will take care of the problem for a few years .
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 17, 2022 08:56PM
Quote
srf1957
A little Tordon will take care of the problem for a few years .

as will diesel fuel, or that root killer for sewer lines.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: vision63
Date: April 17, 2022 10:24PM
Google Maps Street View lets you see a property historically every time one of their camera cars passed it by. Maybe you can see it's genesis that way.

You neighbor could just have been ignorant about the nature of the tree so I wouldn't sweat them. I would let them know that I'm concerned about what the tree can do over the long term.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 17, 2022 11:34PM
If you're on good terms with this neighbor then you should be direct with them as soon as possible. IMO this is preferable to the back and forth you're currently involved in where it sounds like the neighbor thinks everything is fine aside from a small chore to do sometime in the next year meanwhile you're researching property boundary lines and tree species.

How large was the tree when planted? Hopefully it was a sapling - cheap! Maybe the current tree is removed and moved over 6 feet.

To be honest, the complaints about it being on the property line and near power lines leave me cold. It was something I hated about nyc - you can be legally correct and suck the life out of a place. Large, stateful trees eventually bring dignity to a landscape like nothing else.

Your neighbors are trying to do something good. Support them in that even if it means taking a couple of steps back right now.



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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 18, 2022 12:05AM
"Large, stateful trees eventually bring dignity to a landscape like nothing else."

many neighborhoods in Seattle, like Madrona, Queen Anne and Ravenna have roadways and sidewalks destroyed by such trees. I'm talking 6"+ of concrete heaving from the roots, that can rip out a vehicles oil pan, or cause the elderly to trip and fall.. The city finds it cheaper to pay for the auto repairs, than to maintain the trees and the concrete.

It only works if you plant the right kind of trees, in the right places, and guarantee that they get the proper maintenance. That doesn't happen very often.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2022 12:06AM by Racer X.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 18, 2022 12:34AM
Are trees in Seattle different? Never saw that in the Midwest or northeast. Still, I don’t think any of these is the locality of the original poster.



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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 18, 2022 05:39AM
I'm just pointing out what happens when people don't think beyond themselves. Not thinking about how tall a tree will grow, for example. I may move in a decade, but 30 years later, it might get to be a 40' tall tree, and someone needs to deal with it after I have gone.

As an example of this, we just took out a tree planted by the original owner of the house. It was planted under the power line for the house. Power line 30 feet up, but under it, a tree that typically grows to 40 feet or so when fully mature. Bad planning with little forethought. But he moved before it got that tall. The power line for the house ended up running through the branches of the tree.

We have plans to sculpt that part of the yard, and plant trees that typically grow to 15-18 feet, and their canopy @10 feet wide, so they won't overhang the neighbors yard, and cause them problems.

The city even has a list of trees that are suitable for our climate, with typical dimensions at maturity to help people plant wisely. Trees with roots that grow deep, not shallow and running horizontally. Not a requirement, just smart choices. All of this came about because of the damage trees planted well before WW II have caused to the city's roads and sidewalks.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: davec
Date: April 18, 2022 07:23AM
Quote
bfd
Like pines, oak trees should only be trimmed during the late fall and winter. Trimming oak trees after that risks fungal diseases like oak wilt. Once that sap starts running heavily, trimming is not at all recommended for either pines or oaks. Sorry for the bad news, but check with a certified arborist. They'll likely tell you exactly the same thing ± a few weeks...

The idea that your neighbor will get around to it mañana doesn't bode well for the health of the tree. And that would be even worse for your situation.

Good luck…

bfd is correct about the correct time to prune an oak tree and about oak wilt. Oak wilt can damage or kill an oak tree.

Good Luck
Dave



...on the trailing edge of technology.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: April 18, 2022 07:57AM
In the Northeast, survey markers tend to be steel spikes or rebar driven into the ground a few inches below the surface. If you use a metal detector, you may be able to locate the survey markers. If you can't find the markers, it would wise to have your property surveyed and proper markers set.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2022 07:57AM by macphanatic.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Sam3
Date: April 18, 2022 09:22AM
Quote
macphanatic
In the Northeast, survey markers tend to be steel spikes or rebar driven into the ground a few inches below the surface. If you use a metal detector, you may be able to locate the survey markers. If you can't find the markers, it would wise to have your property surveyed and proper markers set.

I think this should be the first step, have a survey done. That way it will be known where actually the property lines are. Up until that point, almost everything here is speculation.

Step two would be to read up on the local ordinances, find out what are the responsibilities of property owners regarding trees.

Then you can discuss with the neighbor trimming, not trimming,etc.



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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 18, 2022 09:43AM
Again, thanks for info guys. I think matt is correct that they are/were trying to do something good... it's just that where they planted it is a problem.

