Trees, Neighbors and Liability

Posted by

Lesa Bell Atlanta Real Estate


Is a neighbor’s dead tree hanging precariously over your house?  Do branches of the neighbor’s tree hang over your fence and block the sun from your rose garden? Of course, it’s alwyas wise to check with your attorney for specific advice, but here are some general guidelines.

  • As a property owner, you are responsible for damage caused by a falling tree that is on your property, only if you know that a tree posed a danger. The standard from “knowing” is that of a reasonable person, not a tree expert.
  • If a tree located on a neighbor’s property looks dangerous, put the neighbor on notice, in writing, that you believe the tree poses danger to your property and ask them to remove it
  • If a tree is located on a boundary line, then each neighbor has a responsibility to maintain his portion of the tree, and they share a joint responsibility for care and maintenance of the tree.
  • A property owner may trim branches of a tree that cross onto his property, but may not physically address any issues with the tree on the neighbor’s property.


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