If a Neighbor’s Tree Falls on my Property, Who is Responsible for Removal?
April 12, 2022 | By Aaron Capannelli
A fallen tree can not only damage your home or yard but could also damage your relationship with your neighbors. When a tree falls from your neighbor’s yard onto your car or home, staying calm and civil may become difficult. As a tree company led by arborists, 770-Tree-Guy recommends practicing proper tree maintenance to help avoid fallen trees and conflicts in the future.
Why do Trees Fall?
There are two main reasons for a tree to fall: disease or storm damage. Although storms cannot be prevented, practicing proper pruning will help keep your tree balanced and minimize the chance of a fall. If you have a tree overhanging your neighbor’s property or they have one overhanging your property, address these branches proactively before they fall later. It is important to note that as a homeowner, you are permitted to trim back your neighbor’s tree if it extends onto your property, as long as you do not cause harm to the tree. You are not permitted to cross your neighbor’s property to prune. We highly recommend having a conversation before pruning their tree. Tree illness can often be addressed well before a tree becomes a fall risk. If you have any trees that show signs of illness (such as fungus, infestations, discolored leaves, bare patches, etc.), call us to evaluate and offer suggestions. Tree removal is always the last resort when the risk of falling will endanger your family or your neighbors. Trees that are dead or severely diseased are at the greatest risk of falling.
My Neighbor’s Tree Fell on My House–Who is Responsible?
Blaming the owner of the tree seems obvious, but this is not always the case. For example, if your neighbor’s perfectly healthy tree is hit by lightning, falls, and damages your property, you are responsible for the repairs and cleanup. We recommend referring to your homeowner policy. You may have full or partial coverage to help with the expenses. If your neighbor has a sickly or dead tree and chooses to not do something about it and it falls, then the neighbor will be liable for your damages. In short, the tree owner is responsible if they have been negligent.
Whether your tree falls on a neighbor’s property or a neighbor’s tree falls on yours, stay calm and make sure everyone is safe. Safety should be the first concern. Remember that fallen trees can take down power lines and be conductors of electricity. Once you make sure everyone is safe, take photos of the scene. Photos will be helpful for yours or your neighbor’s insurance company. Afterward, give your insurance company a call to determine how to file your claim. The final step is to call 770-Tree-Guy for a safe tree removal and cleanup.
Whether you want a proactive evaluation of your trees or you need support after a tree has fallen, our team at 770-Tree-Guy is standing by to help!