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Eye Opener To Me Too: Act of God Tree Damage Is Probably Your Responsibility, Not The Tree Owners

November 8th, 2012 · 2 Comments

I know, it doesn’t make sense – but apparently it’s true. Sandy caused a lot of downed trees and many fell into homes.  My neighbor and I were chatting after his neighbor’s tree fell on his home.  He said his insurance company told him it’s not the neighbor’s fault because Sandy was Mother Nature’s responsibility, not the neighbor’s fault. Who knew? Since then, I’ve read two articles about it.

Today, ‘s website had an article about tree damage and insurance claims.  And then a prior article, written in The New York Times. The Times article mentions things about tree damage that might help every home owner in the future.  Keep an eye on your trees.  That several hundred year oak may be beautiful but does it have a gaping hole in the base large enough for an animal to take shelter? It might not be a healthy tree and pretty or not, may need to go.

Other issues with trees in cities: yeah, most of you probably think I’m a tree hugger.  In reality, cities are not, in my opinion, a place for large oaks and maples etc in normal sized residential yards. Seriously!  You can damage your foundation (and your neighbors) because the tree roots reach for water and get close to your house foundation.  Secondly, the water and sewer lines? This Realtor® sees water leaking into basements and sewer and water line back ups due to tree roots.  I live in Cleveland and whoever decides on what trees get planted on the tree lawns is not thinking about all issues.

I have a sweet gum tree as do most of my neighbors. That means not only leaves can clog the sewers and cause basement flooding, but sweet gum balls.  The street next to me? They have crab apple trees that look relatively young (ten years old?) and guess what.  Those crab apples can clog the drains too. I may have to get on my high horse and talk to the City Dept. of Agriculture (they are the ones responsible for trees).  Meanwhile, I’m getting on a list to get my sweet gum tree removed. Tired of doing preventive sewer line snaking every year or so just to handle the issues.

So let Sandy be a warning about those beautiful but pesky trees.  And as I mentioned in my last post, hope you make a Sandy claim to your insurance company sooner rather than later because at some point they are going to reach their claim cut off time.

Think about this too: Just because your tree withstood the high winds, doesn’t mean the root system wasn’t loosened enough so that that next 40 mph storm (and we will have them) might cause it to fall.

Also, did you know that branches hanging over your roof can shorten the life of your shingles and also cause roof damage if the limb breaks off (and gutter clogging) ?

I do sound a bit like Chicken Little, but ya know what they say about being safe rather than sorry. :-)



Tags: Cleveland Real Estate

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Martina // Oct 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm

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  • 2 Jacquie // Nov 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

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    Jacquie´s last [type] ..Jacquie

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