City of Terrell, Texas


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Mayor Hal Richards

Q. - We have 2 large pecan trees on the property between the sidewalk and the street in front of our house, which we water, fertilize and maintain. We are also legally responsible for keeping that property mowed and kept clean.


Each fall, when the pecans start falling, we have people come down the street picking up pecans from these trees, sometimes coming into the yard. When we asked them not to pick up the pecans in front of our house, they claimed that we did not own that property and they could pick up all that they wanted and there was nothing that we could do about it.


My question is this: Although the city technically owns the property between the sidewalk and the street, what rights do we as the homeowner and taxpayer of the home have regarding 1) Keeping others from coming onto this property, and 2) Keeping them from taking the pecans?


We feel that since the law requires permission from the homeowner to put up signs like garage sale signs or political signs, shouldn't we also be shown the same rights and respect regarding people coming onto the property to take things that do not belong to them? What are our rights as homeowners and what possible recourse do we have?

Answer - Nobody has a right to come onto your property to pick up pecans from your trees and any property owner has the right to tell someone to stay off of their property. However, if the pecans fall onto the City’s easement, they are available for anyone to walk onto the easement and pick them up.

To prevent people from harvesting pecans from the trees that you tend, perhaps the most effective thing would be to shake the trees and harvest them before anyone else could be there to pick them up. If there were habitually few or no pecans to pick up, those looking to gather pecans would be likely to look elsewhere.





Hal Richards, Mayor



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City of Terrell Logo - Building a Better Community
City of Terrell
201 East Nash St.
P.O. Box 310

Terrell, Texas 75160
Metro 972-524-3332
Fax 972-551-6682



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