Thread: Planting trees along a property line

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  1. #1

    Planting trees along a property line

    My neighbor and I want to plant some Red Maple trees along a bordering property line (our side yards) and we were thinking to plant them right along the property line (or alternating staggered with one on my side, one on their side, etc...). Is there any way that we can protect ourselves, if either of us sells our house, to keep the new neighbors from messing with the trees (overhanding branches or the 1/2 of the trunk that is on their side). Also we are going to plant them every 20'. There is a row of them here at my work that are 20' apart and they look pretty good, but these are not fully grown trees either, they are about 15' high and the crowns are not even close to touching. Does anyone have any suggested spacing? How about something like Red Maple/Dogwood/Red Maple/Dogwood etc.. if we were not going to go all Red Maple, has anyone ever done anything like that?

    Thanks for letting me sneak multiple questions into this post

    Indian Trail, NC

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    Although it sounds like a good idea to do it there are some things to take into account.

    1.) When the trees get big, the neighbor might get unhappy with leaves and tree litter in their yard and ask you to clean it or cut the tree. They might cut the tree without your permission or their landscaper might assume it's theirs and cut it unknowingly. In other words, it's asking for trouble down the road but if you aren't concerned with that and just want something growing there it might not be an issue.

    2.) You might check with your city regulations as to how close to the property line you can plant something. For me, it's 15 feet but I am in a somewhat overregulated village.

    20' seems to be the standard spacing for street trees or so I've noticed but I was looking for a wooded natural area look, so I planted the maples in a staggered pattern with 10' spacing.

  3. #3

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    I agree, you can never plant far enough away from a neighbor's lot line when it comes to trees and leaves. You might want to check with your city about the ins and outs of trees and property line regulations. Make sure your trees remain your trees after his/her house has sold.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Troutdale, Oregon

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    One thing to remember is that generally your neighbor can legally trim/prune any branches that cross the property line (as long as doing so doesn't weaken or kill the tree), even if the tree is planted completely on your property. You could end up with a tree that's extremely lopsided tree as a result.

    Also, you should check if you have any utility easements along your property line. My property has 5 foot easements along the side -- if a utility company needs to dig a trench and bury new pipes or cables, they'll probably just cut through the roots.

  5. #5

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    Believe it or not.... but I saw it on a Court show on TV where Neighbors were Feuding over a Tree that one Neighbor had that was so tall it was hanging over the other neighbors land and over their Home also and I think it may have damaged the other neighbors home.......

    The Judge stated is okay for your tree to dangle and hang into a neighbors Land or Lot, but that neighbor CAN cut or prun any branches on HIS/HER side of the property Line......................but they donot have permission to come accross your property Line and just Cut down a TREE.

    They will be liable for property damage if they cross that LINE......

    that is why when it does come to this is a good idea to make sure you know where the property line boundaries are located at and not just assume where they are...... have it Surveyed properly.

    neighbors can come to a nice aggreement unless they just can't get along in the first place......

  6. #6

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    I like Dogwoods but How about planting some CLEVELAND Select Pear trees... I see them around the campus and they are very tall in posture and they don't HANG too much and are very tall structurally? Plus they have that beautiful white bloom and they can come in other colors also.....
    unsure if you probably just want a smaller tree as that one gets over 30 feet in size.......

    who knows... you and your nice neighbor may just decide that you all may not ever move... then the problem will just end up solved............
    did they say they were going to move soon? If not, I would not even worry about this issue right now anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    St. Louis zone 6

    RE: Planting trees along a property line

    I have a Bradford Pear which I believe is VERY closely related to the Cleveland Select. Its a beautiful tree but its species is suceptible to wind damage due to its branch structure.

    Check and see if your Cleveland isn't an improved version or something else entirely. Even if it is as prone to breakage maybe you can plant it in a protected spot.
    Zone 6, St. Louis, MO

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