Tree Etiquette & Your Neighbors: Know Your Responsibilities

In this blog post, we’ll continue our discussion about your rights and frequently asked questions regarding tree rights, responsibilities and ownership. We’ll dive deeper into the responsibilities you have as a homeowner when it comes to trees that belong to your neighbor that have fallen and caused damage to your property. In case you wanted more information about this topic, you can refer to our previous blog post, Tree Trimming Ettiquette & Your Neighbors: Know Your Rights.

My neighbor’s tree has fallen onto my property after a storm and caused damage. Is he responsible for the damages?

In this case, it will depend on the court and they will most likely apply a reasonable care standard which will mean a ruling of one of two things:

  • If your neighbor took reasonable care to maintain the tree branch and to a reasonable person, the branch did not seem as though it would fall, then it will probably not be deemed your neighbor’s responsibility. The logic behind this is that if a reasonable person could not have avoided this from happening in any way, then it would be deemed an Act of God and your neighbor would not be held liable.
  • If, however, the court finds that a reasonable person would have or should have known that the tree or branch posed the threat of falling, or that your neighbor never performed a reasonable inspection to maintain the tree branch after applying the reasonable care standard, your neighbor could be found liable of negligence. In this situation, your neighbor would be deemed responsible for the damages incurred to your property.

The Takeaways

Knowing all of this, as a property owner, you need to make sure that you are regularly checking the trees on your property for anything that could have the potential to create a dangerous situation for you or your neighbors. Furthermore, it’s essential to make sure that you are not only checking those trees that are contained solely within your property. Make sure you are also observing those trees whose trunk is contained within your property but that have limbs and branches that extend into your neighbor’s property. Performing regular checks can help you determine if you need to hire professional tree removers to address issues with low hanging or dangerous branches and trees, before severe weather strikes or an Act of God occurs. With checking your trees every so often, you can easily avoid a dangerous tree situation that has the potential to cost you thousands and cause significant damage to your neighbor’s property or your own.

If you’re in need of branch or tree removal, in Upstate NY in Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Albany, Lake George or elsewhere in the Capital Region, contact the professional tree experts at Adirondack Tree Surgeons. Let us help you avoid a potentially dangerous situation that could cause a headache for you and your neighbors or result in expensive and devastating damage. If you’ve experienced tree damage and are in need of emergency tree removal, the professionals at Adirondack Tree Surgeons are standing by, ready to help you no matter the time of day or night with our 24/7 Emergency Tree Services at 518.792.2225.