My question involves real estate located in the State of: Indiana
My Grandmother lives in northwest Indiana and has had an ongoing dispute with her neighbor of nearly 40 years. I am her Grandson. Originally there was a pool on her property, which she eventually had to get rid of due to the amount of leaves and branches that kept clogging the pool filter.
There has been alot of disagreement about this large "Ash" tree that is on the neighbor's property directly to the west of my Grandmother's. It is a very tall tree, and also has a thick trunk. Probably about 20 years ago it was struck by lightning and split into two trees about 20 feet in the air or so.
We have a shed and a garage which are well within the distance of this tree coming and crashing down on to them in a storm. Our house could no way be affected by this tree. However, a couple of years ago the neighbor installed some "hooks" onto the two tree limbs and has a sort of metal strap holding them together. This all by itself seems a bit scary, however the tree seems very healthy.
Our main concern.....and I believe this should have been taken care of years ago.....is the amount of LEAVES that we have to deal with in the fall. You have no idea, our yard is literally covered in leaves so much that you cannot even see the grass. This is alot of unwanted work that gets put on us to clean this up every fall and spring, because yes, it also sheds in the spring too...just not as much. On top of that there are always twigs in our yard of all sizes on a daily basis. I have been hit in the head by falling twigs too, although the Police said a report could only be written if I was really injured. I am not going to lie about being injured. However the risk is obviously present.
Another thing is that this large tree obstructs our backyard from the sun for most of the day. Depressing if you ask me. So there are many reasons why we would like this tree cut, and all we could really do is cut it straight up from the property line.
I have tried talking to the neighbor before about this issue, he has called the Police a couple of times to complain about me "harrassing" him. I was simply discussing the tree issue with him. They have come to visit me a few times and I explained, there was really nothing they can do or could have done as I was not harassing him and was simply attempting to discuss this tree with him. Believe me, I believe he has done some city planning....and seems to be "in" with the city.....if you know what I mean. However I do not care about any of that, I want to know what our legal rights are regarding this tree.
My Grandmother wrote him a letter asking him if he would pay 50% of a tree service to come and cut the portion of the tree that hangs over on to our property in mid to late May of this year. He never replied. The other day I saw him outside so I tried to talk to him again, he told me to "go away" so I suggested to him he at least make contact with my Grandmother. He ran inside and told me I was harassing him once again, but apparently did not call the Police because they did not show up.
Our yard is entirely fenced in. We live in a corner lot home, and our neighbor with the tree has a fence, and also the neighbor to the other side has a fence. We have fences which fence in the entire yard, but not actually "our" fence around the whole yard. Just on the two other sides which are not fenced in by the neighbors' fences. There aren't big openings for trucks or equipment to come in to our yard to cut this tree. Most of the bids we have received would require access to our neighbor's property to safely and effectively cut the limbs which overhang onto the property. Let me remind you this is a TALL tree! I trimmed the tree myself today with an extension cutter, but I can only reach maybe 30 feet into the air. This is probably less than half of the total height of the tree. So the arborists are wanting to either use a cherry picker or climb the tree, none of which they can do in our own backyard given the fencing and that the tree is on the neighbor's property. It is within 10 feet of the property line and seems like half or more of the tree hangs over onto our property.
Can he deny access to his property for the arborists to cut this tree? It looks like we are on our own in terms of paying for this service....but we are willing to do it if it restores our backyard to what it should be, sunlight, less work with leaves, no braches, and a lesser risk of the tree falling onto our shed and garage, especially with the strap that holds it together.......which may be entirely safe but I am not really sure, that isn't the point though, it is just the limbs which overhang onto our property. I believe it is finally time to take action with this tree which has never been accomplished in nearly 40 years!
And help, advice, and laws would help, again we are in LAKE COUNTY in NORTHWEST INDIANA.