Hi, this is attorney Paul Harding, and I’m the managing partner of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti in Upstate New York. So this question comes about actually quite a bit during the spring season, there’s spring clean-up, there’s a lotta storms that can hit. Has to do with who owns the tree? And what can you do if your neighbor’s branches are on your tree? So unique, wherever the trunk of the tree is, that is where the ownership lies. So if your trunk of the tree’s on your neighbor’s land, it’s his tree. Now, these branches are coming over on your yard, they’re kinda bothering and you kinda wanna get rid of them, you can trim them, but be careful because if, as a result of your trimming, the tree dies, you could be held responsible for replacing of that tree. And it can get kind of expensive.
The second question I get a lot more than one would guess, is the one that says, “Hey, the tree fell on my yard. Whose responsibility is it?” Well, if you can show there was no risk [SP] the tree itself was damaged, that it was sort of rotty and then it fell over, then that’s the responsibility of the homeowner of where the tree was positioned, right, where that trunk of that tree was. But if that storm comes in, lightening comes in, just bang, you know, it takes that tree and puts it on your land, that’s not gonna be responsibility of the landowner, that, in fact, is gonna be the responsibility of you. And you need to make sure with your homeowner’s policy, you check that and make sure that, in fact, you have enough coverage for tree removal. Often the policies are limited to just $1,000, and that might be enough, but a really big tree, it could be a lot more. So interesting municipal cases. If people are injured as a result of a fall…of a tree that falls and owned by a municipality, well then you get into the notice statute. You need to show that the municipality knew or should’ve known that this tree was rotted, was sort of not equipped to make a season, so to speak, so…and claims can be brought against the municipality, if you can show that failure to do so. Paul Harding, checking in. Thank you.