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May 31, 2020 - 1:18:53 AM
3653 posts since 4/7/2004


Neighbor has a big diseased tree that overhangs my property, actually most of the tree is over my property and not his. I asked him years ago to take care of it.

Much to my surprise he came to my yard and said he is having a guy come to take down the tree, but the guy needs to take it down from my property as the tree is right up to his fence and there is a shed between the tree and his backyard.

I asked him how is the guy going to take down the tree and he was not sure. I asked him if he was going to drive trucks over my property and he sort of insinuated no he wasn’t. This is a big tree and it overhangs gardens and trees on my property, ang another neighbors fence. Besides the stuff under the tree, if he does drive trucks to do the tree, and I don’t know how anyone could do this tree without doing so, they would have to dive over 300 feet of lawn and unless there is a drought it will do damage.

I told him I will let him know if he can cut it down from my yard. I want him to take the tree down, but if I tell him he cannot do it from my yard he will probably not take it down and I f it falls in the future it will fall on my yard and then it would be my responsibility to clean it up.

I am planning to ask him the name of the company, find out if they are a ligit tree removal company with a license and insurance and not a landscaper, contractor, friend, etc.

Is there paperwork that a company can produce to prove that they are properly insured?

I had a bad experience with a tree guy once and had to stop him from finishing the job. Hired a very reputable company and the guy came with a crane and safely removed the tree.

As I said, I intend to find info about the person he hired and will even suggest the guy I used, but he was not cheap.

Any thoughts?


May 31, 2020 - 4:31:07 AM



31325 posts since 3/5/2008

You seem to be on the right path..get yer answers...
Then decide..

Me first thought is it is far better to get along..that ..not..

At least an effort has been made by your neibour..

We here..are in a ..differint contracting profession..
So I also completely understand the tree cutters..concerns..

Nobody want to be in the middle of a ..feud..or one that may errupt..

Good luck

May 31, 2020 - 4:45:35 AM

Texasbanjo (Moderator)


24476 posts since 8/3/2003

I would check out the company that he wants to use and if satisfied, your problem is solved. If not satisfied, you might contact a company that would meet your needs and concerns and if there's a difference in price, offer to pay either the difference or split the price down the middle. That way, your neighbor isn't going to be out any excess money and your property should be safe from uninsured tree removal companies.

I'd definitely check to be sure they were insured, not only for their own employees, but for the homeowner(s) and check to see they have the right equipment to perform the work.

We had a big tree cut down several years ago that was on the edge of our property. It was literally up against the fence between us and then neighbors. The tree could have caused damage to the fence, to both our houses and, of course, our yards, if not taken down properly. We found a very reputable firm. They had a bucket truck and a big truck for huge limbs and tree trunk, a grinder for most of the limbs/branches and a grinder for the tree stump. They did a superb job, nothing was damaged, not even a picket on the fence. Paid quite a bit for it, but was worth it.

May 31, 2020 - 4:46:17 AM

Paul R


12870 posts since 1/28/2010

We have a fair amount of tree removal in this neighbourhood. A few years ago we had some trees cut down, to the tune of $400 per tree. They drove a cherry picker truck into our back yard.

Our neighbours had somone cut down a decent-sized tree. One guy climbed it. The cherry picker may make it easier to get up there, but bringing the limb down is the same. I'm guessing that no cherry picker saved them money.

You should cjeck to see that the remover is bonded/insured. If you can find out what other customers have to say, that would help. Our guy came recommended.

May 31, 2020 - 5:05:49 AM
Players Union Member



5533 posts since 8/19/2012

I know a few local tree guys in our area and have hired a few of them. Any reputable tree guy will come out and tell you how he is going to do it and sounds to me that you, neighbor and tree guy need to walk the property and discuss what he plans to do. We drop dead trees in the our wood by cutting from the bottom but yard trees need to come down from the top one branch at a time. This is going to require a bucket truck or man lift which may cause some ruts in the grass. Larger limbs are going to leave a few divots in the ground as they hit.
If the tree is rotten no reputable tree guy is going to climb a diseased tree with a chain saw and chance his life.

