Authorized guidelines that can aid with tree challenges

by Deb Miller, JD

WV Senior Legal Aid volunteer

A neighbor’s oak tree branches had been hanging in excess of the fence on Rose’s residence for numerous years. The leaves constantly dropped onto her vegetable garden region, so that intended lots of springtime raking.

In addition, its lifeless branches fell onto her land at periods and on one more neighbor’s as effectively.

Her neighbor didn’t keep the branches trimmed, but Rose was mindful that she had the correct to cut the branches that were being hanging around her home.

Rose questioned her nephew to trim a part of the overhanging branches with out heading even a single millimeter above the assets line. She realized she would have to get that completed periodically.

Practically 79% of West Virginia’s land is protected by trees, in accordance to the Nationwide Association of State Foresters. We stay in the 3rd most forested point out in the state. It may perhaps be challenging to appreciate that in our each day lives but owning the opportunity to get an aerial check out will show the statistic’s precision.

Dominic had a tree challenge way too. His neighbor’s tree leaves blew into his swimming pool and triggered him more operate. None of the tree’s limbs were being in fact about Dominic’s home, so he has no suitable to trim the tree.

Trees have price in our modern society as a total outside of their oxygen-developing areas and merchandise that can be made from wood. On our lawns, they provide shade, attractiveness and even recreation.

Cutting down anyone’s tree devoid of authorization is considered a criminal offense in West Virginia, and the house proprietor can be awarded triple damages from the reduction.

Even though away on his loved ones fishing journey, Don received a contact from his good friend with the awful information that his neighbor’s major tree had fallen on to his residence all through a time of significant winds. Appreciable destruction had occurred.

When Don acquired house and noticed the mess inside and out, he was shocked. He experienced spoken with his neighbor a pair situations about the previous tree that had no leaves, appeared to be decayed, and really should have been trimmed or reduce down. Don experienced even sent him a letter with shots and the info about the tree’s affliction. The neighbor had dismissed him.

Don referred to as his homeowner’s insurance plan agent to start the cleanup and maintenance process. He took loads and lots of pictures of the condition of the tree and the destruction to his household.

At a afterwards time, he did obtain a verify from his neighbor’s homeowner’s coverage because the hurt was determined to be triggered by his neighbor not getting the decayed tree eradicated. Don’s photos had aided with that analysis.

If the tree had been healthier but had limbs that broke or blew off and brought on problems, it is probable his neighbor would not have been responsible for the injury to Don’s residence. His personal insurance policy protection would have been necessary.

For residence owners who require to article their house to preserve trespassers out, painting sizable purple squares on boundary line trees is now a authorized equal to obtaining “no trespassing” indications posted. Just maintain the paint.

For no cost aid with assets problems or other legal inquiries from the West Virginia Senior Lawful Help staff members legal professional, point out citizens aged 60 and in excess of could call the toll-no cost hotline at 800–229–5068.