Your Leaves in Your Neighbor’s Yard

A very considerate listener has a question about his responsibility for his neighbor’s yard. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Tim has a magnolia tree on his property that sheds a lot of leaves, many of which fall onto his neighbor’s yard.  Tim wants to know if he has to rake the leaves off his neighbor’s property.  He says he has nice neighbors and would rake the leaves, although he’d rather not ask about it.

Tim, it’s actually really refreshing to see a neighbor be so neighborly even to consider raking a neighbor’s yard, but you should know you’re not legally obligated to do it. If you were to blow the leaves from your lawn onto his with your leaf blower it could be different, but under the law, leaves that have fallen of their own accord are considered naturally occurring debris and not something for which the owner of the tree could be held liable. Not quite sure why you’d prefer to rake his yard than ask if he wants you to but regardless, you could do so out of the goodness of your own heart but the law doesn’t say you have to.

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