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Who is Responsible For a Fallen Tree?

Trees not only incorporate beauty to your home but healthy, well-cared-for trees can also increase the value of your property. Nevertheless, if a tree or large branch falls it can possibly cause damage, injuries, or at the very least create a mess that no one wants to deal with.

So, after a tree falls, who is accountable for the cost of removal? Who is responsible in case a tree falls and damages property or injures somebody? Does your neighbor pay to have the fallen tree removed, or do you?

We're going to address that very issue.

Who's Liable For a Fallen Tree?

There are a few things to keep in mind prior to determining who is liable for covering the expenses that arise following a tree falling. This may include damage caused by a fallen tree and its removal:

What Caused The Tree To Fall?

There are a number of elements that can contribute to a tree falling, and while some are just out of our control, other instances of tree failure are completely preventable with proper care.

  • Natural Causes: This includes various environmental phenomena, such as high winds, snowstorms, hurricanes, tornados or any other natural and unavoidable events.

  • Negligence: This on the other hand refers to any instance where a tree was not properly cared for. This can include proper trimming or pruning of the branches, ignoring the signs of a pest infestation, or failing to ensure the tree is not diseased.

Who Does The Tree Belong To?

If you reside in close proximity to your neighbors, or if there are a number of trees in the surrounding landscape it might not be entirely apparent who the tree really belongs to, is it:

  • Yours: A tree trunk that grows within your property line is considered your tree. No matter how much of the tree grows onto your neighbor’s property, if the trunk is rooted on your property, it is your tree.

  • Your Neighbors: If the tree trunk is rooted within your neighbor’s property line, then the tree belongs to them.

  • Both: If the trunk of the tree grows directly on the property line, or in between the two properties as a “boundary tree”, both you and your neighbor share ownership and responsibility for the tree.

Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Fallen Trees?

While it will ultimately fall on the discretion of the insurance company, there are a couple of elements that can affect if your homeowner's insurance will pay for the costs connected with a tree falling on your property:

  • You’re Covered: If the tree fell due to natural causes, yes your property owner's insurance will likely cover the cost of removal and damage. If a tree from either your property or your neighbor's falls due to natural causes leading to damage to a shared fence or shared structure, your homeowner's insurance will usually cover 50% while your neighbor's insurance covers the remaining 50%.

  • Not Covered: If the tree fell due to carelessness such as lack of care and maintenance, no, your homeowner's insurance will likely not cover any costs connected with clean-up, removal, or repairs.

Who is Responsible if a Tree on Public Property Falls on My Property?

If a tree from a neighboring park, or otherwise public land, falls on your property, neighborhood officials are responsible for having the tree removed and all the expenses related to its removal. Nevertheless, you will likely need to count on your homeowner's insurance coverage to cover the expenses associated with repairing any damages.

Can I Remove a Fallen Tree Myself?

No! Tree removal is one of the riskiest tasks to carry out if you lack correct training and experience. While a DIY attitude may seem appealing, effectively removing a tree is an intricate procedure that requires thorough training, specific instruments, and proper licensing.

If you attempt to remove a tree on your own, or if you hire a person without the correct licensing rather than a professional arborist, you will be held personally accountable for any damage or injury resulting from the removal, transportation, or disposal of the tree.

Contact a Certified Arborists At Jazzy Tree For Tree Removal Services

When identifying who is accountable for a fallen tree you will need to consider what caused it to fall and who the tree belongs to. The most effective method to avoid the inconvenience of handling tree failure is to work with a tree care professional to guarantee the health, safety, and beauty of your property for many years to come.

If you are concerned about the possibility of a tree landing on your property, or you are searching for tree removal services in your area contact the licensed arborist at Jazzy Tree.

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