Within the 33′ right of way along a road who actuallyowns the property and trees on it?

UPDATED: Jan 3, 2012

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Within the 33′ right of way along a road who actuallyowns the property and trees on it?

I had a licensed and insured forester come to me about some trees on my property. He offered to take out the diseased trees, and buy some black walnut trees that were also on the property. Three of the trees are at the front of the house, and are less than 10′ from my home. They have dropped nuts on my car, denting the roof, allowing squirrels access to my attic, I do not dare to replace the roof without removing these trees. Plus, they drop tons on debris, branches, and nuts, and block the front deck from getting sun. Now the village is saying I do not own the trees or the property in the row.

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An easement is a right to use another person's land in general. A right of way is typically an easement for ingress and egress to and from a given property allowed some third person who owns another parcel of land.

Typically when there is an easement over a person's land, the person who is burdened by the easement owns the land itself and can use it in any manner so as to not interfere with the use of it by the person who holds the easement to it.

I suggest that you carefully read the easement over your property as well as the legal description of your property to make sure that these walnut trees are actually on your parcel. If the trees are on your parcel and the easement recorded on your parcel does not prohibit them being cut down, you can do so as long as you are not violating any local ordinances or state law.

I suggest that you consult with a real estate attorney to assist in reviewing your deed and the easement that you have written about.

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