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How to Deal With Your Neighbor's Poison Ivy Plant

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on September 14, 2012 6:52 AM

Some people are blessed with great neighbors but others of us have neighbors that won't even remove the poison ivy plants that spill over onto your property.

Border plants can be difficult to deal with since they often don't just stay on one side of the property line. If those plants are poisoning or dangerous to your health it's even more frustrating.

But just because it's spilling onto your property doesn't mean you can pull it out at the roots. If you don't follow the rules you could end up in legal trouble.

You have control over your property which means when neighboring plants invade you can cut them back to the property line.

What you can't do is just pull the plant out of your neighbor's property.

The first step is to talk to your neighbor about it. They might not know that a poison plant is growing is on their property and be glad to know. If the plant is bothersome to you but not poisonous you might be able to arrange for them to move it further from the border.

If they're unwilling to remove a noxious or poisonous plant that is interfering with your use of the space, there are still steps you can take.

Your local health department might have a removal service for noxious plants. You can contact local officials to find out if there's one in your area.

If you can't solve it on your own, an attorney can also help you file a suit for nuisance.

A nuisance is anything that interferes with your enjoyment of your property. A plant that creeps onto your land and gives you a rash is something courts are likely to call interference.

None of this gives you a right to damage your neighbor's property. Taking a plant off their land or damaging it so that it dies is a destruction of property.

Destroying another's property can get you in legal hot water. Don't take the law into your own hands.

You don't have to live with poison ivy or other noxious plants but be careful how you remove them. Hopefully only the plant will be removed, and not your relationship with your neighbors.

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