Industry News: Tree Risk Assessment

Q: Trees were planted 5 to 7 feet from my neighbor's property line. Is that too close?

Monday, January 4, 2016  
Yesterday, a landscaping company planted two trees in my yard, and I have a really bad feeling they are too close to the property lines. One is about 6 feet from my neighbor's privacy fence, and the other is 5 to 7 feet from two property lines (where other neighbors or ourselves might put a privacy fence). The trees are Acer X Freemanii Jeffersred; I have been reading that they may get 40 feet wide. How much space should be allowed around property lines/fences?

A: I think the news is good all round. Many times when trees are planted straddling the property line, known as "boundary trees," significant neighbor disputes arise. Alternately, if you plant too far to the interior of the property, you lose space. In this case, you've left adequate space for fence building but kept the trees sufficiently near the property line so that you have capacity to develop (or not develop) and enjoy your property to the fullest. Congratulations on the new trees. You AND your neighbors will enjoy them for many years to come.


Responder: David Jahn, RCA #425, Des Moines, IA