Homeowners with concerns regarding trees on adjacent property that potentially threaten their safety or property have options to assist in mitigating that threat.
The first course of action would be to simply talk to the property owner about the tree or trees in question. Often a reasonable discussion will result in a reasonable resolution.
If this option does not result in a resolution you may contact an ISA Certified Arborist. The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a professional green industry organization. An ISA “Certified Arborist” has documented knowledge of tree industry accepted practices developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care. ISA Certified Arborists for hire can be located through the ISA website at www.isa-arbor.com. An evaluation by a qualified professional can be used to document the condition of a tree or group of trees. This official documentation can be mailed to an adjacent property owner that the condition has been identified and corrective action may be needed.
Notifying your property insurer may be another option that damage to your property is possible and they may be able to assist you.
The following link is from a Minnesota publication regarding nuisance trees:
Another link is to the forest service and has many publications concerning hazard tree identification and options:
Finally, here is a link to an article in the ISTHMUS, an alternative weekly newspaper based in Madison, Wisconsin. In the article, Bruce Allison, a consulting arborist from the Madison area explains in laymans terms, tree issues as they relate to property issues. Mr Allison holds a PhD, is an author of tree related books and an internationally recognized tree expert:
The laws regarding homeowner options and trees on property lines and trees that grow over property lines can be confusing. Park staff that work with tree issues routinely hear comments from property owners that “you can trim anything over the property line”. Removal of limbs, roots or other portions of trees growing over property lines cannot be indiscriminate and must take the health of the tree into consideration.