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Author Topic: Trimming Neighbors tree  (Read 4812 times)
Ben
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« on: December 04, 2014, 01:02:36 pm »

I posted this on a really old thread, but, I think it was a bit to old (http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/index.php?topic=10686.msg292890#msg292890)...so new thread...

Next to me is a rental property. I have a good neighborly relationship with the tenants, but have never had any real contact with the owner/landlord.

They have a tree which encroaches on my property. I am generally a fan of trees, however, this one is crowding out a tree on my property, overhangs my house, and very soon will be touching my house. In addition the tree has 2 trunks, the crotch between them is, to my untrained eye, compromised by a 2x4 piece of lumber which the tree has grown around, and there is an obvious seam between the trunks. One of said trunks directly overhangs my house. 

I know I can just start cutting. On a basic level I don't want to take on that expense. But I also don't want to end up with my neighbor mad at me for cutting on their tree, doing a bad job, etc.

I have a phone number for the landlord and have left multiple messages asking to meet and discuss the situation with no response. I have also sent a (truly) friendly letter to the person and address listed as the owner asking to meet to discuss the situation as well, again with no response.

I guess I have lots of questions really, ill try to pick a few.

First, can I compel them in some way to maintain the tree in such a way that it does not encroach on the tree on my side or my house?

Second, given their lack of response, what do I need to do to protect myself if I do have their tree trimmed?

From reading old threads on this forum while trying to find info it seems like some people here have had the opposite problem as me when a neighbor trims their tree, so I would be interested in knowing how you wish those neighbors had gone about the situation in a better way. I truly think I am not being unreasonable to want the tree trimmed, and if I need to do it then that is fine, I just want to make sure I approach the situation well.

Thanks
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 01:13:24 pm »

From all the times I have read about this type problem. If you want to remove the tree from your "Air Space" you can. I have not seen where it is put on the owner as a expense to him to maintain the tree to your satisfaction but I may be incorrect as to the law pertaining to the great State of Oklahoma.
Me myself. I have chainsaw, Ladder and after a reasonable time trying to resolve said matter. It = tree trimming. But that's just me.  Grin
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 01:35:23 pm »

From all the times I have read about this type problem. If you want to remove the tree from your "Air Space" you can. I have not seen where it is put on the owner as a expense to him to maintain the tree to your satisfaction but I may be incorrect as to the law pertaining to the great State of Oklahoma.
Me myself. I have chainsaw, Ladder and after a reasonable time trying to resolve said matter. It = tree trimming. But that's just me.  Grin

To the best of my knowledge, you are not allowed to permanently harm the tree by your "trimming". 
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Ben
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 02:05:01 pm »

To the best of my knowledge, you are not allowed to permanently harm the tree by your "trimming". 

That is the part of this I am most concerned about. I can easily trim away a few branches and keep things away from my house. But that does not change the basically half of the tree that overhangs my house, or the bigger branches that are tangled up with the tree on my property.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 02:49:10 pm »

That is the part of this I am most concerned about. I can easily trim away a few branches and keep things away from my house. But that does not change the basically half of the tree that overhangs my house, or the bigger branches that are tangled up with the tree on my property.


You can have anything cut to the fence line you want.  It's your expense, though.  Otherwise, you are just waiting for it to blow down, then turn it over to your homeowner's insurance and get it fixed.  They will then go after the neighbor's insurance to get their money back.   Deductible - unless your insurance will recover that for you (mine did in one instance) you will probably have to sue in small claims court.

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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 03:11:12 pm »


You can have anything cut to the fence line you want.  It's your expense, though.  Otherwise, you are just waiting for it to blow down, then turn it over to your homeowner's insurance and get it fixed.  They will then go after the neighbor's insurance to get their money back.   Deductible - unless your insurance will recover that for you (mine did in one instance) you will probably have to sue in small claims court.



I had a neighbor across the street from me with a large Catalpa tree.  After the icepocalpyse 2007 event, they had a rather large feeder branch -- we took to calling it a 'widow maker' -- that hung out over the street.  So in this case, whose responsibility would this become?  The homeowner?  The city?  And how about if the section that hung over the street was in front another property owner's boundary but the root was in someone else's?

It was finally cut down last year, but it was in such a place that had it fallen, it would have taken out any car underneath it.
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 04:52:41 pm »

I had a neighbor across the street from me with a large Catalpa tree.  After the icepocalpyse 2007 event, they had a rather large feeder branch -- we took to calling it a 'widow maker' -- that hung out over the street.  So in this case, whose responsibility would this become?  The homeowner?  The city?  And how about if the section that hung over the street was in front another property owner's boundary but the root was in someone else's?

It was finally cut down last year, but it was in such a place that had it fallen, it would have taken out any car underneath it.


No clue about over street, except that the owner would be responsible for damage to stuff under it.  At least, that has been the way it worked out in my situations....


