San Diego, CA asked in Real Estate Law for California

Q: How can I get my neighbor to remove two very large, potentially dangerous, trees?

I am a 91-year-old veteran who has lived in Clairemont since 1962. The property directly behind my house has very large trees located about 20 feet behind my house which have not been trimmed or topped for over 50 years. The limbs from these trees are now about 10 feet from the back of my house. In years past, two of these trees, when they were much smaller, fell over onto my property. One landed against the back of my house. If one of these trees fell over now it would crush my house. I believe these trees also are a potential fire danger.

I have sent two letters to my neighbor asking to have these trees trimmed but they have not responded. I do not know if the people who live there now are owners or just renters. In addition, roots from these trees have grown across my back yard and under the foundation of my home.

I am a senior citizen and cannot afford to pay for legal assistance. I would appreciate any suggestions you might be able to give me.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joshua D. Brysk
Joshua D. Brysk
  • Pleasanton, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There are low-cost and sometimes free mediation services. One in your area is If the trees do pose a hazard, you can also ask the city to come out and inspect, but if they issue a citation against your neighbor it might lead to bad blood.

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