Understanding Florida's Tree Law: An Expert's Guide

When it comes to trees, Florida has a set of laws that govern how they can be managed and maintained. Under Florida law, a neighbor can prune the branches of a neighbor's tree if the branches extend beyond the property line. Branches can only be cut to the limit of the owner's property and if they cannot endanger the health of the tree. Homeowners are responsible for keeping their trees healthy and well maintained, and for ensuring that they do not become a hazard.

If tree branches that lose their leaves hang over your garden or the trunk of the tree invades your property, then you have the right to prune those branches to the property line. Specifically, HB 1159 provided that local governments cannot require a notice, request, approval, permit, fee, or mitigation to prune, prune, or cut down a tree on residential property if the owner obtains documentation that the tree poses a danger to people or property from an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture or from a landscape architect licensed in Florida. According to this theory, the obligation to cut down trees may not be limited to dead trees, but may also include living trees with a high risk of failure, such as trees with co-dominant leaders and ringed roots. In other words, if a dead tree is expected to collapse (especially during a storm), then it is up to the owner of the property where it was originally located to take responsibility for any damage caused.

The felling of a tree on a border line by an owner without the consent or authorization of the neighboring owner may result in liability for the reduction in the value of the land as a result of the removal of the tree, as well as for the loss of its ornamental value and amenities. If branches or roots are dead, or a dead tree falls on the property of the neighboring owner, then they have the right to prune those branches up to their property limit. However, owners are not responsible for an alleged nuisance caused by leaves, fruits, seeds, or flowers from a tree they own falling on neighboring property. It is important to understand Florida's tree law in order to ensure that you are taking proper care of your trees and not causing any damage to your neighbors' properties.

Ultimately, it is up to the health of the tree to determine who is responsible when it causes damage to neighboring property.

Mary Boucher Williams
Mary Boucher Williams

Typical gamer. Incurable gamer. Hipster-friendly pop culture aficionado. Award-winning social media fanatic. Devoted web fan. Typical music ninja.

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