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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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I am about to put a roof on my house in Glynn County Georgia.

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I am about to put a roof on my house in Glynn County Georgia.
My neighbors tree limbs are very precarious and almost touching my roof. I would like to get the limbs trimmed back before I pay to have a professional install a new roof .
Who is responsible for trimming them back? If I trim them does that make me liable if the tree dies later on? If my neighbor comes over and trim the limbs and gets hurt am I liable?
If a professional tree trimmer is hired, who pays them?
What is the legal and best way to proceed without risk to me , or my house?
I asked the county and their answer to this simple senario was "ask a lawyer." Big help,the only thing they seem to help with is to enforce taxes.
Hi,

Thank you for your question.


The law in Georgia provides that unless the tree is defective (i.e., the limbs are in danger of falling and hurting someone) or the tree limb is actually touching your house, then you have the right to trim the limbs back to the property line, and you would bear the cost of the trimming.


In regard to liability for a defective tree the ordinary rules of negligence apply. The owner of a tree is liable for injuries from a falling tree only if he knew or reasonably should have known the tree was diseased, decayed or otherwise constituted a dangerous condition." n2 "A landowner who knows that a tree on his property is decayed and may fall and damage the property of an adjoining [***5] landowner is under a duty to eliminate the danger." n3 But a landowner does not have a duty to consistently and constantly check all trees on his property for nonvisible rot; "the manifestation of decay must be visible, apparent, and patent." n4

Klein v. Weaver, 265 Ga. App. 390, 392 (Ga. Ct. App. 2004)

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Best Regards,
ZDN
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ZDN,


 


Thank you for your response. I am confused in the first sentence where you say : unless the tree is defective (i.e., the limbs are in danger of falling and hurting someone) or the tree limb is actually touching your house,then you have the right to trim the limbs back to the property line, and you would bear the cost of the trimming.


This sounds like a double negative, what if the tree IS touching my house or IS defective?


If the tree is not touching my house and /or is not defective, do I have the right to trim it back to the property line?


 


Thank you

Sorry, I can see how that statement is confusing.

You always have the right to trim the tree limbs back to the property line. You cannot trim it further than that. You would be responsible for paying for it.

If the tree limb is touching your house or is in danger of falling and hurting someone, then the neighbor has to pay for it.
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