May 31, 2020 - 5:11:27 AM
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12318 posts since 5/24/2005
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I am in process of removing a huge maple. It's behind my detached garage. It hangs over my garage, garden house, my new fence, and has two home power lines running through it,baking with several cable TV lines.
A big full service tree removal company should be licensed, bonded, and insured. Our tree co. Will extend over my garage with a big man bucket. Rope down everything. Cut the trunk into small enough pieces to haul with bobcat. Then do a lot of stump grinding. Cost will be 3500.00 . I had a another guy said he and his cousins would do it for 900.00. I don't want anyone hurt or my stuff damaged.
Yes,. Get very specific with the equipment they with put in your yard, and how they will drop limbs. And wait till ground is dry . Good luck. Brad

Edited by - rinemb on 05/31/2020 05:12:21

May 31, 2020 - 8:10:38 AM
Players Union Member



97661 posts since 11/7/2007

Ask for a certificate of liability insurance. This would be an official document from his insurance company and you would be able to check with them to see if it's valid.

If you really want to be thorough, you could ask for the same sort of certificate for worker's compensation in case any of his workers get hurt on your property.

Lastly, you might want to call your insurance agent and make sure your homeowners policy will cover anything that might happen.

May 31, 2020 - 8:51:46 AM

71955 posts since 5/9/2007

All of you get together and talk it through until everybody's happy,imo.
A neighbor's tree branch hanging over your property line is yours to remove,around here.
I had a neighbor's huge old spruce fall onto my apple tree.
I called the neighbor and he asked if I needed it cleaned up immediately or could I wait a few days while his forester looked it over.
I said it could wait.

The next morning the woodsman came over and looked at the problem,told me he'd be back and could he cut it from my side.
I said "Sure" and he showed up the next day with a big Ford tractor with an 8 foot grappling "jaws" mounted in place of the bucket.

He pieced the monsterous line tree in sections,put the pieces back on the other side of the wall and saved 1/2 of my apple tree.Took him about 3 hours.
When he got done I still had my tree alive and a neat pile of apple wood and no bill.

I couldn't tell that anyone had crossed my lawn or been down in the woods.

Very good experience for future relations.Great neighbors are priceless.

May 31, 2020 - 10:14:55 AM



5748 posts since 6/5/2011

....what about: "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission."?    cheeky

May 31, 2020 - 10:32:46 AM

71955 posts since 5/9/2007

There's a lot to be said for good communications with a neighbor.
It makes for a pleasant future and a potential friendship.

May 31, 2020 - 11:10:59 AM

1309 posts since 11/15/2010

If you live in a state that requires contractors to be licensed, it's a good idea to make sure this contractor is licensed and his license is up to date. 

May 31, 2020 - 12:13:50 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


23602 posts since 6/25/2005

My niece and her husband recently had a huge tree removed from next to their back fence, a situation similar to what you describe. There was no vehicle access available. The crew took it out from the top down, branch by branch, and then the trunk, in pieces. Lots of grunt work, and not cheap. This was a licensed contractor and an experienced crew. They also did some light work for me. Fast and efficient. As long as the crew doing the work is experienced and has whatever licensing is required, they should be able to take down the tree without driving vehicles across your yard. If they say they can’t, you neighbor should find someone who can.

Jun 14, 2020 - 6:04:42 PM

3653 posts since 4/7/2004

Thanks everyone! Good info here.

I spoke to my neighbor last week and he knew nothing about the tree guy. Did not even know the company name, said a friend gave him the number. I told him to find out the name of the company, if the are licensed and insured. Said they have to be licensed and insured to come on my property. I also asked him to find out how he plans on lowering the branches.

I asked him how much the guy is charging him and he said 1,800, and that was for cutting just the top of the tree leaving 15 feet of the tree standing. That basically takes off the entire canopy. I told him the name of the company I used in the past and he is most welcome to come in my property. He is insured, comes with a crane and does an amazing job. Gave him the number to call for an estimate.

Next day the neighbor came to me and said that the guy is not coming as he does not have a crane. No mention if the guy had insurance. Sure it would not have had a good outcome.

Told the guy what my guy changed me and he said that the tree will have to stay if it is that much.

Hope I did not shoot myself in the foot as if the tree falls it will do so on my property and it will be my expense to get rid of it.

