Yours, mine, or ours?
Just as good fences make good neighbours, good neighbours need to make good shared decisions. If a tree seems to be near or on the boundary of your two properties, you and your neighbour need to confirm who owns the tree before any problems arise.
Straddling the Line
Generally, if the tree trunk is on one property or the other, that person is the owner, which can include responsibilities and liabilities.
However, when a tree straddles your property line, it also straddles your neighbour’s, so you are both owners. Before you think about doing anything with that tree, consider informing your neighbour. Their feelings about the tree might exactly match yours, or be exactly the opposite. Regardless, you both have a legal obligation for it.
Who’s to Remove It – And How?
If you want to remove the tree, an Ottawa tree removal permit might be required. A City of Ottawa by-law protects urban trees from being removed without good cause. You might need to confirm the ownership of the tree. When the trunk straddles the properties, all property owners need to be in agreement. For information about the conditions for permit requirement, see our web page regarding tree removal permits.
Assuming that you do not want to remove the tree, you might want to prune the tree, removing dead or damaged branches, or otherwise attend to its health, size, or shape. A permit is not required, but this is where you and your neighbour need to agree on a plan of action. Consider the following:
- Do you both share in the benefits from the tree? Perhaps one of you gets the shade, but the other gets the leaves.
- Do you both share in any nuisance caused by the tree? Perhaps you both get the leaves, but one of you has them clogging a pool pump.
- Is there uneven risk between you? Perhaps one of you has trouble keeping grass growing near the tree, but the other risks a cracked foundation.
Depending on the share of benefits versus problems, you might want to assign costs and effort accordingly. Regardless, it is important that you have agreement before taking action. It is also very important that you both recognize the importance of professional help to protect your mutual responsibility.
Professional Tree Trimming & Removal in Ottawa
Ottawa tree trimming requires experienced personnel, with the proper tools, trained to manage the shape and appearance of the tree, to suit the type of tree and its location, and to enhance the landscaping. Tree pruning usually includes removing dead and diseased branches, while protecting the health of the tree.
Tree pruning Ottawa species also includes attending to damage from wind, ice and snow, and pests such as invasive insects. All of these tasks are best handled by professional arborists, who can safely and efficiently attend to the long-term investment you both will have in a healthy, mature tree for years to come.
Croft Tree Experts provide the Ottawa region with quality tree care by professional arborists.