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Old 01-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
Yellefan
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Default Neighbor getting ready to cut down tree on property line

My wife just called me and told me that it appears my next door neighbors are getting ready to cut down a large tree that is right on the property line. I like the tree and would hate to see it go. Does anyone know what the deal is with a tree that is on the property line? Are they allowed to cut it down without talking to me?
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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Call 311 right away. How far from the street is the tree? The true property line is usually well within your yard. The city has alot of control over these things. But for the record, Arbour companies are pretty aware of the rules and usually wont do something that is "illegal".

Edit to add that if the tree is causing any kind of foundation problems or is dying, the city is fairly lenient about cutting them down. Good luck with this one. You might want to book it home right now and intervene. I'd be super pissed if a neighbour did this. Getting a fine doesn't re-grow a tree.

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Call 311 to get the quick definitive answer.

But I don't believe it's possible for something to belong to both properties at the same time, like a fence it must be on one side or have an owner. (I think)
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #4
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And for safetys sake, if they will be stump grinding/pulling it out, make sure they have called Alberta 1 Call for both properties to have the lines checked. No one wants to pull up a gasline.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:06 PM   #5
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311 says it's a civil matter since it's not a city owned tree.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackArcher101 View Post
Call 311 to get the quick definitive answer.

But I don't believe it's possible for something to belong to both properties at the same time, like a fence it must be on one side or have an owner. (I think)
Nope, in residential real estate, we essentially allow boundary fences between neighbours to be treated as if ownership is indeterminate, unless one neighbour or circumstances can clearly establish ownership. If the fence happens to be off the property line, it is either owned by the property owner on whose side it is located or it is tresspassing there. In either case the said property owner can likely remove it without consequence. Technically the best thing you can do is build your fence just inside your property line to make this type of question moot.

Trees are tougher. If it is in the front yard, the 311 call is the right course of action. If in the back yard, most of the time, the owner on whose property the trunk is located has the right ti take it down as long as they are not actually damaging any neighbouring properties in doing so. In theory, you could have a tree farm drop off a nice big tree in a hole on your side of the property line the next day and the neighbour couldn't do much about it. (With some notable exceptions regarding overhanging limbs, etc.that I do not intend to go into.)

If the tree literally wits right on the property line, there's no clear and simple answer. It's ownership will be indeterminate unless one party can prove that they own it (i.e. they can show that they or a previous owner paid to put it in). Even in that case though, by putting it directly on the property line a potential tresspass on to the neighbour's property exists, which would give the neighbour some recourse.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #7
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How old is the tree? I seem to recall something about some trees being on private property being considered "heritage trees"- or words to that effect. Meaning if it gets cut down the owner can face 1000's in fines.

Plus, it is a bit of a jerkish thing to cut down a tree that is on the property line. Heck, I even asked my neighbours before planting trees that are within a couple of feet of the line.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #8
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You should drive a bunch of giant nails into the tree. That's what i'm going to do to my jackass neighbors dog (not really) that keeps crapping and pissing in the snow in front of my house...my yard is looking like a bathroom stall at a Mexican restaurant.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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The jerkish thing was for them to take it down without really consulting you first. I would imagine, at the very least, they will be accessing your property to take down the tree.

Did they say why they were cutting it down?
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #10
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Another way of looking at it is if the tree is overgrown and causing problems (killing the lawn, root issues, etc.), the neighbour has chosen to pick up the entire bill of fixing it, when it probably should be shared. It can cost a lot of money to remove a tree. You could be grateful.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #11
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I'm an elected official in a city in Alberta and have some knowledge of planning matters. No one here will be able to give a definitive answer. If the tree comes down and you object seriously enough, you can talk to a lawyer. I've talked with one of our planners and he concurs. I advise talking with your neighbour before the tree comes down.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:34 AM   #12
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), the neighbour has chosen to pick up the entire bill of fixing it, when it probably should be shared. It can cost a lot of money to remove a tree. You could be grateful.
Yyyyep. I knocked down a tree a while ago hitting it with a car. Small tree, and it cost over $1500 to remove the stump/replace it. If it is causing problems, just shhhhh.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:42 AM   #13
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Phone 311.

I don't think there's anything regarding tree protection policay in Calgary that prevents a homeowner from cutting down trees on private property. I can't even get my useless neighbour to pull out his dead cedars.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellefan View Post
My wife just called me and told me that it appears my next door neighbors are getting ready to cut down a large tree that is right on the property line. I like the tree and would hate to see it go. Does anyone know what the deal is with a tree that is on the property line? Are they allowed to cut it down without talking to me?

And? What happened?
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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Just curious... what kind of tree is it?

Man, I've got poplars in front of my house (on city property) and I'd like to cut every one of those suckers down! Poplars have got to be the worse tree out there.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #16
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And? What happened?
He probably can't respond as his wireless internet doesn't reach all the way to the yard; where he has currently chained himself to the tree.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:44 PM   #17
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And? What happened?
The tree is gone. The neighbor is buying me a new tree to plant in my yard... not ideal, but roots were causing issues.

Thanks for the advice everone.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:53 PM   #18
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The tree is gone. The neighbor is buying me a new tree to plant in my yard... not ideal, but roots were causing issues.

Thanks for the advice everone.

now just hope he picks a tree that won't cause those same root issues .. but good on the neighbor for buying you the new tree.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:58 PM   #19
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now just hope he picks a tree that won't cause those same root issues .. but good on the neighbor for buying you the new tree.

The City of Calgary claims most of thes gripes against Poplars are unfounded:
http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server....plar+Trees.htm

Having said that, I'm also not a big Poplar fan myself. However, I don't understand people who complain about spruce trees killing their lawn. In Calgary, a lawn stays green, reliabily, for about 3 months a year, whereas a spruce tree is green all year.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellefan View Post
The tree is gone. The neighbor is buying me a new tree to plant in my yard... not ideal, but roots were causing issues.

Thanks for the advice everone.
Oooh, try to get an Amur Maple. Not enough of those in the city.
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