BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Trees can provide shade on a hot day, and beauty to the landscape, but they can also pose a threat to your life and property, especially during inclement weather.
Arborists recommend being vigilant about the trees on your property and inspect them regularly to ensure they are healthy.
You should also double check your insurance policy to see what’s covered.
“If you’re going to allow those trees to live on your property, just be aware of their condition,” said Hoover City Forester, Colin Connor.
Connor said you should be diligent about inspecting the trees on your property.
“Preventative maintenance is a better practice. Considering the risk that trees can pose to property, whether it be your home, an automobile, heaven forbid, your life, knowing those risks, it’s important to be aware of the trees not just accepting that they’re growing in your yard,” Connor explained.
Connor recommends walking your property following storms looking for differences in your trees, like leans or parts of the tree that no longer have leaves.
But even when it’s not raining, there are other warning signs you should look for.
“Things like mushrooms growing out of the wood, fungal fruiting bodies. That’s a definite indication of some level of decay. Termites are emerging from your tree, that lets you know that it does have some degree of rot in it same with carpenter ants,” Connor explained.
These checks for health can help keep you and your property safe.
But what happens if your neighbor isn’t so conscientious and their tree falls in your yard or on your home?
Who’s liable then?
State Farm Insurance Agent, Tim Johns said it might be you.
“In situations like that and just a tree that falls over from a neighbor’s yard, the homeowner’s insurance company who was effected is the one who will pay for damages to their home,” Johns said.
Johns said there are circumstances where the owner of the tree would be liable for damages.
For example, if you can prove your neighbor was negligent, and knew they had an unhealthy tree that caused damaged to your property.
General policies typically have tree removal, but they usually carry a deductible.