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Q: laws or ordinances for trees in residential area struthers ohio ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: laws or ordinances for trees in residential area struthers ohio
Category: Family and Home
Asked by: mimes-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2002 09:52 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2002 09:52 PDT
Question ID: 52994
is there a law or ordinance in the city of struthers ohio on how far
or low a tree branch can hang from your property onto an adjoining
piece of property. can you be made to cut the branches off if they
overhang the adjoining property 18 to 23 feet in the air?

Request for Question Clarification by digsalot-ga on 12 Aug 2002 11:33 PDT
First I'll arrange just a little bit of confusion about tree law and
then request a clarification.

The following is (or was) pretty universal when it comes to tree limbs
overhanging a property.

There is no obligation on the part of an owner of a tree to cut the
overhanging limbs or undergrowing roots, but the neighbour has the
right to cut them. However, if the tree's life is endangered by the
cutting, that may be unreasonable and unlawful in itself. Assuming
that the tree is not endangered, the neighbour can trim the branches
back to the property line. Who owns the branches? The answer is that
the branches are the property of the owner of the tree and should be
delivered to the owner if he or she wants them. Failing any such
expression of desire, the branches should be delivered to the owner of
the tree as tidily as possible.

Conversly, there is a new development afoot which seems to be growing.
- "The law generally provides that these limbs (or roots in some
cases) can be reasonably trimmed back to the property line so as to
avoid danger or damage to you; however, recent legal decisions, in
California especially, have held that a property owner cannot
“unreasonably” damage the health or even the beauty of a tree by
pruning it back to the property line. Obviously this can be a bit of a
judgment call. The law is becoming increasingly protective of trees,
particularly in urban areas. Property owners who damage a tree that
appears not to be causing them any harm at all could have to pay for
the damage. It’s best and safest to work something out with your
neighbor if at all possible. If danger exists from the tree, you might
also contact city officials and get them to back you up."

What I would like as a clarification: - Is there anything specific
about the tree limbs other than height above ground?  Are they in a
position to damage structures, allow bird droppings to fall on autos
underneath, prevent other vegetation from growing as happens with some
species of trees?  Or are they just 'there?'

I too, live in Ohio.  A nearby city has been declared a "tree city" so
I know that in this state, tree law does vary widely.  In a "tree
city" asthetics as well as 'property lines' are taken into account
before permitting any kind of tree trimming whatever.

Clarification of Question by mimes-ga on 12 Aug 2002 12:34 PDT
Thanks for getting back so soon.  My neighbor cannot be reasoned with
sadly to say.  The trees are on my property, she was upset when I
planted them six years ago and told me to move them to another area.
They are 5 feet into my property.
In the six years they have grown a little taller than our 2 story
home. She said she wanted the trees cut so they did not grow over our
fence and past her property line.  We have complied. Each month we cut
the overhanging branches so they do not hang over to the lot where she
has apts. This is to insure no bird droppiing get on the car that
parks there.  This is a large lot and only one car. I received a
letter from Mrs. X. stating she wanted me to trim the branches to the
top of the trees so they did not overhang her property line. Making
the trees very ugly. I do not understand this because our fence and
the trees have also enhanced her property. Six years ago she said when
the trees grew if I did not cut them straight to the top (and noted it
would look horrible) then she would. Simply because I planted the
trees where I wanted and did not move them 6 more feet onto my
property as she instructed me to do. We have watched these trees grow
and they are beautiful! They are 3 aspen trees. I just don't know what
to do. We have complied with all her demands except move the trees.
Subject: Re: laws or ordinances for trees in residential area struthers ohio
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 12 Aug 2002 17:02 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I have a fairly large piece of semi-rural property and it has been
turned almost into a private arboretum.  Sugar & other maples, white
pine, two cottonwoods which I brought back as cuttings from Nevada,
and my pride and joy, a small grove of  nine river birches, shaggy
bark and all.  So I can feel your sorrow about the butchering of your

First I checked to see if Struthers was a designated "tree city." 
Ohio leads the nation in the number of such designated cities.  I'm
sorry to say that Struthers was not on the list.  Maybe that is
something you could take the lead for in that town and try to get such
a designation.  You will find the tree cities of Ohio listed here:  ( )

I then turned to Ohio tree law and legal decisions regarding the
cutting of limbs crossing property lines.
"Trees that are close to the boundary line and hang over another's
property does give the neighbor the right to prune to the property
line. Cases that deal with these situations do require that the
neighbor must act reasonably and do only what is necessary." - ( )
The article was writen by Columbus attorney Victor Merullo

This from "Find Law" by the American Bar Association:
  "Q : Can I trim the overhanging limbs of my neighbor's tree?

A : You may trim the branches of a neighbor's tree that hang over your
property, with certain restrictions:

    * you may trim up to the boundary line only;
    * you need permission to enter the tree-owner's property (unless
the tree poses "imminent and grave harm" to you or your property);
    * you may not cut down the entire tree;
* you may not destroy the tree by trimming it.

It's always best to notify the tree owner before starting any
trimming, pruning, or cutting. If the owner objects to the trimming,
offer reassurance that the job will be done professionally and
responsibly, within the mutual rights of both parties involved." -
Quote from Find Law, American Bar Association.

Another short blurb which states Ohio tree law comes from Dr. Rosmarie
Rossetti, who was a Trustee at Franklin Park Conservatory and
Botanical Garden, Board of Directors, Columbus, Ohio 1992-1998.
"While Ohio law allows you to trim branches at the property line, you
can't saw down the dead tree next door that could fall on your house."

If Struthers were a tree city it would have laws which could possibly
help you.  But since it is not, tree law in Struthers would probably
be covered by Ohio state law.  Your neighbor cannot force you to cut
back your own trees but she has the right to cut them back herself, at
her own expense.

I wish I could be more encouraging in my answer.

If another researcher can find that my answer is wrong or provide more
encouraging information, I would love to have them jump in and correct
it.  I happen to like aspen trees.  Being proven wrong is not always a
bad thing.

search - Google
Key words - struthers ohio, struthers municiple code, ohio legal code,
tree and property law, regulations regarding trees and property lines

mimes-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I really appreciate your quick response. You were very thorough. I
will recommend this site to others.

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