Florida Laws on Trimming a Neighbor’s Trees and How Far to Plant Trees from a Fence

Florida Laws on Trimming a Neighbor’s Trees and How Far to Plant Trees from a Fence

Florida Laws on Trimming a Neighbor’s Trees and How Far to Plant Trees from a Fence.

Trimming Neighbors Tree

Florida law prevents you from cutting down a neighbor’s tree or even entering a neighbor’s property without the owner’s permission. However, utility companies are excused from this prohibition under Section 163.3209 of the Florida Statutes.

Furthermore, some trees are protected under Florida law, such as mangrove trees. These laws are designed to protect native species and preserve the natural environment. However, you may trim or hire someone to trim a neighbor’s tree under certain circumstances, according to Florida law.


Determine where the property lines meet. Under Florida law, a neighbor may trim the branches of a neighbor’s tree if the branches extend past the property line. The branches may only be cut back to the owner’s property line and if it cannot threaten the health of the tree.


Establish your personal and property’s safety. Florida law states if a neighbor’s tree endangers the safety of you or your property, you may phone your local municipal government to report the problem. For example, if a tree is in imminent danger of falling on your home, the city can force your neighbor to trim or cut down the threatening tree or pay a fine.


Ask for the neighbor’s consent. Approach your neighbor and explain how his tree infringes on your property or causes a problem, such as dropping pollen or leaves into your yard or pool. Inquire if he or she will allow you to trim his tree to fix the problem.

How Far Do You Plant a Tree from a Fence?

If you are planting a tree near a fence, you may hope for a formula you can use to determine the ideal distance between them. Like animal species, however, tree species vary in so many ways that the only simple answer is: It depends. To determine space for tree planting, you need to take many elements into account.

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    Size counts when it comes to tree spacing. Some mighty coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens; U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 to 9_)_ stand 379 feet tall, while a mature ‘Tamukeyama’ Japanese maple (Acerpalmatum var. dissectum ‘Tamukeyama’; USDA zones 5 to 8) tips in at 8 feet tall. The taller and broader a tree, the farther it should stand from a fence.

    Your Tree’s Function

    Think about what you expect your new tree to do in the future, or what you expect to be doing with it. If you are planting a fruit tree, you probably have expectations of harvesting fruit at some point and want access to all sides of the tree. Take tree function into account when determining tree/fence spacing.

    The Root of the Problem

    sample letter to neighbor about treeSome tree roots lift sidewalks and raise sewer lines that get in their way, but many don’t. A tree with a single deep taproot rarely causes any soil-surface issues, but those with aggressive, shallow roots should not be allowed within spitting distance of a brick wall. Fences are not destroyed as easily as a wall, and the severity of the risk depends on the amount of the fence that touches the ground. Cutting back aggressive roots is not a good option, since root disturbance damages and can endanger a tree.

    Tree Detritus

    When trees drop leaves, fruit, or flowers, the detritus generally lands on the ground beneath the tree. For example, deciduous trees lose their leaves every year, and unharvested or inedible fruit ends up on the ground, as do flowers and pine cones. If you plant a tree so close to a fence that its canopy extends over it, the falling plant parts may land on the other side. This can be a problem for boundary fences, and your neighborhood association or city might have laws in place to prevent it. Plan your planting to make sure the mature tree canopy is on your side of the fence. You can hire a company that does regular or yearly maintenance of your trees to avoid such issues.

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