July 2018

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Trees can be an asset around your yard, but how do you deal with your neighbors’ trees when their branches extend over into your property? What are the laws about trimming or pruning their trees?

The best way to figure out how to handle the situation is to go over and have a conversation about which tree you’re concerned with.  You both may be able to come to a solution that works best for both of you. However, trees problems can be tricky. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about trees on you and your neighbor’s property.

  1. Am I able to cut down my neighbor’s tree?
    Of course not!  You also cannot hire an arborist to come chop down the tree.  If the truck is located on your neighbor’s property, even if the tree branches extend into your yard, it is their property.  If you do go onto your neighbor’s property and harm or alter the tree in any way without their permission, you may be liable for three times the amount of the tree, and charged with trespassing.
  2.  Can I cut down branches that extend across my property line?
    Yes, you are allowed to cut branches that come across your property line, however, you may be responsible if their tree is damaged as a result of your pruning.  You are not allowed onto your neighbor’s property to trim any branches on that side of the property line, and you can only trim branches up to your property line.
  3.  Can my neighbor make me cut down my tree?
    No, your neighbor cannot make you chop down your tree, but you can be held     responsible if you do not cut down your tree and your tree falls over and damages your neighbor’s property.  Call your local government if you fear that a tree may cause damages to your property. A professional can come out and assess the situation.
  4.  Who owns the tree if it’s on the property line?
    In this case, you would both be responsible for the care and maintenance of the tree.  If you wanted to cut the tree down, you would have to consult your neighbor to make sure it was alright with them.  A mediator can be hired to help negotiate what will happen with the tree.

With any situation involving property, consult your local and state laws to make sure you aren’t breaking any laws.

 

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You may love the look of ivy climbing your trees, but it could actually harm them.  When ivy begins to grow into the tree’s canopy, it’s time to remove the ivy.

 

There are several reasons to remove ivy from your trees:

 

  1. Ivy can make a tree weaker, making it susceptible to pests.
  2. Ivy can take over tree branches, blocking leaves from getting sunlight.
  3. Vines can weigh branches down, making them more likely to break and fall.
  4. Ivy is aggressive and can steal nutrients from the tree.

 

To get rid of ivy for good, it’s important to remove the roots completely.  You can do this one of two ways.

 

To remove the ivy by hand, make sure the soil is wet beneath the tree.  Use a hand pruner to cut the ivy at the bottom of the tree. Then, dig as deep as you can to remove all of the roots from the ground.  Removing the roots completely will assure that the ivy will not come back. Do not rip the remaining ivy from the trunk of the tree. This could harm the tree.  Make sure to check the tree periodically to make sure the ivy is not growing back.

 

You can also get rid of ivy by dousing the ivy with vinegar.  Fill a garden sprayer with white vinegar. Spray the vinegar directly on the ivy, avoiding surrounding plants and grass, as the vinegar could kill them.  The ivy should turned brown within a week. If there are still green leaves on the ivy plant, continue spraying with vinegar every week until it turns brown.  Do not pull the ivy off to avoid damaging the tree trunk. Once the ivy is completely dead and brown, remove the ivy from the tree, starting at the roots.

 

Ivy may look great around a tree, but it can do some serious damage to your trees.  If you suspect that your ivy situation is too much for you to handle on your own, call a licenced arborist to help get rid of your ivy.

 

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Summer storms are beautiful, but they can cause a lot of damage to your trees and your home.  You can prepare your property for summer storms and protect your home from any unexpected damage by following a few tips.

  1. Prune your branches.  Most damage caused by storms are from heavy winds.  To prevent this, make sure the canopies of your trees are thinned out.  It’s also a good idea to get rid of any branches that are dead, broken, or diseased to make sure that they won’t be blown off by extreme winds.
  2. Save the roots.  Check the roots of your tree to make sure that they are healthy and intact.  Watch out for trees that are leaning, as they can be blown over by rains and heavy winds.  To protect your tree’s roots from damage, put down a layer of mulch. This will regulate the amount of water the tree is getting, and won’t let rain wash away important nutrients your tree needs.
  3. Check for cavities.  Check your tree’s trunk for any holes or cavities that look diseased or weak.  Any weakness in a tree’s trunk could make it more susceptible to being knocked down by extreme weather.
  4. Plant strategically.  When it comes to planting your tree, make sure to place it in a spot far enough away from your home where, once it grows bigger, won’t be such a danger to your property.
  5. Remove anything from under your tree.  Before a big storm hits, pack up anything that may be damaged should a branch fall, like lawn furniture or your car.  
  6. Talk to your neighbors.  Just because a tree isn’t on your property doesn’t mean that it can’t damage your home.  Ask your neighbors to check their trees for any signs of weakness, or recommend an arborist come out and check their trees.
  7. Safety is important.  During a storm, do not go outside to try to repair or save your tree or your property.  That could result in severe injury or even death.
  8. Examine the aftermath.  After the storm, check your tree to make sure it wasn’t harmed.  If a tree or large branches have landed on your vehicle, your roof, or any other large structures, do not try to remove the limbs by yourself.  The same goes for a tree that is tangled in wires, or has large branches dangling that could fall. Contact your local arborist to come out and inspect the damage and remove any trees safely.

With these preparations, your trees should be in good shape to withstand a powerful summer storm.