pruning a neighbor's Leyland cyprus

RamandusIslandMarch 11, 2012

Hi all, This is my first post for my new membership in the forum. I'm excited about learning more about gardening. As I walked around my back yard, trying to assess what area would be best for vegetable planting, I realized that my neighbor's six Leyland Cyprus trees have grow so much that about half the foliage is over the fence in my yard, and the height of the trees blocks a lot of the sun. Certainly I won't do anything before talking to my neighbor, but I want to be well informed. From both a legal point of view and best horticultural practices point of view, can I trim the trees on my side of the property to allow more sun without damaging the health of the trees?

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

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kimka(Zone 6B)

In Maryland, you have the right to cut branches of your neighbor's tree back to the property line. But if that kills the tree, your neighbor can sue you for damages of the lost tree. Virginia has recently changed some of its law, so it depends on where you live, what you can legally do.

Will trimming branches really improve the sun situation?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Perhaps next winter will be very snowy, or there will be some high winds, or (ideally) a combination of both, and that will take care of the Leyland cypresses for you, if you don't mind the wait.

Supposedly they can tolerate a lot of pruning.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:40AM
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Yes, I think you CAN prune branches that hang on your property. SHOULD you? no. It's not good to start feuds with your neighbors.

You can trim the GREEN part of a Leyland and it will grow back if there is any green left, but if you prune into the brown area it WON'T grow back and you will be looking at the tree's naked backside.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 4:59PM
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