If the tree damaged your home, a homeowners insurance policy may help cover the cost of repairing your house as well as removing the fallen tree branches, the III says. For example, a healthy tree that falls over during a tornado, hurricane, wind storm or winter storm would not be the responsibility of the homeowner. Your neighbor has complained and asked you to cut it down, and you failed to do so. Melnick primarily dealt with branches and roots of living, growing trees and vegetation. That way, you don't run the risk of it falling and wrecking your property, or worse yet, hurting someone. The property owner who suffers damage should file a claim with their homeowners insurance company. Learn how to deal with problems involving trees and neighbours. Before you can determine who is liable for damage caused by a falling tree or branch, you need to know who owns the tree. And if trees fall or drop branches across property lines, it can become difficult to determine who is responsible. In a recent case the High Court has accepted a claim by a property owner in relation to damage to their property caused by tree roots coming across the boundary from their neighbour’s property, as well as leaves and branches falling from overhanging tree branches. That way, trimming around the entire tree is consistent and makes all sides of the tree look good. So it depends entirely on whose side of the property line the damage occurs. “Trees on property lines are a common complaint between neighbors, but not so much at the courthouse,” says Cleve Clinton, partner at Gray Reed, Attorneys and Counselors, based in Dallas and Houston. Also, if you want to avoid likely increases in your homeowners' insurance policy premiums, consider simply bearing the cost, or a part of it, if the damage is minimal; for example, to a small section of a plastic fence easily repaired with replacement parts from a “big box” store. There are no good or bad species of trees when it comes to falling branches, says Andersen, and any tree in poor health can become problematic. If you were unaware of the tree’s condition then you are not liable for the damages to your neighbor’s property. However, it’s up to homeowners to remove branches before they can do any more harm. The same is true in reverse for a tree whose trunk is on the neighbor’s yard: If that massive snowstorm causes a big branch hanging over your car to crunch your windshield, you can’t expect the neighbor to pay for the damage. Types of Fallen Tree Damage . In that case, you might be liable. In Louisiana, if someone damages your tree, you can recover your actual damages (usually, what you paid for the tree or what it would cost to replace the tree). A neighbor may sue only if the tree is "noxious," in other words if it both causes actual damage and is inherently dangerous or poisonous. Montgomery County found that a owner of rural or suburban land (here in Potomac, Maryland) is not specifically liable for any damage done by a dead tree branch falling onto another property unless the tree constitutes a “danger to lawful users of abutting public roads and the owner is aware or should be aware of the tree’s deteriorated condition.” Extreme Weather A hurricane or other high wind event can take 100-year-old trees … If it’s a dangerous tree, you have the right to trim branches and cut and remove tree roots that are intruding into pipes or foundations within your real estate. A landowner is not liable to the adjoining property owner for an alleged nuisance caused by overhanging branches and roots from a tree on his or her property; however, the adjoining property owner is legally entitled to trim back, at the adjoining owner's own expense and only up to the property line, any encroaching tree roots or branches and other vegetation that had grown onto his or her property. Often the government is held to a lower standard of accountability for a tree falling on their property than a private citizen would be. Removing a tree because it is a liability. Crossing property lines to trim or cut down a tree is not something you or your arborist can do. A fence that is found to be a spite fence can be determined to be a nuisance that unreasonably interferes with the neighbor's use and enjoyment of his own property; Tree Trimming Rules. Trees that may have started out small and manageable have a natural tendency to grow and mature so that, in time, branches overhang a property line. Neither you nor your arborist may go onto a neighbor’s property or destroy the tree. It may not be removed without the agreement of both. Parking your car outside on a regular basis leaves your car susceptible to storm damage. What to Do if Your Neighbor's Tree Is Impacting Your Property Trees provide shade and complement landscaping nicely, but they can also cause major disputes when they fall over. First, it’s usually best to discuss the potential issue with your neighbor. If the trunk of a tree is in your yard, but hurricane pushes a big branch through the neighbor’s window through no fault of yours, it is not your responsibility. The same is true in reverse. If the tree was healthy and it was not a maintenance issue, then there is a good chance you may have coverage in your homeowner policy. Whether the Owner of a Tree that Falls is Liable May Depend on Where the Tree was Located. If the tree, or some of its branches, falls, the result may be severe damage to a house, a car, a boat, or other valuable property. The law of fallen trees in North Carolina is based primarily on the legal theory of negligence. 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