In any case, your neighbor cannot cut down any of your trees or the co-owned trees without your permission. The presence of any contractors or other workers on your property will require your permission (to avoid trespass). I believe he also took the contractor to court as well, since they are liable regarding knowing and following tree law. There’s an interesting/helpful article on this issue here: Does the developer pay the home owner compensation for the loss of the trees when the city agrees to the cutting down of the trees? These trees have many lower branches that have broken off from years of being squeezed between two chain linked fences on either side. 1. Consolidation Period: From December 15, 2009 to the e-Laws currency date. Evelyn. The Nolo book Neighbor Law, by Cora Jordan and Emily Doskow, provides extensive advice on tree-related law and liability issues involving invading branches, damage from an unsound tree, boundary trees, and more, including how mediation or small claims court can help resolve tree disputes. Recently, however, the house next door was demolished and new one is currently being constructed. For example, in the Canadian jurisdiction of Ontario, §10 of the 2009 Forestry Act prevails: "An owner of land may, with the consent of the owner of adjoining land, plant trees on the boundary … You cannot remove a shared tree without the permission of all owners. But now the home behind us has a new owner, I just met him and he plans on completely removing the entire hedge from his entire property (500feet) which is on the line and abuts 6 other properties. Its wording refers to “trees” and “trunks.”. Over the years, Ontario's municipalities have had the authority to regulate the harvest of trees on private lands through various statutes. Earlier this year, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was again asked to untangle a boundary tree-related dispute between two Toronto neighbours. To injure or remove a boundary tree without the consent of the co-owner(s) contravenes the Ontario Forestry Act Section 10(2). Our law office is located in Oshawa to serve the Durham Region including Whitby, Ajax, Pickering, Bomanville, Newcastle, Courtice and Port Perry. Is this considered injuring it? I gave them estimate on a removal 3 months ago and they have not replied or returned any phone calls. (I also suggest talking to the other neighbors involved and let them know about the plan to cut down the hedge. In my experience, it is best to have a licensed surveyor confirm that the tree’s trunk crosses all the properties. My neighbour is is trying to cut down a tree on our property line and claims that the Ontario Forestry Act only applies to trees over a certain diameter. Last amendment: 2009, c. 33, Sched. Other statutes, such as the Municipal Act and the Pounds Act, as well as common law, impose a duty … Its branches knocked my metal pipe chimney down, the trunk is crushing the fence between our properties and a shed roof of mine, and my roof is threatened. It is your responsibility as a property owner to ensure that your tree does not pose a safety risk to you or your neighbours. No consent was given. They told me they will remove the fence and tree stump and build a new fence as part of the reno. A developer is going to the Committee of Adjustment May 4, 2017 to ask to take down 18 Ravine protected trees and saplings and injure 9 other Ravine protected trees and take out most of the 107 cedar fence. If you are concerned about the condition of a neighbour's tree, speak to them first before contacting the By-law Enforcement Department - they may not be aware of the potential hazard. To my knowledge, there are no such laws/restrictions regarding this, but it would be a good question to raise with urban forestry… it is my understanding, however, that property rights extend into airspace, so that the pruning of any branches involving a human presence on your side of the property requires your consent. This by-law protects our trees in two ways; by protecting trees within “Tree Protection Areas” and protecting “Distinctive Trees”, trees with a diameter ≥50 cm. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Removing or intentionally altering or damaging a shared tree without permission could result in civil action against you, and … Because the trees are boundary trees, the developer must have your consent to remove them. See the. You can find information and a number to call here: 905-845-6601. Check with your local by-law office. If co-consent to remove the boundary tree is achieved, then the next step would be to discuss and agree upon (as co-owners) how to share the costs. A few thoughts….when a tree becomes unhealthy there are several remedies—not all of them need involve cutting the tree down. Do trees support adverse possession claims? In my opinion the hedges are co-owned because at least 40% of the tree branches are on my side of the property but