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Who is Responsible for a Fallen Tree?

Lush, healthy trees can enhance the look and curb appeal of any Los Angeles property. However, these same trees that beautify our homes can become a danger if they fall. Natural disasters, such as heavy winds and lightning, can cause a tree to tumble. Death and diseases are also common causes of fallen limbs and uprooted trees.

But who exactly is responsible for covering the cost of the damage after a tree falls? Is it you, your neighbor, or your local township?

Thankfully, the experienced tree care arborists at Green Leaf Zone are here to help. Here is everything you need to know about liability and fallen trees.

The Tree Falls on Your Property 

In most cases, if your property is damaged by a fallen tree, you are responsible for the cost of the damage. It doesn’t matter if the tree or limb itself came from your lawn, your neighbor’s, or property owned by the municipality. If your home, shed, or landscape is destroyed by a fallen tree, you will be responsible for the damage.

But what if the tree was struck by lightning? While you can’t control Mother Nature, your insurance policy will likely cover the damages. That’s what a homeowner’s policy is there for, right? If the tree fell because of natural causes, such as a windstorm or lightning, your homeowner’s insurance will generally cover 50% of the costs, including tree removal and damage repairs.

However, if the fallen tree was the result of negligence, your insurance will not cover any costs associated with repairs, removal, or cleanup. 

That’s why it’s essential to properly maintain your trees. Green Leaf Zone’s seasoned team of tree trimming professionals can help. Our tree services, including tree pruning and stump grinding, will help you take great care of your trees to reduce the risk of them falling.

The Tree Falls on Your Neighbor’s Lawn 

Okay, so now you know what happens if a tree comes crashing down on your property. But what happens if it falls on your neighbor’s lawn?

If a tree growing on your property falls and damages your neighbor’s house due to a storm, their insurance policy will cover the damage. If a tree rooted on your property falls down due to negligence and harms your neighbor’s home, you are liable for the costs of removal and repair.

If the fallen tree is growing directly on the property line, or in between your lawn and your neighbor’s property, both of you share responsibility and ownership of the “boundary tree.”

Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Damages from Fallen Trees? 

Your homeowner’s policy will cover about 50% of the damage costs of a fallen tree if it fell because of natural causes. These can include high winds and lightning.

Your insurance policy will cover damages to your home, fence, shed, and other structures on your property. Many policies distinguish between two different types of structures on your property. The “dwelling” refers to your home and any fixtures or structures attached to it, like an attached garage. “Other structures” refer to detached sheds, garages, gazebos, and fences. While these are usually insured, it’s typically for only about 10%.

If a tree falls because of a lack of maintenance or care, you will most likely have to cover the costs.

Your homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover damage to your car caused by a fallen tree. This will be covered by your auto insurance’s comprehensive portion of your policy.

Warning Signs Your Tree Might Fall

As we mentioned before, your homeowner’s policy will not cover the damage of a fallen tree if it was the result of negligence. That’s why it’s essential to know common indicators that a tree may fall.

Some red flags to keep an eye out for include: 

  • Visibly dead branches or limbs that fall with minimal agitation
  • Missing bark or deep cracks on the tree’s trunk, which could weaken the tree
  • A gaping hole in the trunk
  • Tight, V-shaped branch growth, which could indicate that the branches are growing too close together
  • Rotting or weakened roots
  • The presence of mushrooms and other kinds of fungi growing on the trunk or around the base of the tree

If you notice any of these symptoms, call the experienced arborists at Green Leaf Zone right away. With over 35 years of cumulative experience, our fully licensed, bonded, and insured team has the knowledge to effectively deal with your sick or dying tree.

Fallen Tree Removal Services for Los Angeles Property Owners 

If a tree falls on your property, never try to remove it yourself. This can be dangerous to both you and your property. Instead, call Green Leaf Zone. We’ll quickly and safely remove the fallen tree from your residential or commercial property. We also offer brush clearing and stump removal solutions across the Greater Los Angeles area.

To get that fallen tree taken care of quickly, contact us today by calling 818-538-2471. Our lines are open 24/7, so reach out for a free quote right away!

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