Question: We live in the Prescott area. Our neighbor has a large Cottonwood tree in his backyard. One of the large branches has been struck by lightning, and during every wind storm we are concerned that this large branch will fall off on our roof. Our neighbor refuses to do anything because the large branch only hangs over his backyard. Can we still require our neighbor to remove this large branch? If this large branch falls off, and damages our roof, will our insurance company have to pay to repair our roof?
Answer: If this large branch places your home in “imminent danger,” a court can order your neighbor to remove the large branch. If this large branch falls off now and there is damage to your home, your homeowners’ insurance should cover the damage. If the damage to your home caused by the falling large branch is significant, your homeowners’ insurance company would pay you for the damage to your home, and may then file a subrogation lawsuit against your neighbor to try to recover the amount of the payment to you.
Note: It is important to note that the tree branch hangs only over the neighboring property. A situation where a tree branch hangs over the property line was discussed in a previous article here.