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Getting to the Root of the Problem: Invasive Trees

Have you ever heard those stories about tree roots breaking through swimming pools?

Thirsty tree roots scour the underground for water, only to locate an oasis, right in the neighbor's twenty-thousand dollar in-ground summer sanctuary.

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it is an issue that Boston real estate attorneys visit quite often.

Here's a story out of California. While the tree roots didn't invade a swimming pool, they did crack through a sidewalk.

Tree roots can cause all sorts of damage, from invading swimming pools to damaging water pipes. So, don't you think someone should be held accountable for the damage caused by tree roots?

Well, the previous statement was somewhat melodramatic, but certainly, if a neighbor's tree is causing damage, you may have a right of action against the owner of the tree.

Notice that I said "you may" and not "you most certainly do." While some states allow lawsuits against the owner of the tree, Massachusetts law isn't always clear on the topic. True, a neighbor's tree may cause some substantial damage to your property. But whether or not you can sue remains to be a question of law and of fact. And these questions are the type of questions you ask a MA real estate lawyer.

In any case, don't try to help yourself without first speaking to your neighbor. Try to talk to your neighbor in a nice and polite manner. Perhaps you could resolve the problem without ever setting foot in the office of a MA real estate lawyer.

If all else fails, don't take any serious action until you've spoken to a MA real estate lawyer. Have a look at our related resources below to read more about real estate issues involving trees.

Related Resources