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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
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