How to Settle Neighbor Disputes Caused by Trees Encroaching on the Wrong Property with Tips from Giroud Tree and Lawn


If a neighboring tree is causing problems on a homeowner’s property, it can lead to major disputes. It’s a common problem, and although it may be tempting for homeowners to prune or remove a tree hanging over the property line, it’s always important to get the other neighbor’s permission before taking any action. The experts at Giroud Tree & Lawn share tips on how to handle these tricky situations.

Most shared tree problems fall into a few categories:

  • Property Damage: The neighbor’s tree falls on another property
  • Hazardous Trees: Dead, split or leaning tree that could property damage if it falls
  • Tree Debris: Falling into a pool, patio or gutters
  • Root Encroachment: Roots lifting the driveway or sidewalk
  • Eyesore/Poor Maintenance: Tree blocks a view, or puts too much shade on gardens.

How to Handle a Neighbor’s Tree

“Don’t touch your neighbor’s tree,” advises Lou Giroud, ISA Certified Arborist and President, Giroud Tree and Lawn. “By law, neighbors sharing a tree have the right to take care of their portion in any way they see fit. However, to avoid conflict and potential legal issues, it’s always best to get your neighbor’s permission before taking any action on the tree.”

1. Have the tree inspected
Start with a professional evaluation with an ISA Certified Arborist,” advises Lou. “An expert with the right certifications is in the best position to assess the situation and give you a recommendation.”

2. Reach out to the neighbor
“In working with 1,000’s of tree issues between neighbors,” explains Lou, “I’ve found that the best results are gained through friendly communication.”
If the neighbor is approachable, meet with them face to face to explain the concern and let them review the Arborist’s recommendation. Homeowners should come to the table with realistic expectations and share what can be offered to remedy the situation. Explain how both of property owners will benefit by taking care of the tree. If the neighbor is never home, write a friendly letter and ask them to call to discuss the issue.

3. Handling no response or a negative reply
If the neighbor won’t respond or responds negatively, homeowners may need send a certified letter or hire an attorney who understands tree law. Trees that are not taken care of are not just unsightly; they can also be a safety hazard! Homeowners need to protect the property and loved ones.

Take Action
Give an ISA Certified Arborist a call to start the process. For more information on solving shared tree issues, visit For information on tree law and neighbor relations go to:

About Giroud Tree and Lawn
Giroud Tree & Lawn specializes in tree service, lawn care and mosquito and tick control programs that make customers love doing business with the company since 1974. Serving Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, the company offers professional tree and lawn evaluation, tree pruning, tree removal, insect and disease control, fertilizing, stump removal, traditional and 100% organic lawn programs and mosquito and tick control. Giroud Arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and have the knowledge and experience required to properly diagnose, treat and maintain trees and lawn health. The company is Accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association and Better Business Bureau. Giroud has also been awarded the Angie’s List Super Service Award® every year since 2005. The “Giroud Treework for Charity” program donates free tree care services to parks, historical sites and other non-profit organizations located in the Company’s service area. For more information, visit the company website at or call 215-682-7704.

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