Trees and Property Lines

YOU AND THE LAW™: Who bears responsibility for trees that interfere with a neighbor’s property is a common question.A property owner can demand the removal of a tree if the tree interferes with the enjoyment of his/her property; however, the property owner is responsible for the expense of removal.

If a neighbor’s tree branches interfere with the enjoyment of one’s property, that property own…er can demand the branches be trimmed at the neighbor’s expense.

Under either scenario, INTERFERENCE IS THE PREQUISITE TO MAKE SUCH A DEMAND. See Louisiana Civil Code Articles 687 & 688 for more clarification.

Louisiana Civil Code Article 687:

Trees, bushes, and plants on the boundary are presumed to be common unless there be proof to the contrary.

An adjoining owner has the right to demand the removal of trees, bushes, or plants on the boundary that interfere with the enjoyment of his estate, but he must bear the expense of removal.

Louisiana Civil Code Article 688:

A landowner has the right to demand that the branches or roots of a neighbor’s trees, bushes, or plants, that extend over or into his property be trimmed at the expense of the neighbor.

A landowner does not have this right if the roots or branches do not interfere with the enjoyment of his property.

Alvin D. Hunt