Can I Throw Neighbors Tree Branches Back in Their Yard?

Neighbors Tree Branches

A tree is a beautiful natural blessing that provides you with calm and soothing shadows in the summertime. From personifying your home’s beauty to contributing to the wellness of the environment, a tree offers various benefits. But what if the tree in your neighborhood has started shedding its branches down to your home? It might frustrate you, but before you put into some hot debate with your neighbor, it’s better to know your local laws on trimming or throwing the branches back into your neighbor’s yard.

You probably have been in a situation where all you see in your backyard are the branches and leaves of your neighbor’s tree. And if you are not sharing a friendly relationship with your neighbors, this can even lead to legal issues. Before putting yourself in a legal debate, there are various things to consider, that too, merely a tree’s branches falling.

Trees provide us with immense benefits, but the real frustration begins when your neighborhood’s tree starts shedding leaves and branches right into your backyard. It can even cause damage to your property in any way. But it is always wise to know when to take action.

First, you should know the boundary of the tree that whether it lies in your property line or your neighbor’s.

The Tree Trunk is on the Neighbor’s Sidea girl standing in her home and tree trunk in the neighbor's side

If the tree trunk is on your neighbor’s side, it is clearly his property. The issue begins when the branches start pouring into your yard or the hanging branches affect the look of your house. In this case, you have all the rights to trim those branches. However, you are not allowed to damage the tree by cutting off certain branches, which can affect the tree’s health. It can even land you in legal trouble. So, to find the solution, you are advised to talk to your neighbor and ask him about the branches which you can cut down.

The Tree Lies in The Middle of the Property Line

Although this is not a commonly caused scenario, there are still chances of having disputes if not handled intellectually. If the tree lies in the middle of the property line between you and your neighbor, it means that you both own a tree. You both legally own it and share all its rights and responsibilities.

It is always recommended to double-check with your local laws if you are not having a healthy settlement with your neighbor on this matter. However, the cutting or trimming of trees without the permission of all the owners is not allowed.

Now that you know the tree trunk settlement, let’s see various other aspects you might be worried about regarding the tree’s wastage. Here we have tried to answer commonly asked queries to make you aware of your roles and responsibilities as a neighbor.

Trimming of Neighbor’s Tree Branchesa cutter trim the tree branches

By law, you are allowed to trim the branches of your neighbor’s trees if they are fallen into your property line. However, you are not allowed by any means to cut down the branches by going to your neighbor’s property. It may even land you into a legal debate. If you cause any harm to the tree this way, you may have to pay for a replacement value of up to several thousand dollars.

What to do If the Leaves Keep Falling into My Backyard?

Unfortunately, there is no claim to that. As leaves are regarded as a natural product, you cannot take any action against their shedding into your yard. Under few conditions, the leaves from neighbors’ trees may even clog the gutters or pipes. There is no legal claim to make under any of these scenarios.

What Should I do With My Neighbor’s Tree Branches That Fall Into My Yard?Neighbor’s Tree Branches That Fall Into My Yard

If you find that your neighbor’s tree is shedding its leaves or branches into your yard, this is where you need to show some ethical responsibilities. The tree that lies on ‘property your neighbors’ property is their property, but if it starts falling down its branches in your property line, you are not allowed to throw them back into your neighbor’s yard. Legally and ethically, this act is not encouraged at all.

If you throw the tree limbs back into your neighbor’s yard, it may accuse you of fly-tipping, i.e., illegally dumping the waste. If you dispose of them without letting your neighbors be aware of them, they may accuse you of theft as the tree limbs belong to your neighbors.

The legal and ethical solution to resort this matter is to communicate with your neighbor and let him know about the tree limbs. Ask him if he wants to keep the branches or grant you permission to take or dispose of them. He may even allow you to throw the branches back into his fence.

According to some laws, if the branches of the neighborhood’s tree fall into your property, you can throw them away as the tree belongs to your neighbor so he has the responsibility to clean the mess. However, ethically, we believe in mutual communication and always suggest communicating with your neighbor about this issue. Always check on the local laws regarding this issue as the laws of different states are relatively different.

What if my Neighbor is Throwing Branches into my Yard?Neighbor tree Branches into my Yard

If your neighbor is intentionally throwing branches into your yard, it can be extremely frustrating. However, before filing for any legal concern, it is advised to sit and talk to your neighbor about the issue peacefully. Tell him that you do not like the act, so he might stop doing it. He is probably unaware that his trees are shedding branches or leaves into your property. In this case, a friendly conversation can be a great solution to resolve it. If he continues to do so, you can inform the police about this mischievous act.

If the tree is yours and its branches are shedding on your neighbor’s property, you can pick up these branches yourself as they belong to you. You may either dispose of these branches or use them to light the fire. If your neighbor throws the branches back into your yard, thank him, as you have to take up the mess caused due to your tree.

If the branches that are fallen into your yard are old or dead and cause you harm in any way, it can initiate legal matters. Your neighbor would be blamed as he could have cut down the tree’s dead branches before it shed down on its own into your property.

Why is it Bad To Throw A Neighbor’s Tree Branches Back into His Yard?Return a neighbor's tree branches to their yard

Although this is not the responsibility of a specific party to take care of the hanging branches of a tree, being a responsible person, you may ask your neighbor about his concern over the branches of his trees which are invading your property. If you cut the hanging branches without your neighbor’s permission, it might trigger a rift between you two.

If the branches of your neighbor’s tree are heavy and hanging into your yard, throwing them back might harm the tree trunk or even can cause damage to the limbs. When you throw a branch at a tree, you are hurting them as they do have a nervous system similar to ours. This act could affect the tree’s ability to fight diseases or cause it to die prematurely.


Being an empathetic and kind neighbor, you are responsible for always being there for your neighbor in his time of need. If the branches of your neighbor’s tree hang into your garden or property line, this is not something that must be dealt with strictly. You may ask your neighbor politely and solve the issue. Remember that tree is a great blessing with numerous benefits of keeping a climate clean and providing shelter from the sun. Treating the hanging branches of trees with cruelty is not an ethical practice. By doing so, you are causing harm to the tree.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is responsible for cutting overhanging branches in Illinois?

In Illinois, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to cut down the overhanging branches of the tree in his backyard. Since a homeowner will take care of the tree properly, he will not cause any harm to the tree.

Who will pay for the damage caused by overhanging trees?

If the overhanging branches of a tree are damaged, old, or not maintained properly, the tree owner is responsible for paying for the damage caused by the overhanging trees.

What can I do with the leftover tree branches?

If you have excess tree branches, you may do many creative things with these. You may utilize these branches to create a mosaic table, a sitting chair, a bird bath, candle holders, plant markers or a simple décor item.

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