Neighbors Tree Roots

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Neighbors Tree Roots

My neighbors tree roots are causing my driveway to heave, which means I have to install a new 11000 driveway. Am I allowed to sever the roots that are on my property, even if that causes harm to the trees ?

Asked on March 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Laws vary somewhat but most state courts hol that if the roots of a homeowner's tree damages a neighbor's drive or home then, unfortunately, that's the neighbor's problem to deal with. However, a few have ruled that property owners can indeed force a neighbor to cut back roots in the event of structural or similar damage. That having been said, this might be considered encroachment, so your neighbor may be required to remove the tree. Again, laws on this kind of thing vary from state to state.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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