Falling Limbs and Trees

Limbs falling from trees can crush fences, damage decks, and penetrate roofs. A sizable tree falling can seriously damage a home. If a tree from your property damages your home, then you, or your insurer will be responsible for the cost of repairs. If a tree from your neighbor’s property falls and damages your home, then who is responsible?

Emotions can run high in these instances. Filing an insurance claim can increase future rates. If it was your neighbor’s tree, why should you be filing a claim? The simple answer is that the property the tree was growing on has no bearing on the matter.

If your home is damaged, call your insurer. If your neighbors’ home is damaged, they should call their insurer. Given deductibles, inexpensive repairs like a damaged fence panel may be something you choose to handle yourself. Working together to fix your shared fence might be the neighborly thing to do, but that is between you and your neighbor.

When a tree is standing dead, has no greenery and is dropping limbs as it deteriorates, one would hope the owner would have it taken down. Due to procrastination, tight funds, or apathy, some leave dead trees standing. It is not a question of whether that tree will eventually fall, it is only a question of when. And in what direction?

If there is a dead tree in your neighbor’s yard that is within reach of your home or property, start by having a friendly discussion with your neighbor. Ask if they have plans to remove the tree? Most people are reasonable and will understand your concern, as well as the risk to their own home. While you are not obligated to share in the cost of tree removal when the tree is not on your property, this is a great gesture that may help move the process along and remove a major concern from your mind.

When your neighbor simply does not care, some have had luck by getting an arborist to certify a neighbor’s tree as dead and then gotten their HOA involved. HOA’s use financial penalties to compel action with regard to home upkeep and lawn care. Depending on whether you live in an HOA governed community, and whether that HOA is active, they may be able to compel your neighbor to remove the dead tree before it comes down in an uncontrolled manner.

As strongly as you may feel about your neighbors’ dead tree and the risk to your property, trespassing with a chainsaw is never a good idea. You may inadvertently create the very damage you are trying to prevent.

While Mr. Handyman does not remove trees, or rebuild crushed homes, most situations do not reach that point. Even a healthy tree can lose a limb or blow down in a storm. Mr. Handyman has replaced damaged posts and fence panels, broken stairs and railings on decks, and damaged siding when something fell against the home. Limbs through roofs allow water in and stain or ruin the ceiling below. We can replace or repair the drywall, apply texture or paint as needed to match what is there today.

We sincerely hope that your home is not damaged by falling limbs or trees. Should you need help repairing damage from such an event, or any damage to your home caused by age, water or mishap, know that Mr. Handyman is here to help.