Private property rights are a key factor in the security and enjoyment of a country living experience. There are legalities concerning what can (and can't) be done on your side of the property line. For example, a neighbor’s branches could be hanging past the property line onto your roof, causing ants and other pests to get into your home.


Property Rights

What land rights does each party have in this case? Or what if one farmer simply doesn't like the branches from a neighbor's tree coming across the property line onto his or her land? Well, in Texas, the location of the tree trunk determines who owns it, and tree roots or tree branches don't factor into the equation. Owners of farming and hunting land in Texas can trim trees or completely cut off the limbs of boundary trees or shrubbery that reach from an adjoining rancher's territory onto theirs, as long as they don't cut past the property line or damage the neighboring owner's tree or other assets.


Owners must be careful about how they trim tree branches extending from a neighbor's land onto theirs.


Property Owner Responsibilities

Now, many a landowner may not want his or her beautiful, symmetrical trees trimmed or affected in any way. This makes perfect sense, however, Texas law dictates that tree owners are responsible for any damages caused to adjacent owners by roots or falling branches. For example, if a dead tree branch dropped on top of your house - or worse, hit a person, pet or livestock animal - the landowner would have no choice but to cover all related repair costs or medical bills.


In every situation, it’s best to speak with your neighbor. A civil conversation about one's concerns and tree law rights should go a long way toward keeping the peace.