I actually realized that they probably got the tree (yes, it was planted as a sapling) from a local organization here that provides trees to residents free of charge, so as to try to improve the landscape and also mitigate flooding risk. When I went to this organization's website, it even showed me that they'd planted (and when) and ... interestingly, it showed that they had supposedly planted a Sweetbay Magnolia, in fact two of them. But when I tried to identify the tree using PlantSnap, it was saying that it's an oak. (Likely a Shumard's oak or Cherrybark oak, is what it was telling me.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Robert M
Date: April 18, 2022 10:49AM
PeterB,

Sam is spot-on. FWIW, you should save the information you got from the organizations web site. It may prove handy in the future, especially if you and your neighbors can't come to an agreement about what to do about the tree.

Robert
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 18, 2022 01:18PM
Robert, already done about saving the info from the website. It also led me to see that they would have needed to fill out a permit for the trees, and info with the permit includes stuff like how to pick an appropriate tree, minimum spacing guidelines, etc.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 18, 2022 01:49PM
Quote
August West
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.

I don't think you are responsible for maintenance of a tree planted by your neighbor on his property.

And if you are? Then I presume you would be free to trim back (i.e., remove) any section of the tree that extends over the property line to your property.



It is what it is.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 18, 2022 02:49PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
August West
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.

I don't think you are responsible for maintenance of a tree planted by your neighbor on his property.

And if you are? Then I presume you would be free to trim back (i.e., remove) any section of the tree that extends over the property line to your property.

The information I have so far suggests that it was planted right on the property line, which -- again from the information I've found so far -- means that we have co-ownership and co-responsibility for it. You're right to say that this also means that I can trim the branches that hang on my side of the property line, but of course I'd rather not have to do that. (I'd rather that they take responsibility for it, since they were the ones who planted it, and also I'd rather be a good neighbor about it.) The bigger issue is that, if it is indeed an oak, it's liable to get huge and then present a nuisance to both of our properties. All of these points I will make to the neighbor, once I'm certain of my facts.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: April 18, 2022 04:34PM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
August West
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.

I don't think you are responsible for maintenance of a tree planted by your neighbor on his property.

And if you are? Then I presume you would be free to trim back (i.e., remove) any section of the tree that extends over the property line to your property.

The information I have so far suggests that it was planted right on the property line, which -- again from the information I've found so far -- means that we have co-ownership and co-responsibility for it. You're right to say that this also means that I can trim the branches that hang on my side of the property line, but of course I'd rather not have to do that. (I'd rather that they take responsibility for it, since they were the ones who planted it, and also I'd rather be a good neighbor about it.) The bigger issue is that, if it is indeed an oak, it's liable to get huge and then present a nuisance to both of our properties. All of these points I will make to the neighbor, once I'm certain of my facts.

Law is law, but I have a difficult time with the idea that a third-party can force you to be responsible for maintenance of a tree simply by planting it partially or entirely on your property, especially if they do so without your knowledge or permission. That doesn't seem right.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/18/2022 04:34PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 18, 2022 04:52PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
PeterB
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
August West
You've answered your own question.

Quote

I don't know all the full laws here in NOLA about trees on property lines, but I'd guess that we share responsibility for that tree...

Discover what the law says. If you want to delineate property lines, have a survey done.

I don't think you are responsible for maintenance of a tree planted by your neighbor on his property.

And if you are? Then I presume you would be free to trim back (i.e., remove) any section of the tree that extends over the property line to your property.

The information I have so far suggests that it was planted right on the property line, which -- again from the information I've found so far -- means that we have co-ownership and co-responsibility for it. You're right to say that this also means that I can trim the branches that hang on my side of the property line, but of course I'd rather not have to do that. (I'd rather that they take responsibility for it, since they were the ones who planted it, and also I'd rather be a good neighbor about it.) The bigger issue is that, if it is indeed an oak, it's liable to get huge and then present a nuisance to both of our properties. All of these points I will make to the neighbor, once I'm certain of my facts.

Law is law, but I have a difficult time with the idea that a third-party can force you to be responsible for maintenance of a tree simply by planting it partially or entirely on your property, especially if they do so without your knowledge or permission. That doesn't seem right.

I agree, but I guess they could make the argument that even if it wasn't with my permission, it couldn't have been without my knowledge (since obviously it's partly on my property). Also, they could make the argument that it was tacitly with my permission, since I didn't object to it when it was first planted. (But then, I had no idea how big it would get... I'm not a tree person.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: Janit
Date: April 20, 2022 06:40AM
When you do approach your neighbor about this again, it would be best to take the stance of an ally rather than of an adversary. All your research can be used for this purpose, and you may even be able to throw some shade on the tree-planting organization in service of your neighborly relations. (See what I did there?)

Was a Sweetbay Magnolia a more suitable tree for this site? Did the tree-planters make a mistake? What else did they say they planted in the area, and what did they actually plant?

I am not suggesting you outright throw the tree-planters under the bus, but if you can make this into a shared problem, you are likely to have a better outcome.
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Re: Property line/tree neighbor question
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 20, 2022 07:56AM
I've been told by a "Tree Guy' that OAK trees send down a "TAP ROOT". Said tap root basically grows straight down to "anchor" said oak tree. Of course, as the oak tree grows, so will the tap root. It would be prudent to speak with a KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONAL (licensed arborist or staff at your "County Extension" if one exists where you are).
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