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Let me try and give as much details as i can. I cant seem to get a answer from anyone yet and insurance people are backed up and cannot come to see the damage.

So a huge tree is 95% on my property and 5% on my back neighbors property. Its a nice healthy strong tree. Sunday a tornado touched down in North Jersey and cracked this tree in half. A small portion broke off completely and smashed my back neighbors patio. From what i understand, my neighbors insurance will cover that. Even that neighbor said they would.

Now here is where the tricky stuff comes in. The rest of the cracked tree is now hanging OVER that same neighbors house. It has not completely fallen and is being helf up my another smaller tree.

Its a hazard i guess since another storm can possibly make it go down. also a police officer said it has to come down because of the potential hazard. The police officer suggested i speak with the neighbor and possibly split the bill to take it down. I have spoken to the neighbor but did not suggest anything about my paying. I only asked if he had gotten tree companies for quotes and stuff. I even offered a tree company to use my yard if it helps with the removal since his is hard to get machinary into.

The neighbor has not straight out told me ” you have to pay!” but it feels like he is trying to stick me with 100% of the bill. Basically we are on hold till our insurance peeps get back to us.

Sorry for the long explanation but i just wanted to throw everything i know thus far. Its now wednesday so 3 days have past and the tree is still hanging. does anyone know off hand do i have to pay for it or him? Or both of us? Im actually starting to get concerned that he has not removed the tree yet. If a tree was hanging over my house i would pay to get it out ASAP and handle the bill later IMO.
But he hasnt done anything yet. tomorrow it will thunderstorm and im getting worried. I dont want to be charged for negligence if something happens. would i be charged?

6 Thoughts on Storm cracked tree in half. now its hanging over neighbors house. who’s responsible to take it down?
  1. Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 4:02 am

    If the tree is healthy, or was when it was blown over, and it presents a threat to his house having fallen in that direction, it is considered an Act of God and his insurance has to pay. He would have had the right to remove all parts of the tree that had a potential of damaging his house if he had wanted to.

    I recently had a neighbor who had this very thing happen and the tree fell across another man’s property, his insurance had to pay, not the owner of the tree.

    The thing that is important here is the health of the tree. If the tree was unhealthy, dead or dying, and it was noticable, you could be responsible. But the probabilities are that he would have had to have notified you that he felt the tree presented a danger.

  2. Reply
    new england
    July 17, 2011 at 4:41 am

    If the tree is rooted in your property but fell on your neighbor’s house, they are responsible for any damage to their house, even though the tree was yours. They should contact their own insurance company and request procedure details. The same thing happened in New York state last year and we dealt with our insurance company when our tree fell in a windstorm. If you and your neighbor are on friendly terms, you certainly could offer to pay half the bill to remove the hanging portion of the broken tree. You will NOT be charged for negligence, this is an act of nature and there is nothing that you neglected to do that would make you liable. Since it sounds as though part of the tree is still on your property, and the police have stated that there is a danger, I would offer to pay half. It would come to about $ 500 apiece for a large tree, but you might be able to find a lower price from another tree company.

  3. Reply
    July 17, 2011 at 5:01 am

    In Ohio the neighbor’s insurance would have to pay.

  4. Reply
    Dan H
    July 17, 2011 at 5:39 am

    This is why you both have insurance.

    Make the claims and let them fight it out.

    The tree is mostly on your property and probably the whole tree needs to come out now. Your neighbor can make the case that it is mostly your tree (95% by your estimate).

    It is storm damage, so insurance should take care of it.

  5. Reply
    David N
    July 17, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Call your homeowners insurance and ask them what to do. They deal with that kind of issue frequently.

    A storm damaged tree should be covered under your policy. For what it’s worth, in Florida where I live it’s where the trees roots are. Our church preschool had a ficus fall during hurricane Andrew and block two lanes of Broward Blvd. We had to hire a bulldozer [chain saws wouldn’t do it] after the state complained. The city of Plantation wouldn’t allow the removal of the tree before the storm, either, in spite of it being non-native and so large it was a threat to life if it fell.

  6. Reply
    kenneth h
    July 17, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Hope this helps. I have rent houses on both sides of me. On the south side one time a ice storm took out a large limb and it tore the weatherhead from my house. the owner of the house had to pay for removal and repairs to my house. Later the tree just next to that tree just fell over from root rot and landed on my house. Again he paid.

    On the North side of my house a snow storm bent a large limb down and it again took my weatherhead and breaker box off my house. Since both trees was on my neighbors property it was their responsibility to pay for all repairs.

    I would say it is your responsibility to pay all damages as it is your tree and duty to keep tree trimed up.

    I can legally cut any limbs off that hangs over my property line

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