who is responsible for damage from falling branches

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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who is responsible for damage from falling branches

I own a wooded lot adjacent to my house lot. During the winter, some branches fell and damaged the outside shower of the house behind the wooded lot. The homeowner sent me a registered letter saying that although she is financially responsible for this past damage, any future damage from the many overhanging branches from many 70′ white pines falling on her property would be MY responsibility. I have told her that she has the right to have the branches trimmed back to the property line, but that she’d have to shoulder the cost. Who is responsible?

Asked on June 15, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The genenral rule is that, so long as the trees are in good health (not dead or dying), you are correct. Your neighbor would have to bear the cost of any furture damage/clean-up. If the neighbor's shower, house, garage, etc., is damaged as a result, then they can put a claim in with their homeowners' insurance company (some inurers will cover the cost of clean-up even if there is no property damage).

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