I am dealing with a root situation now - from neighbor's trees.  I may end up renting a Ditch Witch trencher to cut them just to get them away from the house.  One large maple, one large bald cypress.  Both horrible choices for a yard landscape (previous owner).  People get all excited when they go to the nursery and end up doing/buying dumb things.

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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 06:12:24 pm »


No clue about over street, except that the owner would be responsible for damage to stuff under it.  At least, that has been the way it worked out in my situations....


I am dealing with a root situation now - from neighbor's trees.  I may end up renting a Ditch Witch trencher to cut them just to get them away from the house.  One large maple, one large bald cypress.  Both horrible choices for a yard landscape (previous owner).  People get all excited when they go to the nursery and end up doing/buying dumb things.



Which is why I had the two 70+ foot white ash trees cut from my front yard.  Not only were they dying, but a hazard for power lines and most importantly, my roof.
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 08:36:19 pm »

Which is why I had the two 70+ foot white ash trees cut from my front yard.  Not only were they dying, but a hazard for power lines and most importantly, my roof.

Our cheap little neighborhood has a bunch of big trees now, 40 to 45 years after the area was built.  I planted a bur oak about 20 years ago - like the big trees in Mohawk park with the big, golf ball size Chip and Dale acorns.  It's looks like about 24" diameter and is about 45 feet tall.  With an old ash that is double the diameter and about the same height.  Neighbor has 3 huge maples and a massive bald cypress.  These things are catastrophe's waiting to happen.

We have talked and I am starting this winter to nibble away on these trees to try to get them out.

I need a Belger crane truck!
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 09:46:48 pm »

Neighbor has 3 huge maples and a massive bald cypress.  These things are catastrophe's waiting to happen.

I completely disagree. Mature maple trees are stunning beauty in the fall and are strong enough to handle any wind in Oklahoma. They do well in sun or shade, or wet or dry soils. The sap is food for birds.

Bald cypress trees are amazingly good sponges for wet soil. We had a spot in my old yard that water would accumulate after rains that I planted three small bald cypress trees. Within two years they kept the whole area dry.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 09:41:45 am »

I completely disagree. Mature maple trees are stunning beauty in the fall and are strong enough to handle any wind in Oklahoma. They do well in sun or shade, or wet or dry soils. The sap is food for birds.

Bald cypress trees are amazingly good sponges for wet soil. We had a spot in my old yard that water would accumulate after rains that I planted three small bald cypress trees. Within two years they kept the whole area dry.


Silver Maple (SM) - the builders choice a few decades ago - is brittle and won't stand the winds and ice storms of Oklahoma.  There isn't an SM in the state that is over 25 years old and hasn't lost significant "limbage" at the top.  By 40 - 45 years they are all a ragged mess.  And that is if they have been kept trimmed and well cared for.  If not, they will branch at the 2 to 6 foot level, which guarantees a split trunk in 10 to 15 years.  If they are allowed to 'clump', those numbers are shorter.  Some reds and maybe even sugar might work better.  If I were looking at buying at house with the Silver Maple in the yard, a condition of sale would be that it is removed.

Most neighborhood developments don't have the wet soil syndrome.  I do have a place that collects water with long lasting, heavy rains (none of the neighbors have anything like it) and I have some of those bald cypress roots going there for the moisture - slightly over 70 feet from the tree.  Most yards - it is a catastrophe - especially if there is a house footing "on the way" to where the roots are going.  They, as well as the maple will move a house foundation doing serious damage along the way - they both have major root branches that stay near the surface.

The next door cypress has a long, straight trunk about 35 feet long that I am going to try to salvage for lumber.  The wood is beautiful, and ya can't hardly make the stuff rot with outside use.  The next door maples trunks split about 20 years ago when young, and were bolted together by the ID10T who lived there at the time.

The big ash and bur oak don't have the surface roots quite as bad, but the canopy on the two is massive!  Beautiful trees, but they belong on about half an acre each.

I now have access to a piece of land where I am going to experiment with American Chestnut.  Will start with some regular, susceptible seeds, just to see if they can grow at all here.  Then will buy a handful of Blight Resistant rev 1 seeds to grow.  Should be interesting.  This years supply of rev 1 - had to make a donation of at least $300 to get in the line to get up to 4 seeds.  Whew!



Michael, we had talked some time ago about your potted trees downtown and I have been forgetting to ask about them.  Doing ok, I guess?  Do you see much chlorosis?  We have one tree in the family that is in "sad" ground and can exhibit the iron/magnesium deficiency.  Several years ago, we took a couple of old rusty railroad spikes and put them in the ground at the drip line of the tree branches - 2 total, opposite sides of the tree.  Very slow iron supply that has helped the tree quite a bit - thought I would mention it if you have that issue.  We got the spikes by walking along a rail section out by Keystone on the south side of the river, but I bet anywhere along the lines downtown you could pick up some iron laying around from track maintenance - that has just been left laying by the tracks.

