The information in this answer is general information and is not intended as legal advice, nor do I intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader by answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of Trulia.com.
entire tree and not just overhanging limbs, it might be best to try to resolve this issue with him directly rather then get into a legal issue. Perhaps he will replace the tree so you can put it on another location further away from his home.
Best of luck to you.
Ultimately, he decided to trim the limbs rather than continue to fight for his rights, and then that neighbor complained that my relative trimmed too much.
Hopefully, you and your neighbor will work something out amicably.
In other words, you can trim parts of the tree that hang over your fence, but only if by doing so, you're not going to kill or damage the tree.
If the trunk, or the most substantial portion of the trunk is on your side of the property line, then "no", he cannot cut down your tree.
Now, if the parts of your tree that hang over his yard are endangering his family or property (ie: old tree... the limbs are very heavy, and might fall on his house, car or children)... he has every right to request that you trim it back, and if you aren't willing, to trim it back himself.
Or, is he he is threatening to do this?
If he is threatening,,,,why not .try to discuss it with him....to work it out.
If it is beyond the "working out" stage, then you should certainly call a real estate attorney and find out what your rights are...and his!
I will also add that your neighbor can't cut the tree back so much as to damage the viability of the tree. Possible exception: The driveway is now being blocked by the tree to the point where it is difficult for a car to pass, and the driveway was there first, or the tree is threatening to damage his house, etc.
I am not an attorney and do not give legal advice. Please verify all info with your attorney.