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Fallen Trees: Your Problem or the Village's?

It depends where the tree falls

If you're one of the very unlucky homeowners to witness trees dropping onto the roadway, you may be wondering – is this my responsibility or the village's?

According to Mayor Keith Killion, per village law and policy, "If a tree that belongs to the residents is blocking the roadway, the village will open the roadway but will not remove the fallen tree." The mayor said homeowners are expected to keep it by the curb and are responsible for the disposal of the tree.

"Should the tree be the domain of the village, workers remove everything, stump and all," he added. Village trees are planted in sidewalks or at right-of-ways.

There are estimated to be hundreds of trees down or on power lines, according to officials. No definitive timetable has been set to clear them all. An outside tree company has been brought in to help

The village spent well over a week clearing fallen trees after Hurricane Irene, and this job is likely to be more taxing given the sheer volume of incidents.

AMAMOM October 31, 2011 at 08:51 PM
If your neighbors tree lands on your property who is responsible. You or your neighbor? Is the landing spot or the origination spot more important?
James Kleimann October 31, 2011 at 08:56 PM
My understanding is the point of origin – so if my tree fell on your house, it's my responsibility.
Marcia Ringel October 31, 2011 at 10:11 PM
By law, YOU and YOUR homeowners insurance are responsible. Arggh! How do I know? One year the top half of a neighbor's tree hit my garage roof (it's slate and was damaged). The huge limb could be removed to the street only by having a crane lift it over the house. During another storm a different neighbor's tree hit a power line, knocking the power out and pulling the wires off my house, requiring carpentry and painting work to put everything back together. In neither case would they pay anything, and the law was on their side. Your only recourse would be if you had known the tree was dead or in clear danger of falling and you informed the owners in advance of the incident, in writing, by certified letter.
James Kleimann November 01, 2011 at 03:19 AM
Thanks, Marcia. A few more comments I've received by e-mail refute what I said – if it falls on your property, it's your problem.
thwnd November 01, 2011 at 01:30 PM
i have a limb that has broken off the tree but is still stuck in the tree hanging over a street. the tree is planted in between the street and the sidewalk. does make it the village's tree? any idea who to call at city hall to get this taken care of? i don't want the limb to fall into the street and cause any issues.

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