on their survey from 3 years ago it appears the trees on their side of the lot line. However, today they sent me an email stating that they could not grind out the stump for the same reasons I mentioned above. Does this require a lawyer, Is it a township Bylaw responsibility, or is it the Ministry of Natural Resources. Garden related issues can be incredibly infuriating for neighbours and cause a great deal of tension. Advise your neighbor that under the Ontario Forestry Act no one co-owner can injure or cut down a boundary tree without a co-owner’s permission. If a tree falls in a forest, it may not make a sound; but in Ontario, if a tree straddles two properties (a boundry tree), it may not be able to fall at all. The cedar fence is mutual and his development will also impact my Ravine protected old oak trees. The Township's Property Standards By-law #98-182 requires that property owners maintain their properties free from dead or dying trees that are at risk of falling over. We welcome your feedback on Dial-A-Law. High hedges, trees and boundaries You must try to settle a dispute about a high hedge informally before the council can intervene. It’s important, however, to establish that the trunks are wholly on your side, following the definition of a tree’s trunk on this website. Your neighbor requires your permission to remove it. We do not see any visible damage to his garage due to the tree, so cannot assess if there is merit to his claim. This tree started on his property, has now spread to mine, and needs to come down. Hi There, thank you for your answers and it has help me a great deal. Tree is clearly on property line , fence stops and starts on each side of tree. |I have informed the neighbours of the Ontario Superior court ruling hopefully they will be able to save these trees. As such it does not apply where the boundary is marked out by trees. The poor management of greenery can lead to disputes and hostile interactions between neighbours. He thinks he cannot be expected to rake apples on his side because the tree is not his. What is interesting about this, however, is that many of these trees may have to be reclassified in conditions of climate change, since some of them are among the most resilient species. The branches are quite long and a good pruning is required. Fraser Law attorneys provide professional lawyers consultation with integrity and trust. We are getting a survey done now. A survey will identify where a tree is situated relative to all property boundaries. ), 2. ( Log Out /  Regarding root damage—you neighbour would have to prove in court that damage was being caused by your tree. Ask your council for a complaint form if the hedge is all of these: Doesn’t this automatically mean that it is his or her tree? Learn more about conflicts with neighbors, trees, property, real estate, property lines, damage, and other legal topics at FindLaw's Real Estate section. You may wish communicate info on the boundary trees to your neighbour and indicate that you consider yourself a co-owner. Where a tree on private property is protected under the provisions of the Private Tree Bylaw, pruning of the tree is permitted provided the pruning is in accordance with good arboricultural standards. Apparently this often happens when someone goes away for a weekend: they return to find the trees gone. So you would need a certified surveyor to establish this fact. But if the tree was planted on the boundary, you are probably a co-owner. In the end, the Court held that there is no conflict between the Forestry Act (which deals with boundary trees) and Chapter 813-16 of the Toronto Municipal Code (which deals with the granting of tree removal by the City of Toronto Urban Forestry Department). Written by Dr. Julian A. Dunster, one of Canada’s leading consulting arborists, Trees and the Law in Canada covers nuisance, trespass, negligence, damage appraisal, personal injury, and property damage. If you have any recent photos of the trees, this might be helpful. It would be good to let the police know that he has explicitly indicated he wants to kill the trees, and also get witnesses to any future statements of this kind. Do you know whether his claim has merit? In order to qualify for the protections under the boundary tree law, the tree trunks must cross the property line. According to the Act, therefore, your neighbour is required to seek your consent to destroy those trees. A 2013 Ontario Superior Court decision determined that trees with trunks straddling property lines are considered shared property, and therefore require the permission of all shared property owners to remove. The tree was healthy, had been on the property for 50 to 60 years and was … 1990, Chapter S29. A second suggestion is that you also send/cc: the letter to your local police as well as to your City Councillor. What happens in the case where the neighbour has already gone ahead and chopped down 15 cedars that