Another neighbor said they called the town on a neighbor that had a dead tree overhanging their property and the town made the tree owner cut it down. Not sure I want to go that route, though I would like to go on record that the tree was diseased and was negligence and not an act of god if it falls.


Jun 14, 2020 - 6:59:28 PM



5748 posts since 6/5/2011

Originally posted by banjoken.
<snip> .....the tree was diseased and was negligence and not an act of god if it falls.

There is currently a town owned tree on the boulevard in front of my house.  The town allows property owners to trim/fertilize/water their trees.  In the foreseeable future the tree will succumb to what my inexperience says is a fungus.  If it comes to a question of:  a) the tree owner, or b) the owner of the adjacent lot, or c) a god causing the fungus.... I'm voting c).

Jun 14, 2020 - 8:16:10 PM
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54845 posts since 12/14/2005

Good old AOL images, and the good old ROMAN EMPIRE!

They had a God of Fungus:

Behold the graven image of ROBIGUS!

Neat job on the MUSTACHE, anyway.

Jun 15, 2020 - 8:20:10 AM

814 posts since 3/7/2006

There are several ways to take down a tree. I paid an old man once who climbed the tree, hauled up his chain saw by rope, then cut and hauled down the tree piece by piece by the same rope. I've also seen guys with a truck, who usually only have to position it once and swing a bucket however necessary to still take it down piece by piece. So have the proposed remover come out and discuss methods with you. And check his insurance for doing this work.

Also remember, Insurance considers any falling of a tree or parts thereof acts of nature if left to fall on their own. And grass/earth can easily be restored. If you wait and it falls, you will bear the entire cost of removal, and damage to your house, shed and property. Consider any consequential damage to your yard itself as a result of tree removal as a necessary burden for you to repair, and save your house and shed. Minimal, easily repairable damage that has to take place to the yard is much more preferable than paying for home damage, losing your shed, and the insurance claims you will have to file, and any increase in your premiums.

Jun 15, 2020 - 8:28:04 AM

1608 posts since 4/22/2018
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Obviously different country/different laws etc, but it would have been reasonable to ask the contractor for a method statement and insurance docs before you let him onto your place.

Jun 15, 2020 - 9:30:59 AM
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12318 posts since 5/24/2005
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My understanding of local insurance rules is that if your tree falls down (thus an act of nature) and it damages the neighbors property...the neighbor must use their own homeowners policy to get compensated for the repairs. However, when my tree fell onto the neighbors garage, I offered to cover the deductible on his policy, as a good neighbor. Brad

Jun 16, 2020 - 7:41:34 PM
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3653 posts since 4/7/2004

Insurance is a must and the guy that was hired obviously did not have it.

I have no issues having a skilled tree service taking the tree down, whether they climb, crane or bucket it. I actually have been amazed watching skilled tree climbers at work climbing and expertly dropping the branches. It is a joy to watch.

As some have mentioned here, This tree falling will be my responsibility. Not happy about that. If this was my tree that was threatening a neighbor I would have taken it down. At the same time I am not sure I want to get the town involved. I do feel though that a sick tree not taken down is negligence, and not an act of god.

Edited by - banjoken on 06/16/2020 19:43:08

Jun 16, 2020 - 7:47:10 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin


2940 posts since 5/15/2011

Is offering to pay the difference between 'dodgy bros' tree removal and your preferred lopper an option? Might be a relatively cheaper outcome (financially and stress-wise)?

Jun 16, 2020 - 7:57:54 PM

3653 posts since 4/7/2004

Might be, waiting for the guy that did my tree to do a job at my neighbors to ask him to come for an estimate. Should be this week.

My neighbor said that his guy was going to charge $1,800.00. From the price that my guy charged me, and the surrounding neighbors that used him, I am guessing the price will be $3,500.00 minimum, we'll see what he quotes. Other reputable companies that also gave quotes for these jobs were comparable. 

That is a large amount to help him cut down his tree.

Edited by - banjoken on 06/16/2020 20:00:42

Jun 16, 2020 - 8:06:29 PM
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Chris Meakin


2940 posts since 5/15/2011

True. It is a lot of money. A tricky one for sure.

Jun 21, 2020 - 6:49:51 AM

10910 posts since 6/17/2003

Ask the company for an insurance certificate. It's common practice and not a problem for a reputable contractor. I went through this a few months ago.

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