As we’re all aware rains and strong winds can often result in fallen trees and associated damage. And if trees fall or drop branches across property lines, it can become difficult to determine who is responsible.Fallen branches due to storms often come under an act of God insurance clauses. It’s a little different where there has been some notice put to the property owner that something is looking a bit suspect. If a tree is obviously leaning or things look dangerous… it is entirely reasonable to put the owner on notice and say, “…look, we think this is a hazard..” If concern has been documented prior, liability can be directed to the tree owner.If a tree had not been altered by an owner or a neighbor and it fell, insurance should cover most costs. But if, for example, a tree’s roots had been removed to repair a rise in a driveway and it falls, the person who removed the roots could be held liable. When trees cross boundaries, work together with the other party, trees that encroached property lines, either from council land or neighbours, need joint agreements for maintenance or removal.
There are no hard and fast rules we recommended people run through the following questions:
- What are the risks?
- What are the likely consequences if nothing is done?
- How reasonable is it to take some preparatory steps?
- If it is a significant tree (protected by legislation in some areas) should there be an application to alter it or chop it down?
It best to document requests within parties to ensure, if damage resulted, a trail of fault could be formed. The important thing is to be able to go back and ensure that there is a line of correspondence outlining the problem and mentioning the potential for harm.
Can you prune overgrowing branches?
Where branches or roots become a problem when growing across a boundary, you are legally allowed to prune the growth. But [Again] the first thing we recommend is to speak to your neighbour/ the property owner, if the doen’t want to prune the growth, you are entitled to cut it back to the boundary line. The proviso is [you are able to prune] as long as the doing so is not going to cause significant damage to the tree.
Again, technically; the growth remains the property of the tree owner, it’s best to organise disposal methods prior to cutting. And for the sake of neighborly relations, we don’t recommend just throwing off cuts back over the fence. The essence of it all is to keep the communication lines open if you can.
A-Local Tree Service is also qualified to offer consultation on pruning, trimming or any other needs your remaining trees may have. On top of that we can also help you with – Tree Removal, Tree Pruning, Tree Thinning, Mulching, Vegetation Management as well as 24hr Emergency Tree Services.