Joe Marra Tree Service

Can I Throw Neighbors’ Tree Branches Back in Their Yard?

Can I Throw Neighbors’ Tree Branches Back in Their Yard

Overhanging branches is a nuisance.

I once had an oak tree. The branches overhanging my roof and many leaves clogged my gutters.

So, I talked with my neighbor and explained the problems the tree was causing.

He didn’t have money, so I offered to cut the branches for him since I am a tree expert.

He accepted. And I cut the branches.

Is It Legal to Throw Neighbors’ Tree Branches Back In New Jersey?

Is It Legal to Throw Neighbors’ Tree Branches Back In New Jersey?

It is illegal to throw tree branches back in your neighbor’s yard.

If you cut the tree branches or they felt naturally into your yard, throwing these branches back to your neighbor’s property constitutes illegal dumping, and the tree owner can litigate against you.

Property law defines “fly-tipping of garden waste” as an illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a license to accept it.

So, if you cut tree branches and it is difficult to dispose of them, you can ask for the tree owner’s consent to return the limbs.

If the owner doesn’t want them, you will be responsible for disposing of the debris. You can trim branches that extend past the property line, but you cannot go onto the neighbor’s property or destroy the tree.

If dead branches and leaves from an overhanging tree fall naturally into your yard, you cannot throw them back into your neighbor’s yard.

Returning to my story, you may wonder, what did I do with the tree branches I cut?

Did I throw the neighbor’s tree branches back in his yard? No, I didn’t.

I disposed of the branches and tree debris with my wood chipper, shredding them into a thousand pieces, and now my neighbor and I are in peace.

Can I Cut Branches Overhanging My Property?

Yes, you can legally trim branches from a neighbor’s trees overhanging your property line, as long as you stay on your property and don’t destroy the tree.

If you do harm the tree, you could be liable for up to three times the value of the tree. Most trees have a replacement value of thousands of dollars.

Yet before turning that chainsaw on, we advise you to notify your neighbor that you will be trimming the overhanging branches.

That way, you’ll abide by the law and maintain a harmonious relationship with your neighbor.

Who Is Responsible for Cutting Overhanging Tree Branches?

Who Is Responsible for Cutting Overhanging Tree Branches?

New Jersey law states that property owners are responsible for trees or shrubs that overhang onto neighboring property.

If your neighbor’s tree branches are overhanging your property, you can first try to speak to your neighbor directly.

Explain to them that the branches are causing you a problem, and ask them to have them trimmed or removed.

If your neighbor is unwilling to trim the branches, you can file a complaint with your local municipality.

Then, your local municipality will send a representative to inspect the tree. Here, they will evaluate if the branches are overhanging your property and issue your neighbor a citation.

Your neighbor will then have some time to trim the branches. If they do not cut the limbs within the specified time, the municipality may take action to trim them themselves and bill your neighbor for the cost.

Now that you know how to proceed with the overhanging branches over your roof, it’s time to speak with your neighbor.

Mediating these things rather than scaling them to the local authorities is way better and cheaper.

Joe Marra Tree Service can help you or your neighbor trim trees in Oak Ridge, Wayne, West Milford, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, and Oakland, NJ. Our mission is to help keep a peaceful, neat neighborhood with green trees.

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