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have an issue with my neighbour because of overhanging branches

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  • Dec 10th, 2011 11:15 am
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Newbie
Feb 13, 2011
2 posts
1 upvote

have an issue with my neighbour because of overhanging branches

Hi, this is my first time posting here :)

I don't know my question belongs to this thread but here I'm asking,

I have an issue with my neighbour. The branches from the tree in my backyard are overhanging into the house next door. I’m definitely willing to lop off some branches but she's asking to cut too many branches, like a half of all branches because the tree was planted right beside the fence. If I cut all the branches she wants, the tree is going to look so awkward and not going to function properly as a tree. It would cause serious damage to the tree. Since the person next door is so insistent on what she wants and not understandable, I went to Markham's contact centre (I live in Markham) to get an idea for resolving this issue but they said, they don't involve in civil issues. (She also told me that the town would charge me if I don't do what she wants but she lied, they actually don't care.)

Is there any way I can protect my tree from this neighbour? I can simply say that I'm not going to cut all the branches you want since no one has the right to force me into doing so but I want to defense reasonably. It's not like I don't want to cut the branches. I mean, I don't want to damage the tree.

Anyone had the same issue before?
9 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2011
3230 posts
781 upvotes
Thornhill
Not sure the person you spoke with at Town Centre gave you correct information.

Markham's tree preservation by-law requires that a permit is needed before chopping off branches or removing the tree where the trunk is larger than 8 inches in diameter unless it is dead or, being pruned (professionally) where no more than 1/3 its branches are being pruned.

It sounds to me that this tree is fairly large and you may want to ensure its pruning is done properly. Should your neighbour do this on their own and harm the tree then she violates the by-law. Having said that, you are responsible by law for your tree overhanging your neighbour's yard such that it may be a nuisance.

Try contacting the town's by-law enforcement department again via email. I say email because there was an issue with some Markham residents a few years ago who were supposedly verbally given permission to remove trees, the town fined them, the residents tried to have the fines reversed and lost because they had no written record.

at waist level
jhl2435 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2011 5:04 am
Hi, this is my first time posting here :)

I don't know my question belongs to this thread but here I'm asking,

I have an issue with my neighbour. The branches from the tree in my backyard are overhanging into the house next door. I’m definitely willing to lop off some branches but she's asking to cut too many branches, like a half of all branches because the tree was planted right beside the fence. If I cut all the branches she wants, the tree is going to look so awkward and not going to function properly as a tree. It would cause serious damage to the tree. Since the person next door is so insistent on what she wants and not understandable, I went to Markham's contact centre (I live in Markham) to get an idea for resolving this issue but they said, they don't involve in civil issues. (She also told me that the town would charge me if I don't do what she wants but she lied, they actually don't care.)

Is there any way I can protect my tree from this neighbour? I can simply say that I'm not going to cut all the branches you want since no one has the right to force me into doing so but I want to defense reasonably. It's not like I don't want to cut the branches. I mean, I don't want to damage the tree.

Anyone had the same issue before?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 27, 2007
4449 posts
594 upvotes
Call a certified arborist and have them do the pruning. They won't damage the tree and will only take off as little to satisfy your neighbour, but still keep the tree healthy.

Neighbour shouldn't complain if the job is done by a pro.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2155 posts
406 upvotes
Legally however, your neighbor has the right to have all branches removed that overhang her property line. Interestingly, she cannot force the removal of those branches back to the trunk, only to the property line as it extends vertically through space.

That being said, if she wants to force the issue, she would also get to look at an ugly tree.

Additionally the previous poster's mentioned the Markham tree preservation bylaw, which then additionally restricts what she is entitled to have done.

As recommended, having a certified arborist come in to look at the tree, and determine what (if anything) can be done, with respect to the tree preservation bylaw, as well as the fundamental property rights of your neighbour, is the best idea.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 4, 2009
7664 posts
761 upvotes
North York
dutchca wrote:
Dec 8th, 2011 8:12 pm
Call a certified arborist and have them do the pruning. They won't damage the tree and will only take off as little to satisfy your neighbour, but still keep the tree healthy.

Neighbour shouldn't complain if the job is done by a pro.

Do this. I gather the tree hasn't been professionally trimmed? If not, the tree will look like a @$%%^@# mess - many people get lovey dovey when it comes to trees/nature. They feel nature is perfect, man should not touch it. These people are cheap, and haven't seen professional landscaped and maintaned grounds. (My dad.)

A good trimming by a professional will likely make your neighbour happy. OP will notice the tree looks much better too.

What kind of tree is it? Post a picture of it.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
5744 posts
539 upvotes
jhl2435 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2011 5:04 am
...................the tree was planted right beside the fence.
Branches grow back. This is going to be a repetitive problem. Cut down the tree and plant a new one further away.
Member
Aug 10, 2010
378 posts
19 upvotes
OTTAWA
of course you can not legally cut down the tree, nor does it sound like you want to. It does sound like it will be an ongoing expense that you have to absorb to keep your tree healthy. If your neighbor is complaining just because of leaves, and not dead/dangerous dead limbs, they can cut small portions of the branches overhanging but not lop off large branches. Since most Cities have the no cut policy, it may be worth your while to have the City in to determine what everyone involved can and can not do.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 4, 2009
7664 posts
761 upvotes
North York
OP should post a picture of the tree and how the backyard boundry looks from both sides. Perhaps the neighbour is also unhappy about the fence and other shrubs that is on OP's side. Most neighbours are happy when things are kept neat and nice looking.
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
12844 posts
571 upvotes
The tree policies do allow for the removal of full limbs or branches....you just typically cannot hurt the tree. That is why they limit to 1/3 of branches.

If the tree is healthy, you can lop off full limbs without issue.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2009
1166 posts
74 upvotes
Red Deer
nalababe wrote:
Dec 10th, 2011 8:35 am
The tree policies do allow for the removal of full limbs or branches....you just typically cannot hurt the tree. That is why they limit to 1/3 of branches.

If the tree is healthy, you can lop off full limbs without issue.

Depends on what kind of tree,it is some sucker like crazy and some get lots of water sprouts,(very weak branches that just grow straight up)


OP, tell your neighbour to move to Sakatchawan, there are no trees there.
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