It is a fact, hazardous weather conditions can cause trees to fall and create extremely dangerous situations. For this reason, declining trees that cannot be saved or dead trees in close proximity to residential properties should be removed before a windy storm can potentially knock them down. Every year, a significant number of trees fall on houses, automobiles, buildings, structures, power lines, etc. Many homeowners who face the unfortunate occurrence of a tree that has fallen and damaged their property are frantic and unaware of what to do. They think, hm…
- Is this covered by my insurance company?
- Is this my neighbor’s tree or my own?
- If my tree falls into my neighbor’s yard, am I responsible and liable for the damage?
- What about damage to my own property – am I covered?
- Is a local tree service available immediately to remove the large tree that fell on my house?
- How long will it take to fix the whole in my roof?
- Who is responsible for fixing the whole in my roof, and at whose expense?
These are all very good and common questions that arise during an emergency situation. In most cases, it is an insurance company that is responsible for footing the bill for emergency tree removal. That is, if a tree falls on a structure such as a house, shed, fence, or car. This is generally when a home owner should contact their insurance company for help. Insurance companies have preferred vendor lists of local tree companies to provide the home owner. The home owner will call to obtain a free estimate to perform the work. In some cases when a tree falls on a house, an insurance company will provide the homeowner with a general contractor who is responsible for handling all aspects of repair, including finding a tree service. In some cases, if a home is located in an HOA, the association representative will handle the situation. Most of the time, this burden falls on a homeowner them self, and usually the tree company who responds the soonest and has the ability to perform the job the quickest are awarded with the task. Often, if a tree falls onto the roof of a house, a crane is required to help perform the removal. Tree companies with a fully staffed crane operator and their own crane are best suited for this type of tree removal.
If a tree falls through a house, the job is usually performed within hours of the occurrence, unless it is pouring down rain at 3am when it is dark outside. In this case, a tarp is usually put on the home, or the part of the house that was damaged is blocked off for the night until daylight. The estimate and emergency tree job is then completed when the sun rises that morning. It is much safer to perform emergency tree removals during daylight hours. There are many emergency tree removal scenarios, and local tree removal companies are immediately available for the customer. Once a fallen tree is removed from a house, a contractor will fix and enclose the whole in the roof. Fixing the whole in the roof is completed by different contractor, and is separate from the tree removal.
So what if it was my neighbor’s tree that fell onto my house, then who is responsible? This can be a dicey situation since neighbors want to keep a good relationship with each other. Technically, any part of a tree that has fallen on a persons property, it is that individuals responsibility. Therefore, it does not matter who’s tree it originally was when standing. There is one scenario that your neighbor could be responsible if it was originally their tree to begin with. That is if the neighbor was negligent and denied or rejected to remove a hazardous tree from their property after being told by someone. Then the burden can possibly fall onto them. The property that a fallen tree lays on generally determines who is responsible for cleanup.
To perform an operation as complicated as emergency tree work, tree services must have the appropriate expertise and equipment. There have been many times when large storms sweep through the DC metropolitan area and caused major tree damage. It is known that the tree service industry is one of the most dangerous in the world. Hiring a licensed, and fully insured professional tree service is an absolute necessity. Lives are lost, and major injuries occur every day in the tree service business. It is a priority to hire a reputable, experienced, and well equipped company that can get the work completed safely.
JL Tree Service – Tree Removal