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Tree Care Responsibility - Who's in Charge of What? Our Neighbors, The City, or You

Updated: Feb 6

Having trees on your property can be a beautiful addition to your home, but it also comes with responsibilities. You may wonder who is in charge of what when it comes to tree services between you, your neighbor, and the city. It's important to know the answer to these questions to avoid any disputes or liabilities. In this blog, we'll educate you on who is responsible for what when it comes to tree services. Let's dive into the details!



A Tree Fish employee trim back branches that are overhanging a property


1. Branches Hanging Over Properties

If the branches of one of your trees extend into your neighbor's yard, your neighbor can trim them back to their property line, but must not damage the tree. Similarly, if your neighbor's tree has branches hanging over your yard, you are allowed to trim the branches up to the property line. However, it is always best to discuss the matter with your neighbor first. If the branches are close to your home, you may want to contact a tree service company to assess the situation.



A Tree Fish worker takes care of a fallen tree in Grand Rapids


2. Fallen Trees

If a tree falls on your property, it is your responsibility to clear it away, even if it came from your neighbor's property. If the tree fell due to natural causes, and has damaged your home or fence, your homeowner's insurance will usually cover damage caused to your property.


A Tree Fish crane removes a dead tree in Grand Rapids

3. Dead Trees

If a tree on your property is dead and could pose a hazard to people or property, it is your responsibility to remove it. Dead trees can become a liability and cause severe damage if they fall. It’s always best to have an expert assess the tree and make a recommendation for removal to avoid any unwanted accidents.


4. Trees On City Land

If the trees are on city-owned land but close to your property, the city will be responsible for their care and maintenance. If you notice any dead or dangerous trees on city land, you can report them to the city's public works department. They will assess the tree and schedule the necessary maintenance or removal.



A Tree Fish estimator gives a quote for tree work in Grand Rapids


5. Hiring a Tree Service Company

One of the most common scenarios is when a tree sits directly on a property line. In this situation, determining who pays for the expenses involved in taking care of the tree can become tricky. Typically, the cost of tree work is divided between neighbors whose properties are affected by the tree. It's important to note that legal aspects and local laws may differ from place to place, so it's best to consult with your local authorities before proceeding with any tree work. In some cases, neighbors may agree to split the costs evenly while in others, one neighbor may take on a larger portion of the expenses due to factors such as property value and size. Communication and cooperation between neighbors is key in these situations to come to a fair and amicable agreement.



Tree care responsibility - Now You Know!

It's always important to know who is responsible for what when it comes to tree services. Remember that hiring an insured tree service company is always the best option for any tree care services you may need on your property. We hope this guide has been informative and helped you understand better the intricacies of tree services. Contact us at Tree Fish Tree Service today to get your free estimate by filling out our online form or by giving us a call at (616) 277- 7164!


If you have any questions about how we perform true work please visit our pages on tree removal, tree trimming and pruning, stump removal, land clearing, emergency tree services, arborist consultation, and fertilization!


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