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Dead tree on neighbor's property is threatening my barn...

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  • #21
    Check with your insurance agent. If the tree causes expensive damage to your property, there's a good chance they would go after him via his insurance company. His rates could go up as a result.
    The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
    Winston Churchill


    • #22
      My opinion is not based on law- it's based on gut feelings about dealings with neighbors... the cost of taking the tree down is NOTHING compared to having a hostile resentful relationship with a neighbor.

      I'm going to put a different spin on it...
      YOU have a BARN that is close enough to your neighbor's property that a tree could fall from his property onto your barn.

      He has to live THAT close to your horses and their crap...

      And yet he is a friendly nice neighbor.

      Your horses and barn have not caused an issue with him even though they are right up against HIS line.

      Offer to pay to remove the tree and let HIM post on a forum board somewhere and ask his buds if they would split it, pay full or let you pay.


      • #23
        It might not hurt to mention that your beloved horses and or other pets could be injured, suffer, and incure many expensive vet bills if they are in the barn at the time the tree falls.
        By the way down here on the gulf coast most insurance no longer covers barns or fences that are not attached to the house.


        • #24
          Another vote to check locals laws and with your insurance.

          The way I understand it is if the neighbor is on notice that the tree is actually dead or damaged and does not do the necessary repairs or removal which leads to the tree falling on your stuff the neighbor (their insurance) is responsible for the damage.

          If the neighbor does not know the tree is damaged/dead or if the tree is healthy and it falls on your stuff your insurance covers it.


          • #25
            Originally posted by Guin View Post
            If the tree overhangs your property, you are allowed to remove the portion of it that is "on" your property. So if there is one great big branch looming over your barn, you can get rid of it yourself without consulting the neighbor.
            this is true. but it is also true that if your trimming of the tree or it's roots causes either the death of the tree or damage from the tree's structure being compromised, you are liable for the damage and the replacement of the tree - and we aren't talking about a seedling here...
            * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am


            • #26
              Been there, done that. I had asked the neighbors for YEARS to take down a dead tree. Dead limbs were always falling onto my garage or into my yard.

              They refused, and they wouldn't allow me to hire someone to take the tree down. The power company did not seem interested either.

              Finally, during a bad April storm, the tree gave up the ghost, fell on my garage and fence and took out power lines. The power company cut the parts up enough to restore power, left the mess on/around my garage. I had to hire someone to come out to remove the tree, pay my deductible, etc. I don't believe they even bothered to go after the neighbor.

              So...my advice to you would be that regardless of the legal liability or the terms of your insurance, if your neighbor is willing to let you handle this, do so. It's a lot less of a PITA to prevent the damage than to deal with afterwards. You'll probably end up spending about the same amount of money.

              If you have nosey retired neighbors (like I did) and are worried that they'll want to "help" (which could result in damage too), maybe you can say something to the effect of "If I hire a pro and the tree falls on the garage, their insurance pays for the damage. If we do it ourselves, my insurance won't be too happy." ????

              Maybe just tell them that you have to go the pro route given the proximity to the building?

              Good luck. But I definitely would be proactive with this. It's WAY more painful to have to jump through hoops with adjusters and do construction to repair.
              A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

              Might be a reason, never an excuse...


              • Original Poster

                Talked to my insurance co; they suggested getting another neighbor to be present & essentially serve as a witness when I ask this neighbor to remove the dead tree, and obviously to document it's "deadness" and proximity to my barn now. If/when it does fall, the insurance agent said his insurance company will pay for it (even without me asking him to remove it) and by having a witness there when I ask him to remove it, they can then get the neighbor to cover my deductible.

                Originally posted by Plainandtall View Post
                I'm going to put a different spin on it...
                YOU have a BARN that is close enough to your neighbor's property that a tree could fall from his property onto your barn.

                He has to live THAT close to your horses and their crap...
                He has a 4 acre front lawn, which is where the tree resides. The barn is nowhere near his house or any other structure; I'm talking like 500'+ feet away, so my horses are of absolutely no bother to him. It's not like they fling their poo across the fence line onto his front lawn.

                This is why I don't think it's high on his list of priorities. If it falls, the worst damage it'll do on his side is put some divots into his massive golf-green front lawn.

                Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                If you have nosey retired neighbors (like I did) and are worried that they'll want to "help" (which could result in damage too), maybe you can say something to the effect of "If I hire a pro and the tree falls on the garage, their insurance pays for the damage. If we do it ourselves, my insurance won't be too happy." ????

