You love the trees in your yard. The way their feathery leaves dance in the wind. The transformation they undergo each season. And the way they warmly and dutifully welcome you home each day.
Then, one day, you notice your trees are getting a bit too comfortable. Their branches are hanging over your house. Or perhaps you inherited the drooping limbs when you bought a new home or your neighbor’s tree grew over the property line.
Either way, learn how to safely fix tree branches touching or hanging over your roof below.
The risk of tree branches overhanging your roof and how to prevent damage
Should tree branches hang over your roof?
Limbs hanging over a home are a threat to the rooftop and the entire property.
- As branches scrape against roof shingles on windy days, they can strip off layers of asphalt.
- Their leaves fall directly onto your roof or into the gutter, which can lead to mold, deterioration or leaks.
- Even worse, if the tree is damaged or diseased, a storm can cause limbs to fall onto your home.
Whose tree is the culprit—yours or your neighbor’s?
You may be questioning how the tree tipped into hazardous territory in the first place. Planting trees too close to your home without accounting for their potential width and height is a recipe for danger.
Or maybe your neighbor’s tree is touching your home. Most often, you have the right to trim tree branches that extend onto your property – even if the tree is planted in a neighbor’s yard. There are some limitations here, so double-check how this works in your area. And be sure to talk with your neighbor before trimming and know that you are responsible for any harm to the tree.
How to cut a tree limb over your house
Since the branches are already hanging over your roof, they’re poised to do damage. One wrong cut, and the branches could fall, requiring significant repairs to your roof or home. And if you attempt to DIY it, you need to be up a ladder to reach the branches, which puts you in danger, too.
Trimming tree limbs over your roof is risky, and mistakes can be costly. That’s why it’s best to have a certified and insured arborist handle the job. They know how to properly trim the tree and remove branches while keeping your home unharmed. Plus, in the worst-case scenario, if a certified, insured arborist does damage your roof while trimming your tree, their insurance would cover any repair costs.
*The information above does not constitute legal advice. Before you act or rely on the information above, you should consult your applicable state and local laws or speak with an attorney. Davey disclaims all liability for actions taken or not taken based on the above information.