Who owns the fruit on the branches of my neighbor’s tree that hang into my yard?

The rule of thumb is that the fruit on the overhanging branches belongs to the tree owner.  Picking the fruit may not be so simple.  Ownership of the fruit does not give your neighbor any right to trespass onto your property to pick the fruit.  The law in Minnesota on this subject is not clear cut. Courts would probably weigh your right to keep trespassers out of your yard against the owner’s right to harvest the fruit.  The balance may tip in favor of your neighbor, if she owns an orchard and depends on the fruit for her livelihood.  The law is also unclear on the issue of fallen fruit.  Once it has fallen, the fruit’s value diminishes.  It has become, for all practical purposes, “tree debris.” You should be able to use or dispose of the fruit, if your neighbor says nothing about wanting it.  

Show All Answers

1. What is a nuisance tree?
2. What is a boundary tree?
3. Who owns a boundary tree?
4. How do I locate the boundary lines for my property?
5. What can I do if the roots or branches from my neighbor’s tree encroach into my yard?
6. What is self-help?
7. What are the consequences of trespassing to cut down my neighbor’s tree?
8. What can I do about branches, leaves, fruit, and other debris from my neighbor’s tree?
9. Who owns the fruit on the branches of my neighbor’s tree that hang into my yard?
10. My neighbors cut down their tree that shaded my yard. Do I have any recourse?
11. What is the best way to resolve disputes about trees between neighbors?
12. Where should I go to seek legal help, if needed?