Hazardous Tree

choufleurJuly 20, 2004

We recently had a storm and as a result, a large branch from my neighbor's tree fell on my house and caused damage. The neighbor's insurance company informed me they could not pay for the damage to my home because I had not properly (via certified letter) informed the neighbor of the possible hazard to my property because of the tree.

I do not want to have the damage taken care of by my insurance company because of a previous claim. Do you think it would be a waste of time to take the neighbors to small claims court since the court would likely be operating from the same law as the insurance company?

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That doesn't sound right. Have you talked to your insurance company yet? Not to file a claim but to find out the truth?

Perhaps the neighbor's insurance company is hoping you'll believe what they say so they don't have to pay the claim.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 8:47AM
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I have a large oak tree (my neighbor's) hanging over part of my house. I asked my insurance agent about who would have to pay if it ever fell and damaged my house. According to my agent my insurance would have to pay, not the neighbor's. THe person whose property was damaged is the one whose insurance company is responsible (if you have the right coverage) So I would recommend contacting your own insurance agent regarding this.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2004 at 8:02PM
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This happened to us several years ago. The tree was on my property. When it blew over, the top of the tree touched my neighbor's roof - just lightly, no damage. Anyway, we had it taken down right away but our "lovely" neighbors were very angry with us for not telling them before we had it done !! They said we had no business sending the tree guys onto their property. Then they tried to get us to have our insurance pay for their roof (I'm talking NO DAMAGE). Our agent said it was an "Act of God". No kidding. No coverage. They said even if that tree had flown from across the street onto their roof there was no coverage. Our neighbor was not happy, accused us of trying to squirm out of paying and we never spoke to them again.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 2:10PM
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A property owner is only responsible for trees and shrubbery up to his proeperty line. Any damage that occurs over the line is the other homeowner's problem. We had a large oak that lost several branches during the hurricanes. The branches fell onto our neighbor's property and smashed part of our concrete wall fence. Two years ago I had asked permission to have my tree service people trim back these heavy, long overhanging branches but we were refused access to the property. Consequently, this damage occured. But as a good neighbor I called and explained that although it was not our responsibility we would pay to have the branches trimmed back and would also pay to have the huge limbs cut and taken away. At the same time I informed them that there were several other branches that were likely to break and cause damage and I did not intend to be nice again. I also informed them that if our wall was damaged because they did not trim the branches I would expect them to pay for the repair even if I had to take tme to court to do so. The branches were cut back the next day.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2004 at 10:30AM
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We just had the same problem. Our tree lost two limbs on the neighbor's side of the tree. One limb fell on their house, but only the small branches thank goodness. I called our insurance company and they said it is their responsibility. The neighbor and I get a long well, we had the trees trimmed at no cost to her last year even though the limbs over her yard was her responsiblity. She just barely gets by financially so we paid the whole bill. Her boyfriend and his friend took care of the downed limbs in no time at all.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2005 at 11:13PM
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I've got a problem similar. My neighbor gave me permission to have overhanging branches from his trees cut back. But when my Tree company began cutting he rescinded permission and prohibited them from stepping onto his lot to take down all the nuisance limbs.

At least I foresaw a problem with this neighbor and I had a property survey done. Now I have to advise him that those overhanging limbs are a public nuisance and a danger to myself, my family, my pets and my property and should be taken down. I let him know that I was paying for their removal and he rescinded permission so now he'll have to take care of them. If he doesn't, and something does happen, he will be responsible and I'll be able to take him to court to pay damages. That's the advice my legal authority gave me and also the advice my County gave me.

I hope it works; though he is a little odd, he's a nice man - one of those who has to know the business of everyone in the neighborhood. That type is okay in that they do keep a good watch on the neighborhood. My fence will be going up today - if I catch mr. Neighbor peeking over the fence to watch me, I'll have to put on a show for him. Hopefully the sight of a short, naked 200lb 50 year old man doing twirls to disco music will keep him at bay.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:54AM
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Find out what the law is in your locality; it can be different from what applies in mine or anyone else's. Also, what applies if a health tree is knocked over or loses branches due to a storm could be different from what applies if the tree is dead or obviously dangerous (that could be called negligence on your part).

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 10:35AM
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I was wondering if a homeowner has any right to cut off branches from a neighbors tree that are enroching on their side of the fence. I have a neighbor who has planted two trees and many bushes about a foot or two from the property line. One is a eucalyptus that when full grown will be over a hundred and fifty feet high with a spread of about a hundred feet or more, based upon what some mature specimens in my neighborhood look like. My property is only 50 feet wide, so the branches will eventually cover my whole yard from one side to the other. My neighbor on the other side has a clump on Eucalyptus that blots out the southwestern sky and even though it was trimmed to some limbless trunks several years ago is already growing branches ten feet onto my land and has grown 30 feet in height since then. Between the two I will eventually be living in the shadow of these two giant trees and will have to give up gardening. But if I cut the branches off it will be a constant fight because these trees can regrow the branches back in a year or two. My own semidwarf fruit trees are suffering because they don't get enough direct sunlight. For my own trees I planted them far enough from the property line that they would not enroach on my neighbors property when full grown. Any coments or suggestions?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 3:37AM
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yes, any branches that cross the line are you responsibility to cut. on ONE condition, you cannot do anything that will harm the part growing on their side. so, trim it back only to the line. and don't poison it.

also, if one of those trees falls on to your property, YOUR insurance is the one that would cover it. the other guys are not responsible for damage off their property.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 2:06PM
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My neighbor has a tree that is causing a rift in our common block fence. In addition the roots are lifting my brick patio and I believe are causing the plaster in my pool to crack as the crack is in the direction of the roots lifting the fence and patio. Am I to believe that my neighbor is not responsible for any of this damage rather I am? It is bad enough that these are pine trees that shed all over my pool causing me more work but now the roots are manifesting damage in the ways described above. It seems odd that my insurance company would even consider covering this.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 10:49AM
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I just called the city and they verified a homeowner has the right to cut off any branches overhanging their property at the property line.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:39PM
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Californian: you have a right to do this as long as it doesn't cause detrimental damage to the tree. You can not cut so much that it kills the tree.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 4:29PM
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What I want to do is kill the tree. I didn't mention that the tree (actually part of a clump of trees) is growing at about a 65% angle and the base is on my neighbors land but the top half of the tree and all the branches are on my side. I'm hoping we get a good storm and it blows it down. Two of the trees in the clump blew down last year but in my neighbors direction. BTW, eucalyptus trees can get huge, in fact the tallest tree in the world is a blue gum (a type of eucalyptus) in Australia that is 400 feet tall. I think my neighbors is a type that gets about 125 to 150 feet tall,which means if it lives the top of the tree will go across my whole property and then enroach on the neighbor on the other sides property.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:52PM
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