Are Your Trees in Trouble?

A few weeks ago, we had a crazy storm which wreaked havoc in parts of Greenville (and with many high Are your trees in troubleschool football games as well!)  Our friends lost a huge tree in their front yard when it broke in half, barely missing their roof.

We often get questions about who is liable if a tree falls on a neighbors fence, a car, or on a house.  Our own Dede Wade offers the following advice:

  • In general, if your neighbor’s live tree falls on your house, fence, garage, etc., your neighbor is not responsible. You would need to file under your own insurance if the damage is more than you can pay out of pocket.
  • If your neighbor’s tree is dead or dying and your neighbor has been negligent in not having the tree trimmed or removed, then you can file a liability claim against the neighbor. It helps if you have documentation such as photos of the tree over time or a registered letter to the neighbor regarding your concerns about the tree.
  • If any car is damaged by a fallen tree, coverage can be found under comprehensive coverage on the car owner’s automobile insurance policy.

While each situation varies, it’s extremely important for a homeowner to regularly examine trees and check for damage.  Good pruning is the best prevention to a tree disaster!

If you or your client have a storm damaged tree, how you care for it is very important.

DisasterSafety.org recommends taking the following steps:

  • In general, it is best to reset only smaller trees, since large trees will be weakened and may fall again.
  • Decide what to do with tree stumps.  If you are going to leave them, cut them off flush with the ground.  If you plan to remove them, leave four feet of stump standing.
  • Removal will be cheaper and easier if stumps can be pulled out instead of dug out.
  • Cut weak branches that could easily be thrown against a structure during high winds. Also, reduce the chances of branches becoming weak by trimming branches more than five feet long and remove branches hanging over a structure.
  • Contact the local utility company to trim away any limbs close to utility lines. It’s important to never touch a wire while trimming.

If you have any questions, please call us at (864) 288-9513 or email turner@turneragencyinc.com.

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