formed a privacy wall between the two homes (20-25 years old), without consent? Should we obtain a new survey just to sure? If you intend to injure or destroy (remove) a protected tree you must obtain a permit. The other day I go to inspect the property and ALL the trees have been removed!! a) boundary trees; In Toronto, a tree with a diameter of 10 cm would not require a municipal permit to have it removed. Hello lynne.The first thing i would do is contact your municipality and make sure that your neighbour is following any by-laws there may be concerning the planting of trees. Is there a law on how close he can plant these trees? for this site, information isnt always easily found, also seems like a lot of people have these kinds of issues unfortunately. Now I am very upset but at this point there is no evidence of the trees were even there as all the trucks and roots have been removed (it now looks like a farmer’s field) and only the soil remains. Written by Dr. Julian A. Dunster, one of Canada’s leading consulting arborists, Trees and the Law in Canada covers nuisance, trespass, negligence, damage appraisal, personal injury, and property damage. Doing some of these things proactively will help you establish your co-ownership rights at the outset. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Private Tree Protection Bylaw: As of Jan. 27, 2020 if you live within the Urban Boundary, you will need to apply for a permit and on-site consultation to remove a tree 20 cm in diameter (8”) or greater measured at 1.4 m from the ground, or more than five trees between 10 and 20 cm (4-8”) measured at 1.4 m above the ground in a calendar year. This does not seem to apply here. Protect Your Boundaries Inc. is a licensed member of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors, and is entitled to provide cadastral surveying services to the public of the Province of Ontario in accordance with the provisions of the Surveyors Act R.S.O. Do you know the species of cedars? You might also tack up a “no trespassing sign” on your side. He says Manitoba Maples are considered invasive species and not subject to requiring a permit to cut down. When you can trim Either owner can … This is a perfectly healthy tree but in late December it uprooted and toppled over towards the school’s side. (In Toronto it is 30 cm or more.) This Act stipulates that they are co-owned trees (co-owned between property owners) and provides that their destruction or injury requires the co-consent of both owners. Act quickly—otherwise your neighbor might just go ahead and have the hedge cut down. The Forestry Act is a provincial. Ontario recently took a very broad view of tree ownership: even if only a small percentage of the tree’s root system reaches over into a neighbor’s yard, that tree is joint property! He purchased the house knowing these trees had been there for long with the agreement of us and the previous owner (planted on our side by the previous owner actually, so not really our choice, but we were happy). You do not give your permission for the City to remove it and are seeking further discussion about its care. R.S.O. Unfortunately, our survey is from 30 years and doesn’t show any trees. Any insight you can share on our situation would be greatly appreciated. Months go by and no contact. Image by Julian Dunster via Tree Service Canada Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. If not, you can have a specialist come out and identify the cedars as “trees” (and put it in writing for you). I’ m sorry that I don’t have an answer to your question, Lynne. In the meantime, you can also have a line-survey done confirming exactly which tree trunks cross the property line (if haven’t already done so). Councils of counties and townships in southern Ontario were empowered to enact tree-cutting bylaws through the Trees Conservation Act (1946), the Trees Ac t (1950), and the Forestry Act (1998). The neighbour wants the “trees” removed. Bob Aaron is … A tree may be planted by neighbors well within the bounds of their property, but over time, some of the branches can extend beyond the property line and into your yard. It would appear that planting a tree across a property line would involve entering your property space and that issue of trespass might therefore be relevant. Thanks. When you have a disagreement with your neighbour about a tree, what you can do partly depends on who owns the tree. You can politely explain that if this is the case then the trees are: Your neighbour sounds like he is acting out of frustration—we all do this sometimes!—but we all still need to obey the law. Please see the legal ruling from 2013 posed on this website. You indicate above that you are one of the property owners (i.e., an owner of one of the properties where the trunks actually cross the property line), so that would make you a co-owner of those specific trees. 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