Prune or pay up: Bill targets negligent neighbors’ trees

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Islanders soon may need to prune their trees or face a hefty fine.

The Senate passed a bill that would require residents to prune shrubbery or trees or pay a $500 fine if plant litter lands on their neighbor’s property.

The bill passed Tuesday 26-6.

State Sen. Frank Ciccone
State Sen. Frank Ciccone

Democratic Sen. Frank Ciccone says pine trees are nice in the forest, but their needles and sap don’t belong on a neighbor’s lawn, driveway or car.

Ciccone says he introduced the legislation after residents in his district expressed concerns.

The bill would require homeowners to control any plant debris if it’s a nuisance to an abutting property owner.

Republican Sen. Elaine Morgan, a dissenting vote, says homeowners shouldn’t be responsible for leaves on someone else’s lawn.

The bill now moves to the House.

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