Tree law in Florida


Attorney Tom Olsen: Chrissy here's a text from somebody about trees. Talk about tree law here again. First of all, let's just go under this assumption. The tree was healthy as far as everybody knew. Nobody knew that the tree was diseased or defective. When the tree comes down as coming down by act of god as in Hurricane Matthew. Let's assume that the trees on your property it comes down by act of god. It does damage to your neighbor's property. Are you responsible for that damage? The answer is no. They came down by act of God. Your neighbor will have to repair their own property.

Chrissy: Whatever's on their property.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes. But he has a little nuance to that question and that is this, is that his tree by act of God falls down onto his neighbor's property. Is he required to remove that tree beyond his own property line and I think the answer to that is no. If your tree by act of God falls down onto your neighbor's property as far as I know the law says, your neighbor will have to cut up at any part of that tree that's on your neighbor's property.

Chrissy: That's what I understand too. I think you're right. Then of course I know that part of it comes down to insurance companies too and doing that but you're right. Whatever's on falls onto their neighbor's property, they're going to be responsible for taking care of it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Now everything of course is different if that tree was diseased or defective and you knew was disease or defective but we're assuming that was a healthy tree came down by act of God. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of that going on. Now, speaking of which, my neighbor -- let me give him a shout out. His name is Ed, Ed and Caroline. Their big old oak tree fell down across my backyard and thank goodness it didn't do any damage but and I happen to be in California visiting my grandkids at the time. Ed kind of out of his heart paid a big tree company to come over there and chop it all up even though it's laying across my backyard. Thank you Ed and Caroline .

Chrissy: He did not have to do that but again great kind man and furthermore Tom, he went to the extent of then realizing that there was another one that would could possibly be an issue in the future. We had that one removed as well to make sure but the part that was on your property, you would legally be responsible for but for Ed said, "Hey Tom, I'm going to make sure to take care of that" and he did do that and you know actually thankfully that only happened a month ago.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Right.

Chrissy: Because there was an issue with the tree, it could have -- Matthew could have brought it down.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes. Timing was right for it.

Chrissy: Absolutely.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes it was a beautiful oak but it was rotten at the basement, that was clear.

Chrissy: Yes.

Attorney Tom Olsen: The other thing is that that's where I had my swing, my bench swing hanging from one of those branches on that trees so I had to move my bench swing to another oak tree.

Chrissy: It's now on a new home.

Attorney Tom Olsen: It's got a new home, yes. Getting ready for the hurricane that's one of the things I did was to unbuckle the swing so it wouldn't be swinging around like crazy in the high wheel.

Chrissy: Absolutely because again, it's those the winds in general but then the gas, man, it can really just cause havoc with lots of things in your backyard.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Again we want to say we know that there are people out there probably right now listening to us on a battery-operated radio and we are so sorry that you have lost power the people in our neighborhood have lost power. You and I both been through it. We know how uncomfortable it is. Hot and humid.

Chrissy: Frustrating.

Attorney Tom Olsen: No TV, no stereo, no radio, no lights.

Chrissy: No refrigerator.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes.

Chrissy: It's just, in every way, it is completely frustrating because it is changes your life -

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes.

Chrissy: - for that time. It did absolutely changes your life and you can't -- there's no minimizing that. You just -- it is tough and we understand. We have been there and we're so sorry.