Forum Index > Full Moon Saloon > Neighbor’s tree hanging over my driveway - Who has legal responsibility?
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Layback
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Layback
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 9:54 am 
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A huge maple tree from my neighbors yard came down and is resting against another tree and is leaning in the direction of my driveway. If it were to come down at the wrong time while we are driving up our driveway it could be lethal. My quick internet research shows that it’s their responsibility to take it down. Does anyone have any real world experience with this?
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boot up
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boot up
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 10:12 am 
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We had Looming Dangerous Neighborhood tree issues in Kirkland.  We checked with our insurance company and found out WE would be responsible for any damages to our house or property caused by their trees.  Plus I had to dig many 20 foot, arm sized roots out our yard every year.

We even offered to pay for taking down their trees at one point because of fear of being killed in our sleep during a windstorm.   Nope. The neighbor like the "screening" created by the Poplar and Cottonwood trees.

We were "allowed" to cut back only up to the property line, but our tree trim people were not even allowed to go on their property to do it, so we paid extra to do that trimming.

Finally a big branch fell on THEIR house and put a big hole in their roof.  THEN they wanted to know if we would still pay to take down their trees.   Huh?   Obviously we did not agree to that and they had to take down the trees which were much bigger and more expensive to remove by then. 

I really don't get the insurance thing.   Seems its like having to pay for a fence because a neighbor has a vicious dog running loose.  Oh, that is probably true...never mind.

Victim pays in our society.  Just the way it is.

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RandyHiker
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 11:28 am 
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Get an ocean shipping container and drop it along the driveway to take the blow when the tree falls.

When the neighbor complains , tell them you will remove it when the tree is no longer posing a hazard.
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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSat Dec 16, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Have you talked to them yet?  Perhaps you can agree to help with the cost?  It's important to get along with neighbors.

I lucked out.  My neighbor was having logging done so I got the logger to cut down the leaners around the house and shop for the cedars that had to come down to make room.  Sometimes trees that aren't threats have to come down so the bad trees can hit the ground.

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What's especially fun about sock puppets is that you can make each one unique and individual, so that they each have special characters. And they don't have to be human––animals and aliens are great possibilities
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Kascadia
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 6:41 pm 
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We dealt with something similar, but different, approximately 15 years ago relative to an extremely large healthy cherry tree near our property line close to where the neighbors chose to build a home.  The lady of the house knocked on our door one day and asked if we would please cut it down as they were worried the tree might fall on their home.  Ummm, not likely.

What I was told was that as long as the tree is healthy, it is their insurance company's responsibility to deal with any tree damage to their property - if the tree is unhealthy, it is our insurance company's responsibility to deal with any property damage.  I did not pursue the details of assessing "unhealthy tree" status.  A "leaning tree", as you describe, seems like it woul qualify for that status, you may want to take pictures of the tree.  Of course, if you're dead, someone else might have to deal with the aftermath. . . I don't know if you can "force" them to deal with it, I would suggest you contact King Co (or whatever county is appropriate).
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graffiti
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PostMon Dec 18, 2017 8:58 am 
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I had almost the exact same issue except the tree was over my back property and not the driveway.

Big cottonwood tree came down over my back property and lodged itself in one of my maple trees. I looked around and didn't find much but a neighbor was concerned that if it came down, it and my maple tree would hit their house. They sent the owner of the tree a certified letter stating that the tree was unhealthy and needed to come down. By doing that, it put the onus on the tree owner. He cut the tree down.

As for insurance, I do know that if a neighbor has an unhealthy tree and you notify them in advance before their is damage, their insurance company is responsible.

You might find something helpful here: http://realestate.findlaw.com/neighbors/neighbor-disputes-trees.html

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And the meek shall inherit the Earth...um...if that's ok with you.
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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 9:04 am 
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Depending on the situation, one tree can lean on another pretty much indefinitely without pushing the other over. This is the case with one giant cottonwood near me that has grown leaning on another for decades.

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Read my hiking related stories and more at http://illuminationsfromtheattic.blogspot.com/
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Foist
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Foist
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 4:17 pm 
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boot up wrote:
We checked with our insurance company and found out WE would be responsible for any damages to our house or property caused by their trees. 

This is my field, and that is baloney.  Either the person you spoke to was full of s*** or there was a misunderstanding.  Your insurance should cover you for the damage if that happens, and then your insurance company would chase your neighbor's insurance based on the neighbor's liability, particularly since you put them on notice.  Unless your policy had some kind of exclusion for trees falling?  But that is not a typical exclusion in homeowners insurance.
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Layback
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Layback
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 4:59 pm 
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Thanks for the thoughts everyone. I plan on talking with my neighbor. Just looking to collect facts before I do.
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Foist
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 5:04 pm 
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You may want to put your request in writing to them after you talk to them.  To make it less confrontational, you can just tell them your insurance carrier is making you do it.
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Layback
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Layback
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PostThu Dec 21, 2017 6:11 pm 
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Perfect. Thanks. 👍
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