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Thinking about trimming your neighbour’s tree?
The growth of trees along a property line can cause a number of risks, but you have rights if your neighbour refuses to maintain their trees to your satisfaction.
You are entitled to trim back branches overhanging your property and to cut/remove roots encroaching or interfering with the use of your property provided you do so in a non-malicious manner and do not trespass onto your neighbour’s property. However, if you spike your neighbour’s tree or pour something onto the tree to cause it to die, then your neighbour would have a claim against you for any resulting damages.
If your neighbour’s tree contains a significant structural defect which is likely to lead to failure, then you may contact Penticton’s bylaw enforcement office pursuant to Bylaw No. 2001-26. If your community does not have a bylaw to address hazardous trees, then put your neighbour on notice of any risk their tree poses. For example, if your neighbour is unaware that an overhanging branch is approaching your house, then it will be more difficult to fully recover your repair costs if you stay silent as the damage to the house unfolds.
If an encroaching or hazardous tree is situated on city property, then contact your local bylaw enforcement and leave the maintenance to them.