Clearing the Air on Texas Tree Ownership: Who is Responsible?
Why did we as kids want to grow up so bad? I mean we thought life would be so much easier when we did. We could stay up as late as we wanted. Which turns out we really don't want to be up late. We want to go back to sleep as soon as we wake up.
We can do what we want when we want. Except for we have jobs, families and bills. What was so cool about being a grown-up? Nothing really because we have way too many responsibilities.
We think things will be great. We will own a home. We will have that ultimate dream. Until it starts costing us. A lot. Then there are weird things we have to worry about. Like who owns that fence? Is it ours? It is it our neighbors? How about that tree.
That tree can cause some issues. Yes, it gives us shade during the summer. Hey maybe it has fruit on it. So it gives us some food. Oh but it also gives us headaches. Who is responsible when stuff happens with that tree?
Legally who needs to take care of it? Who gets the fruit that is growing on the tree? What is Texas law? If a branch falls and smashes my car windshield can I bring that bill to my neighbor? I mean the tree is in their yard?
This is where it gets tricky. This is an issue that comes up a lot in Texas. So one neighbor may own the tree but that doesn't make everything their responsibility. If the tree ends up growing on the neighbors property they do have some rights and responsibilities.
What if You Want to Cut Down the Tree?
This tree offers some great shade for both homes but one of you want to cut it down. Why? Who knows. Can either one of you do that? No you both have to come to an agreement on this. You, as neighbors, have to talk about it and agree.
You both, though are responsible for the branches on your property. Which means you can trim the tree if you want. Oh, but only the branches on your property. So you can only trim up to your property line unless you both agree. If you want to trim the whole tree again you need to talk to your neighbor. The cost should be split by both landowners.
What Happens if a Tree Limb Falls in My Yard?
If the branch falls due to natural causes, the property owner is responsible for damages and for clean-up. Not the tree owner. The only way the owner is responsible is due to negligence. If the tree limb fell because the tree was dying and nothing was done that could fall on the owner of the tree.
If You Have a Fruit Tree, Who Gets the Fruit?
Again it all depends on whose property it is on. So the branches are over your tree? Feel free to pick away and enjoy the fruits of that trees labor. Really. It works both ways. If you are responsible for the damage you get to also bask in the glory of the fruit it produces.
So again adulting can really be one major pain. Just keep open lines of communication with your neighbors and you fought half the battle already when it comes to that big tree in the front yard.