April 19, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: Encroaching Tree on Property Line Belongs to Party on whose Property Tree First Grew

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Love v. Klosky on Monday, March 19, 2018.

Adjoining Landowners—Stare Decisis.

In this case, the supreme court considered whether to overrule Rhodig v. Keck, 421 P.2d 729 (Colo. 1966), which outlines the test for ownership of a tree that encroaches onto a neighbor’s land. Under that test, an encroaching tree remains the sole property of the owner of the land where the tree first grew, unless the tree was jointly planted, jointly cared for, or treated as a partition between the two properties. The supreme court upheld Rhodig. The court found that Rhodig’s approach remains sound and it failed to see how overruling Rhodig would do more good than harm.

The court then applied to Rhodig to the decision at hand. Here, the trial court found that the tree in question began life on Klosky’s land and encroached onto the Loves’ land, and there was no joint activity implying shared ownership of the tree. Because the Loves failed to prove any such shared property interest in the tree, the court concluded that the Loves cannot prevent Klosky from removing the encroaching tree.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind

*