                Maybe just tell them that you have to go the pro route given the proximity to the building?

                Good luck. But I definitely would be proactive with this. It's WAY more painful to have to jump through hoops with adjusters and do construction to repair.
                Yes, I think I'm going to have to tell a white lie like that, so thank you for that suggestion. Said neighbors are insisting that they can remove another tree that is already leaning far enough that it will take out my house no matter which way they push it, and I've decided I'm just going to have to sneak a tree monkey in there and remove it before they notice what is going on. Sigh; I really do appreciate the helpfulness and I know I should be super grateful (and I am!), but it's really causing me so many headaches. I feel like I have to tiptoe around my own property to keep them from seeing what I'm doing, for fear they'll all run over to help me when I just want to do it myself.

                And yes, I'm trying to be proactive about it because it's an old barn, and it's worth now as a barn is far greater than the money they'd give me to repair/replace it.


                • #28
                  The problem though is that you'll have to get permission granted to do it so you'll have to involve your neighbor. No getting around that. No reputable company will just plop onto property that isn't yours and do the job. So a little white lie might be worth it. Although it's actually NOT a lie--the tree trimmer folks are bonded and insured so if there's damage, it's on them.

                  And you're right. If the structure is older, the payout from your ins may not be enough to really do the job right. More $$$.

                  Good luck!
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                  • #29
                    Trub had it correct, at least for my locality. You will pay for the damages unless you send a letter documenting that the tree is dangerous.
                    Our tree fell on their property, we had the tree people to remove it on both properties, as a curtesy. Neighbors sicced their lawyer on us, but failed as we knew the law. If they had a written certified letger to us prior to the fall, stating that the tree was dangerous we would have been on the hook for any damages.
                    But that was in NY, and I think laws vary. (And I'm not a lawyer!)


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                      If it bothers you so much and you are the only one who will be impacted if it were to fall, then you go to your neighbor and tell him of your concerns and that YOU will pay to have it cut down and cleaned up. I bet you can find and pay an experienced person to cut it down and someone else who needs firewood to clean it up for free.

                      If he agrees get the whole deal in writing.
                      Yep yep yep, the post Ive been waiting on. There is no way in hell I would just sit and wait for his dead tree to fall on my barn and fencing. Like I want to live under that stress every single day. If it were me, Id just ask him if he minded if I made arrangements to take it down, and then take it down. Done.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by oliverreed View Post
                        If it squashes your barn it is your insurance, not his, that will pay. I'd be up for trying anything to get him to agree to take it down - perhaps offer to split the cost?
                        Not necessarily so in THIS case. If a tree is dead, and the owner knows it or has reason to suspect it, then that owner is liable for damages that the tree causes. If the tree is normal, or there is no reason to suspect damage, then any damages it causes may fall on the barn owner.

                        OP-go take pictures of this tree, write a nice letter to your neighbor and send it certified stating that you would really like him to have this tree taken down due to the danger it poses. Offer to help with the expense if you have to. Document it. That way if something does happen, then you are covered. If you don't document, then it is a he said she said kinda deal and it could get ugly and your insurance would have to pay and then subrogate yada yada yada. Trust me on this one. I have been in insurance a LONG LONG time.

                        She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


                        • #32
                          Many years ago we had a row of pine trees that ran just on my neighbors side of the property line. A couple of the trees were dead or close to it and we had already dealt with minor roof repairs(insurance not involved) from damage caused by falling branches. Switched home owners insurance and when the agent came out to photograph the property he noticed the trees. We had to formally request our neighbor remove the trees for the company to insure our property. Making the insurance out as the "bad guys" helped keep things neighborly. Neighbor did remove the trees and we lent a hand with the clean up.


                          • #33
                            I say pay to have it taken care of. That is what we did when a neighbors tree was leaning toward our camp and could have fallen at any time and taken out our camp. It was easier for us to just get rid of the tree and take the wood for the fire pit.


                            • #34
                              Why are you so positive that a tree with 360 degrees to land in is going to pick the 180 degrees that include your barn and driveway? Did I miss the part where it's leaning or about prevailing winds?

                              Tell him the tree company belongs to a friend and they are giving you a great deal and get him to give permission for you to cut it down. If he still wants to cut it down himself ask him to get it done before the date that your horse comes home, please.

                              Then escalate to the big bad insurance co if you feel it's necessary.

                              White lies and charm, that's how I deal with my MIL and her strange cheap ways.
                              Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                              Incredible Invisible


                              • #35
                                A lawyers view;

                                ... _. ._ .._. .._