A commonly asked question by property owners is, “what rights do they have to protect their property from overhanging trees, plants and other debris from a neighboring property”.
In Maryland, reasonable self-help remedies are allowed to prevent injury to one’s property due to encroaching vegetation from a neighbor’s property. This means that a property owner has the right to cut back encroaching branches, vines and roots up to the property line, however, a property owner may not enter the adjoining property owner’s land to chop down a tree or cut back growth without the neighbor’s consent.
Maryland Courts have followed other states which refuse to impose liability for damages resulting from the natural dropping of leaves and other natural debris. Quite simply, state courts fear a flood of lawsuits if such liability was imposed on a neighboring land owner for natural processes. A property owner in Maryland must assume responsibility for the care and preservation of his own property.