Who owns fallen tree branches?

We have a number of large oak trees around the perimeter of our property.

In recent storms some of the branches fell into the grounds of our neighbour’s property. Can we have them back (for firewood) or does our neighbour now have the right to keep them? C.E.

Honorary avocat Gérard Barron from Boulogne-sur-Mer said the branches overhanging a property continue to belong to the owner of the tree (although the neighbour has certain rights to cut them back) but once they have dropped they belong to the owner of the property on which they have fallen, so no, you cannot claim them.

He added that to recover the fallen branches, you would have to enter the neighbour’s property, which would be trespassing (intrusion illicite).

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