Overhanging Trees Responsibility is Neighbors’

  Question: Our backyard backs up to a bridle trail in Tempe. Although our homeowners association owns the bridle trail, our neighboring homeowner is required to maintain it. Our neighboring homeowner has contacted us about the branches of several of our 20-year-old pine trees hanging over our back wall and impeding horseback riding on the bridle trail. One young lady was apparently almost knocked off her horse.

Unless there is permanent damage to our pine trees, we would have no objection to branches being trimmed. Under Arizona law, however, who has the responsibility to pay for the cost of trimming these overhanging trees?

  Answer: The general rule is that a neighboring homeowner is entitled to trim the branches of a neighbor’s tree that hang over onto the neighboring homeowner’s property, provided that this trimming will not kill the neighbor’s tree.

Therefore, prior to trimming the branches of your pine trees, your neighboring homeowner should get an opinion from an arborist that such trimming will not kill your pine trees. Under Arizona law, unlike California law, the neighbor owning the trees is generally not required to reimburse the neighboring homeowner for the cost of trimming the overhanging branches. Therefore, your neighboring homeowner should have to pay for the cost to trim your pine trees. Original Article

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