New coverage of trees and neighbours

June 23, 2020

“Branches from my neighbour’s maple tree hang into my backyard. They block me from cutting a section of my grass. And every fall, I’m left raking mounds of leaves. I recently learned that under the law, I can trim the branches back up to the property line — without needing my neighbour’s  permission. I talked to my neighbours beforehand to let them know what I’ll be doing. They were understanding and glad I gave them a heads up.”

– Mia, Hazelton, BC

Every rose has its thorn. Even the nicest trees, then, can create prickly issues between neighbours. It might be overreaching branches or roots, damage caused by a falling tree, or trespass onto a neighbour’s property to deal with a tree — trees (despite their many benefits) can also lead to conflict between neighbours. 

If a tree comes between you and your neighbour, our new page on trees and neighbours can help you get to the root of the problem. Learn about tree ownership, where to find local tree laws, and rules around where a tree can be planted. 

You’ll also find guidance on what to do if your neighbour’s tree has overhanging branches or damages your property. We explain options for dealing with these and other knotty issues between you and your neighbour. For example, talking with your neighbour is a good first step, though sometimes mediation or more formal steps are necessary.

This new page complements our information on fences and neighbours, which over the last year has become the most visited page on our website. We’re also working on more coverage of neighbours issues. Stay tuned for upcoming pages on noise problems, other nuisance issues, and tips for talking with your neighbour.

We are grateful to work on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, whose Peoples continue to live on and care for these lands.