I asked a question of you yesterday about the clean up responsibility a healthy tree that fell on a neighbor's yard (no damage) that was rooted on our property just over the property line. You said: "The key issue here is whether the owner knew or should have known the tree was diseased or damaged. If so, the owner of the tree is responsible for the clean up. If not, which seems to be the case here because the Oak was healthy, then it is considered an Act of God and each property owner is responsible for cleaning up his/her own property." Also,"In that case, since the tree was healthy, it is going to be an Act of God. It's only when an owner knows a tree is not healthy and does nothing about it and then if falls that the owner is liable because the law holds that the owner is negligent in not affirmatively caring for a tree so as to prevent it from falling. When it is healthy, it's an Act of God and the law dictates there is nothing the owner could have done to prevent it." After checking w/ the town I heard that the issue is one of trespass law (common law), and that clean-up is our responsibility because our tree "trespassed" on the neighbor's property. Which is it, and how can I reconcile it? This is an important distinction for me because we have hundreds of trees in the border between our commercial property and 12-15 residential neighbors. I'd appreciate your view since your advice disagrees w/ that of the Town Supervisor, who is also and was the town atty in the past.
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