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What do I do if a tree falls on my property?

Am I responsible for my neighbor's tree on my lawn?

MADISON, Ala. — If a tree falls on your property, who is responsible for removal?

"The person who receives the tree is going to be responsible for it," says Clay Ingram, the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for AAA Alabama. "If you have a neighbors tree fall in to your yard, unless there's some kind of local ordinance that says otherwise, you are responsible for cleaning that tree out of your yard, even though it wasn't your tree."

A local ordinance could indicate is isn't your responsibility. Your neighbor also may be liable if you had filed a previous complaint.

"If the tree in question is a dead tree, and you have some proof of asking your neighbor beforehand because you're concerned it'll fall over in your yard or onto your house or onto your car or something like that," says Ingram.

If the tree damages your property (house, car, etc.) your insurance is responsible for paying the cost of the damage. You may also be in a situation where you won't have to pay for or remove the tree at all. Of course, there's always that chance that your neighbor takes a neighborly approach to the tree's removal.

"A lot of times a good neighbor will say hey that's really sort of my tree," explains Ingram. "I'll take care of that. I'll get somebody to come and cut it up and get rid of it. But you never know. They don't have any responsibility to do that. No legal requirement to do that. You're kind of stuck for lack of a better term."