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Neighbors tree sitting on power line

So my neighbor has a HUGE evergreen tree that seems to be leaning more and more over my yard (and getting closer to my house...) I trim back what i can, but i don't really have a huge ladder to get the higher up limbs. Anyway, it's definitely sitting on my power line (from the main line to my house) so i emailed the power company, letting them know. I figured that they would come and trim the limbs back from the line, done deal. My GF said the neighbor was very apologetic to her the other day saying she was worried about the tree and that she was looking into what could be done... which was weird... Could the power company have called her up to force her to pay for the tree trim?

While the tree sitting on the power line does concern me, i'm also worried about it falling over onto my house. in my minutes of google research, it seems that as long as she can prove she didn't know the tree was in danger of falling over/diseased/etc, she wouldn't be liable for any damages to my house. is there anything i can do as far as due diligence on my end to prevent that beast from crushing the hellmouth? not that i would be averse to it being crushed, i just don't want it to happen on my dime...

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    davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2014
    Our town has started converting power lines to be mostly underground. I would ask your utilities if they could go ahead and do that. They'd have to build a trench in your yard which sucks, but your grass will grow back and is definitely a more manageable problem than a live power line swinging around in your yard.

    If it's an option I would go for it.

    davidsdurions on
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    ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    Its been my experience that power companies butcher/destroy/outright remove any tree that threatens a line because the cost of doing that is less than the lost income from a downed line + paying for time and material to repair it. I'd be utterly shocked if they called the neighbors for anything involving this.

    But then again, this is the hellmouth we're talking about so who the fuck knows how things work in your pocket reality of suffering :heart:

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    Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    I live in a big city, a very poorly run big city. While i agree, underground lines would be great, i don't see that being a possibility. also, my house is on a concrete slab.

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    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Checking with your power company was a good first step. Did they give you any helpful advice?

    In my town, Southern NH, we were told by the local power company, PSNH, when we had a power line rubbing on a tree, that since the tree was on our property it was our responsibility to do something about the tree. If the line came down in a storm and we knew this was a possibility, we would be charged for repairing it. The power company would also not touch the tree.

    We ended up having a tree service take down the tree along with a bunch of others in the yard anyway. Amusingly enough, PSNH does offer a free service where they come out and take down and then put back the line while the tree company is working.

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    PantshandshakePantshandshake Registered User regular
    The underground thing is a good idea, but at this point you'd have to pay for the whole thing. Whether the town or city wants underground lines is immaterial. You as the customer have the choice. Then again, I wouldn't go digging around your yard without at least 12 priests and a bishop on hand.

    The lines would go to a pole in your yard, then down the pole through the ground, then up to the meter on the side of your house.

    As far as the tree itself goes... maybe have a chat with your neighbor, something along the lines of splitting the cost to have a tree expert of some kind come out and assess the danger?

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    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    If the tree is noticeably moving, they need to call an arborist (if they want to save it) or a tree removal service (if they don't). This isn't a thing that should take time to "see what can be done", unless they're broke.

    As far as damages, I had a tree service tell me once that I was only liable if my neighbors raised a concern that I did not then act upon. But that may be a state-by-state thing, I dunno. If you're that worried, you can find some way to get some kind of proof that you notified them of your concerns.

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    LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    So my neighbor has a HUGE evergreen tree that seems to be leaning more and more over my yard (and getting closer to my house...) I trim back what i can, but i don't really have a huge ladder to get the higher up limbs. Anyway, it's definitely sitting on my power line (from the main line to my house) so i emailed the power company, letting them know. I figured that they would come and trim the limbs back from the line, done deal. My GF said the neighbor was very apologetic to her the other day saying she was worried about the tree and that she was looking into what could be done... which was weird... Could the power company have called her up to force her to pay for the tree trim?

    While the tree sitting on the power line does concern me, i'm also worried about it falling over onto my house. in my minutes of google research, it seems that as long as she can prove she didn't know the tree was in danger of falling over/diseased/etc, she wouldn't be liable for any damages to my house. is there anything i can do as far as due diligence on my end to prevent that beast from crushing the hellmouth? not that i would be averse to it being crushed, i just don't want it to happen on my dime...

    As far as who's liable if it falls on your house, I would check with your homeowners insurer. I want to say that hers would be liable regardless, though it might be one of those deals where yours would pay, but then seek recompense from her or her insurer on your behalf.

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    Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    Just bought a house and we have a huge shrub/tree that's fairly knotted up with our power line running to the house (the secondary network). Officially here's what my power company website says:

    As a property owner, you are responsible for keeping the service wires on your property clear of vegetation.

    Branches rubbing on service wires wear through the weather coating and may cause home electrical appliance damage.

    You can perform your own pruning as long as you keep yourself, your equipment and all parts of the tree at least three metres away from the power line. If you can't or are unsure, contact a professional Certified Utility Arborists (CUA) to prune your trees.

    If any part of the tree or hedge is within three metres of a power line, call power company for assistance


    Since my shrub is growing around the power line, I called and told them. They said (luckily) it's no charge to me but they'll come around and trim it back (and seeing around town what they do, they'll do a hack job to clear enough space and new growth, which in my case is good, I want the bush gone). BUT summer months is the busy time to do this. I called a few weeks ago, they're "coming" but hopefully before the fall rain / wind / storms really pick up.

    Basically, if it's too close to the wire, you NEED someone to do it right. Trees CAN conduct electricity in rare cases. But depending on the company, sure they could charge your neighbour if it's their tree or it's already included in all the rates you already pay.

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    Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    Hmm, so it is possible that they went after her to trim it back.

    It's a weird situation. the tree is not on my property, and where it's resting on the power line is above my OTHER neighbor's property. i wonder if it's on the tree owner to keep her plant in check? or the owner of the yard where the limb is coming in contact with the power line to keep it away from the line? that house is vacant, and i hate the guy who owns it. so part of me hopes its on him and the power company tentacle monster finds him and has it's way with him.

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Depends on jurisdictions, but yeah, usually the owner has to keep on that stuff. Her homeowners would likely pay out and then drop her and possibly sue her if it does fall.

    Maybe offer to buy her a new fruit tree (a few mini apple trees) to plant in its place to sweeten the pot if she gets it pulled down?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    From my experience I'd say the #1 thing is communication so talk to your neighbors and be open about your concerns. Who knows they both may turn out to be totally reasonable, sound like the one is for sure, and it all works out.

    With regards to who is responsible I can not imagine it being anyone else than the tree owner as where it has it's roots and comes out of the ground. This goes for both anything regarding having it trimmed/removed and also being the one to have the responsibility if it comes down in a storm. If the later happens that the party in question is likely able to pass on the problem to his/her insurance if it wasn't a obvious thing the tree would come down (and the burden of proving that was obvious must be something the insurance company will have to take on).

    Still checking with you own house insurance just to be safe is always a good thing.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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    ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    in my city, the power company will trim the trees if you call them and book a time for them to come by. But I live in Canuckia so we have weird medicine and coloured money and stuff :P

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