Tree root damaged driveway

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Tree root damaged driveway

The owner has failed to maintain there tree which has cracked and damaged my driveway, to the point it’s going into my foundation. What can I do? If I cut all the roots up under my driveway and the tree dies, could my neighbor sue me?

Asked on April 3, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

State laws vary somewhat on this issue but most courts hold the view that if the roots of a homeowner's tree causes damage to a neighbor's property, then that's the neighbor's problem to deal with. And property owners in every state have the right to cut off branches or roots that have grown onto their property, in most cases this is the only help that is provided by the law (note: the property owner must first give notice to the tree owner that they will take such action). Also, a property owner who trims an encroaching tree can only trim up to the boundary line. Additionally, the property owner cannot cut the entire tree down, cannot destroy the structural integrity of the tree by improper trimming. 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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