How to Trim a Neighbor's Trees Under Florida Laws

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Florida law prohibits a neighbor from cutting down a neighbor's tree or even entering a neighbor's property without permission from the owner. However, utility companies are exempted 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 a neighbor's tree under certain circumstances, according to Florida law.

Step 1

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

Step 2

Establish your personal and property's safety. Florida law states if a neighbor's tree threatens the safety of you or your property, you may phone your local municipal government to report the problem. For instance, if a tree is in imminent danger of falling on your home, the city has the right to compel your neighbor to trim or cut down the threatening tree or pay a fine.

Step 3

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


Owen E. Richason IV

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.