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Old 04-16-2018, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,065,731 times
Reputation: 3189

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I admit to some disagreement with the common law the way it is usually applied with trees, because while I accept that trees are a natural phenomenon, and storms that make them fall down are an act of God.... I do think it leaves people unable to protect themselves and take down trees that are within reach of their property but are growing on someone else's property.

I cut down all the trees on my property that could reach my house. The only tree left that can reach my house is on my neighbor's land and I can't cut it down. I THINK if it's my problem if a tree falls, then I ought to be able to cut it down. Current law though, disagrees.
I disagree with this. If you buy a house sitting under trees you know that you are taking a risk. That makes more sense than neighbors cutting each others trees down. Or knowing you might lose a tree because a new person buys the house next door. I would clean up my tree if it fell, but any damage to the neighbors property is theirs because the tree was there before they were and they bought the house anyhow.
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Athol, Idaho
2,182 posts, read 1,065,731 times
Reputation: 3189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
As discussed previously, if your tree is dead or dying and it falls across a property line and causes damage, you're technically responsible. But if your own property suffers such damage, good luck in collecting.

Several years ago, a huge, multi-trunked maple tree from a neighbor's yard, split when a wind-shear hit it hard. Five trunks, about 20-inches in diameter, came down on my roof. Luckily, a large Douglas fir in my backyard caught the tops of the trunks and it gave up five of its largest limbs, in blocking the maple from striking my roof with much force. My house had only superficial damage, with a claim of $2,500.

The maple was clearly mostly dead. About 3/4 of its interior was decayed and black. I got plenty of photos, immediately. An adjuster from my insurance company agreed that the neighbor's insurance was responsible. But they refused to pay and even sent a phony adjuster who was supposed to be independent. He gave them a report saying that the wind was responsible and omitted all information about the decay in the tree.

My insurance company paid all my damages, minus a $500. deductible. They filed a subrogation claim against the neighbor's company, to recover the loss, but nothing ever came of it. I would have had to bring legal action against the neighbor to collect, which would not have been financially productive, regardless of the results.
I agree that this changes things. We have had trees examined by an expert to find out. If they are losing huge branches it can be this or it may just need a huge trim depending on the type of tree it is. We are talking about responsible tree owning.
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Old 04-16-2018, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,113 posts, read 5,276,090 times
Reputation: 9673
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
You know it was your tree. Clean it up after asking permission of the neighbor to go on the property. Sometimes the legal answer shouldn't matter when it comes to doing the right thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
This. Why should the neighbor have to clean up your mess?
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
In my area, there would be a argument over who got to keep it.

^^Why assume that OP doesn't WANT his tree.

And, at what point is OP entitled to say, "screw it, not my problem legally."

What if its a 100 year old White Oak Tree? I can't clean that up on my own. I don't have a saw that big or the abilities to use one safely. I don't have a truck or a log splitter to move the pieces. My insurance company would tell me that its my neighbor's problem.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:00 PM
 
1,528 posts, read 738,502 times
Reputation: 2062
I'm all for neighbors helping neighbors but anything that someone does beyond what's legally required is a gift. Really nice gesture to offer to be generous and help with money or your two hands. No different from if your neighbor had some other misfortune.

By many of the views here, if the removal cost was 2000 and the 'tree owner' who's not legally responsible to pay anything, handed the neighbor 1000, it would not be good enough. I suppose you would think the 'victim' would be justified in objecting to that on moral obligation grounds and demanding the full amount because that's what's 'right'. That would not make me happy if I just offered to reach into my pocket and give my neighbor a gift of 1,000.

The problem is that the law is the only thing that's common to everyone. Some may feel the costs should be split. Others that the tree owner pays. Others follow the law. Disputes are worse when everyone has different ideas about obligations. If some tree falls on your property, it's your responsibility to take care of yourself, not just expect someone else to do it for you. If someone's nice and offers to help, that's great - be thankful you have nice neighbors.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,113 posts, read 5,276,090 times
Reputation: 9673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
As discussed previously, if your tree is dead or dying and it falls across a property line and causes damage, you're technically responsible. But if your own property suffers such damage, good luck in collecting.

Several years ago, a huge, multi-trunked maple tree from a neighbor's yard, split when a wind-shear hit it hard. Five trunks, about 20-inches in diameter, came down on my roof. Luckily, a large Douglas fir in my backyard caught the tops of the trunks and it gave up five of its largest limbs, in blocking the maple from striking my roof with much force. My house had only superficial damage, with a claim of $2,500.

The maple was clearly mostly dead. About 3/4 of its interior was decayed and black. I got plenty of photos, immediately. An adjuster from my insurance company agreed that the neighbor's insurance was responsible. But they refused to pay and even sent a phony adjuster who was supposed to be independent. He gave them a report saying that the wind was responsible and omitted all information about the decay in the tree.

My insurance company paid all my damages, minus a $500. deductible. They filed a subrogation claim against the neighbor's company, to recover the loss, but nothing ever came of it. I would have had to bring legal action against the neighbor to collect, which would not have been financially productive, regardless of the results.
I think that you have to prove knowledge/negligence of the tree dying/being dead. Meaning, he had to know it was on its last legs, and ignored it, and that's tough to prove.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:22 PM
 
5,501 posts, read 6,176,309 times
Reputation: 14069
Take it one step further:


If my tree falls on your house, whose homeowners insurance covers your loss? Yours. So the tree now belongs to you.


But again, the 'right' thing to do is clean it up.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:57 PM
 
6,197 posts, read 3,292,687 times
Reputation: 12577
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
I think that you have to prove knowledge/negligence of the tree dying/being dead. Meaning, he had to know it was on its last legs, and ignored it, and that's tough to prove.
A lot of times you can look at a tree and see that it's diseased or dying or dead. The leaf growth, lots of dead branches, leaning, sickly looking. Also, if it fell down because of a minor gust of wind, as opposed to a windstorm, and no other trees in the area fell, it's pretty much a slam dunk that the tree was unhealthy to begin with (which would have been visible).
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
7,113 posts, read 5,276,090 times
Reputation: 9673
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
A lot of times you can look at a tree and see that it's diseased or dying or dead. The leaf growth, lots of dead branches, leaning, sickly looking. Also, if it fell down because of a minor gust of wind, as opposed to a windstorm, and no other trees in the area fell, it's pretty much a slam dunk that the tree was unhealthy to begin with (which would have been visible).
If you actually look really hard at it. Trees don't die overnight...It takes years and years of slow decline...How many people live in a place 10-15 years, rake their leaves, mow their lawn, and don't look closely at it? They think, "same old tree, same green leaves, same nice shade." They don't sit there and see main branches that are not leaved, or that its thinner than three years ago leaf wise. That's a lot harder to see.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:11 PM
 
114 posts, read 138,966 times
Reputation: 183
It happened to me. My insurance paid for the tree.
Why should my neighbor pay if his insurance doesn't cover it?
By the way, he did offer to help.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
3,878 posts, read 2,099,749 times
Reputation: 10714
All trees will fall eventually.

I love our tall trees, but a couple hard winters living at a rented place where I couldn't control all the trees on the property left me very fearful of them in our winter wind storms. One of my first acts as a home owner on our 19 acre property was to hire a logger. I still have a lot of tall trees on the property... they just can't reach me now.

(Except that ONE that belongs to the neighbor. :/)
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