Guidelines on trees and shrubs extending onto your property

Dated: December 4 2023

Views: 28



In Florida, can you cut the branches of trees and bushes that belong to adjoining properties if the branches cross the property line into your space?

 

Yes, in Florida, as in many other states, you generally have the right to trim or cut branches and roots from trees and bushes that extend onto your property from a neighboring property. This principle is often referred to as the "right of self-help" or "self-help trimming." However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

 

Extent of Trimming: You typically have the right to trim branches and roots that encroach onto your property, but you must do so in a way that avoids causing unnecessary harm to the tree or bush. Cutting back excessively or in a way that could kill the plant may result in legal issues.

 

Notification: While it's not always legally required, it's a good practice to inform your neighbor before you trim their vegetation that crosses onto your property. Open communication can help avoid conflicts.

 

Property Line: Be sure that the branches or roots you intend to trim are actually encroaching onto your property. Property lines can sometimes be tricky to determine, so it's advisable to consult property surveys or legal documents if there's any uncertainty.

 

Height Restrictions: Some areas may have regulations regarding the height to which you can trim branches that overhang your property. Be aware of any local ordinances that could affect your actions.

 

Disposal: You're generally responsible for disposing of the trimmed branches and debris yourself. Check local regulations for proper disposal methods.

 

Protected Species: If the tree or bush is a protected species, there might be additional restrictions on trimming or removal. It's important to know the local rules.

 

Utility Lines: If the branches are interfering with utility lines, you might need to contact the utility company to address the issue.

It's advisable to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations in your local area and to approach any trimming or cutting with care. If you have concerns or if the situation is more complex, consulting a legal professional or an arborist could be beneficial.

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