A neighbor's very large, old, oak tree is dying. Several huge limbs are leaning on our healthy trees' limbs and overhanging a walkway where children play and traverse each day. The owner is aware of the dying tree and refuses to cut it down. Whose responsibility is it to remove the dead limbs that are posing a dangerous safety issue--the owner of the tree or the owner of the property onto which the limbs overhang? Do you have any suggestions as to how to handle this situation?
3 Answers from Attorneys
You may want to contact your municipality to see if they will come out to inspect it and possibly get involved.
Call the property code official in your town and tell him that there is a very dangerous condition on or near your property and that someone may get injured if immediate action is not taken
As an alternative, although the other suggestions might be one solution and the first to consider, is to notify your neignbor of the dangerous condition, in writing and I suggest it be by certified mail, return receipt requested, and ask that he act to remedy it. It is his tree and regardless of where the braches reach, it is his obligation to correct it. I suggest including in the letter a statement that if he refuses to correct this dangerous condition, you will act and hold him responsible for all costs involved. If he refuses to act and you can verify the dangerous condition, you may act, but be mindful that you may have to sue to be reimbursed. This is a reply to an Internet question and the response is not intended to be legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship.