All you want to do is plant your spring garden but the best spot in your entire yard has a huge branch from your neighbor’s tree hanging over it. Legally can you have that branch removed?
Laws vary from state to state but under South Carolina law while a homeowner is legally obligated to have the trees on his property inspected on a regular basis to ensure they are safe, it is perfectly acceptable for you to ask the homeowner if you could have the branch removed as long as the tree is healthy and would not sustain any damage from having it removed.
If an overhanging limb is dead, dying or in some other way a hazard, you are permitted to have it removed whether or not the tree’s owner agrees. You are also responsible for the overall cleanup and disposal of the cut limbs. Generally it is not a problem as most property owners are not going to complain about having free tree maintenance, especially if the tree in question is a hazard.
Not all tree danger occurs from falling limbs. A trees root system is quite formidable and depending on the location can grow into a neighboring yard disrupting sewer/septic lines, uprooting concrete driveways and walkways and building foundations.
Trees that straddle a property line are both homeowners responsibility. This includes all maintenance and care, and in the event the tree must be pruned or removed, both owners are equally responsible for the cost. There are many generalities concerning homeowner insurance and fallen trees but the basic rule is if your property is harmed by your neighbor’s tree and it is obvious the tree was defective, then your neighbor’s home insurance may be responsible. That is unless the fallen tree was healthy and the damage was caused by an “act of God,” for example a powerful storm or a bolt of lightning. In that case which homeowner is responsible isn’t as clear cut and the separate insurance companies will make the final determination.
Concerned about the health of your trees? Give Eric with OutonaLimbSC.com a call today at 864-320-8787 to schedule a complementary tree analysis.