My neighbor has had a dead tree in the back of his property for about
a year, last night the wind finally broke the trunk and it fell a
little toward my yard but was stopped by a large oak tree on my
property. I'm worried that it might break apart and fall when my
children are playing in the yard. I need this tree to come down and
I'm worried that my neighbor won't do it. They have a habit of only
doing the kind of maintenance that is absolutely necessary. How do I
approach them to make sure they take care of this problem? I'm on
good terms with this neighbor and I'd like to take care of this in the
most tactful way possible but I get the feeling they are going to tell
me that if I want the tree down I'm going to have to pay for it
That's first thing he has to do. I had a neighbors tree fall into my
yard and he did not even know it as it was winter and he could not see
the area from his house. He, his wife and son came out with a chain saw
and removed it. On reflection it was probably my total responsibility.
In this case there may be neighbors home owner insurance coverage.
Lordy. Way overthinking this. Around here, the property line rules- it
hits your land, your problem. Call a tree service, get an estimate for
your part and for his part. Show it to the neighbor, and along with
asking for permission for the tree guys to go on his side of the line to
work, ask if he wants them to clean up the part in his yard as well.
Note that around here, 'reasonable access' must be given for situations
like this, but knocking on the door and asking is still considered
polite. Big factor on the price will be if they can get a bucket truck
back there, or if they have to do it the hard way. Do you, your
neighbor, or any nearby neighbors, want the tree for firewood, assuming
it is suitable for that? Running through the chipper is usually an
additional charge, since they have to drag it all to the road. If they
can just cut into 2-foot lengths on the ground and leave, less work for
them. Grinding the stump will probably be an extra c-note, if the
neighbor wants that. Around here, insurance usually only covers if tree
hits house or outbuilding, or house/outbuilding is at risk. I had a tree
take out my shed, and my agent told me I'd be better off eating it (the
$500 above the $500 deductible), because the NEXT claim would bump me
into high-risk category. So I paid the tree guy out of pocket ($325),
and I am (slowly) blacksmithing the shed myself, instead of buying a
I wouldn't even dream of involving lawyers in this. It is going to cost
a couple of grand at most, and even if you win, who wants to live next
to an enemy? Life is too damn short, etc.
my opinion from experience...........
the property owner the tree grew on knew it was dead, and didnt have
as such he is responsible for all costs.......
Let's all keep guessing. Meanwhile, I suspect the OP won't ever return to
the discussion. He's lost in google land, trying to figure out how to find
the thread he started.
Where's "around here?" Zimbabwe?
If anybody (neighbor, stranger, martian), through action, inaction, or
negligence causes damage to your property, he is liable. "It was okay when
it left my place" is not a viable defense.
Suppose your neighbor CUT his tree down and it fell on your house, killing
your children and cat. "It's on your property, deal with it" would not be an
acceptable response to your polite complaint.
There is no legal difference between negligently chopping down a tree and
allowing a dead one to fall on its own.
I agree that a lawyer would be inappropriate at the beginning. Should a
resolution not be forthcoming at stage one, a lawyer would, however, be
necessary to recover the loss of heirlooms, medical expenses incurred in
trying to lift the tree, pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of
consortium, punative damages, and the interests of the unidentified heirs.
On Tue, 28 Apr 2009 19:09:11 -0700 (PDT), against all advice,
I'm having some weed trees taken down next Friday. It will be
$190 an hour. Were I in your shoes, I'd just get it done.
I guess you could present the bill to your neighbor, say his tree
littered your yard and this is what you had to do to clear it up,
and see what he says. Or you could ask him what he plans to do
about it. Or you could have the work done, and then go see Judge
The law will vary from location to location. However around
here and I believe most places, you have the right to cut or trim any
part of a tree or other plant that is on or over your property. I
don't believe many if any areas require the property owner who has the
base of the plant on their side of the line is obligated to pay any of
Just want give everyone an update, I'm the OP, I've been putting off
talking to my neighbor but finally talked to him the other day and now
I know why I was putting it off. He basically offered to pay for half
of the removal - after he tried to argue with me that the tree was on
MY property! I wasn't really in the mood to argue with him considering
he just found of he has cancer so I agreed with him although I really
feel like I'm getting the shaft in this deal since it's his tree and
it's been dead for years.
Now you have established he is willing to pay for half the costs, why don't
you offer to get it done? Then he can spend all his efforts to beat his
cancer. (of course depending on the kind of cancer, you may want to hurry
up or not).
Look on the bright side - paying 1/2 for tree removal is a whole lot
better than having cancer. :o) He may be a jerk, may just have made
wrong assumptions (most of the tree IS now on your property, no?), or
just preoccupied with his situation. Young? Old?
You can trim what is over your own property, to an extent. Our bldg.
code has prohibition of "mutilating" trees - likely so neighbor doesn't
cut half of a tree that is over his property. Lot of logic to the bldg.
codes, as far as I have read.
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