When it comes to trees and property lines, there are some general guidelines that apply in most areas. Let’s break down the common rules and responsibilities:


Ownership of Trees on Property Lines:

       In most states, if the trunk of a tree is located on your side of the property line, the tree would be considered your responsibility, and vice versa for your neighbor.

      However, any trees that are located directly on a property line are the shared responsibility of both homeowners on either side of the boundary. These trees are called boundary trees.

 Boundary trees are jointly owned by all homeowners whose properties they border. 

That means all homeowners have both rights and responsibilities related to the tree.

Maintaining a Boundary Tree:

If a tree sits on the property line, it belongs to and is the responsibility of both homeowners.

Legally, you’re not allowed to enter your neighbor’s property to maintain a tree. Therefore, if a tree is on a property line, you’re each responsible for the upkeep on your side of the tree

 To avoid potential disputes, it’s best to avoid planting a tree directly on the property line if possible.

Trimming a Neighbor’s Tree:

 You have the right to trim any part of a neighbor’s tree that grows into your yard, including branches, trunks, or roots.

      However, you can only trim up to the property line; you cannot go beyond it.       

If you damage the tree during trimming, you may be held liable for damages and penalties, which could be up to three times the value of the tree.

City Trees:

Trees close to sidewalks or between the sidewalk and street may be considered city or street trees.

Contact your local city authorities to confirm tree ownership and city tree regulations.

Some cities prune their street trees regularly, while others may allow or expect homeowners to prune the street tree directly in front of their property.

Remember that open communication with your neighbor is essential when dealing with tree-related issuesIf you’re unsure about local laws or regulations, consult with a certified arborist or legal professional to ensure you’re following the correct procedures.

Bay Area tree Specialists 

541 W. Capitol Expy. #287

San Jose, CA 95136

Phone: 408-836-9147


Workers Comp. & Liability Insurance, Contractor License #836837