Planting Trees on Property Lines in Portsmouth, VA: What You Need to Know

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You’ve probably heard stories of next-door neighbors suing each other over trees growing on or near property lines. A tree owner may sue their next-door neighbor for trimming tree branches or picking apples from their tree.  

As the top choice for tree removal in Portsmouth, VA, the skilled arborists at Arbor Experts will delve deeper into things you need to know about planting trees on property lines.  

Planting Trees on Property


Trees and Property Lines  

Planning to plant trees on property lines? Read the following first:  

  • A tree belongs to the owner of the land where the trunk lies. That said, you want to consult your deed or check with a land surveyor to ensure you’re planting a tree on your property rather than your neighbors’. 
  • When a tree’s trunk lies on the boundary line between two properties, neighbors on both sides of the property line are legally responsible for the tree’s care and removal.  
  • When the branches of your neighbor’s trees extend over your property, you can trim the branches back, but only up to the property line. However, excessive trimming could kill the tree, giving local authorities or courts the authority to order you to replace it.  
  • When your tree’s roots wander into the neighbor’s property and cause damage, you bear financial responsibility as the tree owner for any damages.  
  • Since tree law typically considers leaves a “natural product,” each property owner has an obligation to remove fallen leaves from their yard.   
  • Tree laws change from one state to another. Research local laws or tree ordinances to ensure adherence.  
  • The implications of your tree falling into a neighbor’s yard depends on the circumstances. For example, if a tree falls from natural causes, like a storm or lightning, you might be off the hook for any damage, removal, or cleanup. However, If the tree falls because you neglected it (e.g., failing to prune or water it properly), then you’ll have to pay for damages. 

The Bottom Line  

If you have any doubts about planting trees on a property line, you might want to consult a property lawyer or certified arborist. You are legally responsible for any tree growing on your property, and you have a right to protect yourself from trees on your neighbor’s property.  

Types of Trees to Plant Along Property Lines  

Now that you know a thing or two about planting trees on property lines, it helps to know the kind of trees best suited for your project. Remember to choose non-invasive tree species that will add value to your property. Consider the following tree species:  

  • Spartan Juniper  
  • Hybrid Willow Tree  
  • Green Giant Thuja  
  • Goldspire Ginko  

Trust Your Local Tree Experts  

Don’t entrust the beauty, safety, and health of your trees to just anyone. Count on our Arbor Experts crew for their expertise and passion for arboriculture.   

Call Arbor Experts at (757) 500-TREE to request a free estimate for tree service in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and beyond. Reach out for more information about planting trees on property lines or to learn how to spot a dead tree.


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