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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2014, 11:58:31 am »

+1 with qualifications.

Because they are so brittle, silver maples are among the short list of popular trees to avoid in NE Oklahoma. Slash pines are another. River birches are another. I still have two 35 year old silver maples that receive tender loving care by a local arborist. The pines and the river birch are long gone. The maple in the back has a base trunk with about a 4-5' diameter, which splits into two large main trunks. So far, the trees have basically held their own. Both suffered heavy damage in the ice storm but were salvaged by the aforesaid arborist. When asked if the trees should be removed, he says not at this time.



Silver Maple (SM) - the builders choice a few decades ago - is brittle and won't stand the winds and ice storms of Oklahoma.  There isn't an SM in the state that is over 25 years old and hasn't lost significant "limbage" at the top.  By 40 - 45 years they are all a ragged mess.  And that is if they have been kept trimmed and well cared for.  If not, they will branch at the 2 to 6 foot level, which guarantees a split trunk in 10 to 15 years.  If they are allowed to 'clump', those numbers are shorter.  Some reds and maybe even sugar might work better.  If I were looking at buying at house with the Silver Maple in the yard, a condition of sale would be that it is removed.

Most neighborhood developments don't have the wet soil syndrome.  I do have a place that collects water with long lasting, heavy rains (none of the neighbors have anything like it) and I have some of those bald cypress roots going there for the moisture - slightly over 70 feet from the tree.  Most yards - it is a catastrophe - especially if there is a house footing "on the way" to where the roots are going.  They, as well as the maple will move a house foundation doing serious damage along the way - they both have major root branches that stay near the surface.

The next door cypress has a long, straight trunk about 35 feet long that I am going to try to salvage for lumber.  The wood is beautiful, and ya can't hardly make the stuff rot with outside use.  The next door maples trunks split about 20 years ago when young, and were bolted together by the ID10T who lived there at the time.

The big ash and bur oak don't have the surface roots quite as bad, but the canopy on the two is massive!  Beautiful trees, but they belong on about half an acre each.

I now have access to a piece of land where I am going to experiment with American Chestnut.  Will start with some regular, susceptible seeds, just to see if they can grow at all here.  Then will buy a handful of Blight Resistant rev 1 seeds to grow.  Should be interesting.  This years supply of rev 1 - had to make a donation of at least $300 to get in the line to get up to 4 seeds.  Whew!



Michael, we had talked some time ago about your potted trees downtown and I have been forgetting to ask about them.  Doing ok, I guess?  Do you see much chlorosis?  We have one tree in the family that is in "sad" ground and can exhibit the iron/magnesium deficiency.  Several years ago, we took a couple of old rusty railroad spikes and put them in the ground at the drip line of the tree branches - 2 total, opposite sides of the tree.  Very slow iron supply that has helped the tree quite a bit - thought I would mention it if you have that issue.  We got the spikes by walking along a rail section out by Keystone on the south side of the river, but I bet anywhere along the lines downtown you could pick up some iron laying around from track maintenance - that has just been left laying by the tracks.


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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 01:47:02 pm »

+1 with qualifications.

Because they are so brittle, silver maples are among the short list of popular trees to avoid in NE Oklahoma. Slash pines are another. River birches are another. I still have two 35 year old silver maples that receive tender loving care by a local arborist. The pines and the river birch are long gone. The maple in the back has a base trunk with about a 4-5' diameter, which splits into two large main trunks. So far, the trees have basically held their own. Both suffered heavy damage in the ice storm but were salvaged by the aforesaid arborist. When asked if the trees should be removed, he says not at this time.



I ran into this with the house we bought last spring.  My arborist has done a remarkable job maintaining the silver maple at my previous house which I now have as a rental.  The tree at the new house had been decimated by years of neglect, wind, ice, etc.  I gave him instructions to take it out, he looked at it and said he could bring it back around so I trusted him.  He did a good job trimming it up and really came around this year.  I’m glad we kept it now.  Certainly silver maple and river birch are two trees you don’t want if you don’t like doing or paying for tree maintenance. 
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2014, 02:34:51 pm »

If a tree comes over your land your free to cut it back. Trimming a tree won't kill it, in fact you can't trim a tree too much. I cut down a few trees on my land and the stumps try to grow out new  limbs so I have to keep cutting off the new growing limbs. Trees that go over your house are dangerous, Tulsa has ice and wind storms and limbs do fall and can do much damage, also trees over a roof destroy the roof shingles- unless you have a metal roof.
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2014, 02:35:37 pm »

In general, you may trim a tree limb from a neighboring tree hanging over your property up to the property line.  You are also responsible for removing a tree limb that falls on your property and any damage the falling limb causes to your property, even though the base of tree is located on an adjacent property.  The exception to this is if the tree was visibly diseased, dying or appears to be at risk of falling - in such case the property owner on which the tree is located can be held responsible.
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