My question involves personal property located in the State of: Maryland.
During the 'deurecho' (or whatever it's called) last week in MD, 3 of my neighbors trees fell-1 of them onto the power lines behind our row of houses(taking out power for 8 days) and 2 of them onto my property. The 4 large branches from the 2 trees that fell onto my property ranged from 30-60 feet, and left 30 ft of fence and my kids playground damaged. Another large piece of the tree (about 40 ft in length) got wedged in one of my trees-about 30 ft in the air.The bottom of this branch is about 2 ft from the power line they JUST put back on the pole, and dangling over my fence and playyard as well.
The neighbors were nice enough to clean up the tree on the ground-until their insurance co told them they didn't have to do that. We went into this thinking, their tree=their cleanup. I was even naive enough to believe that somehow they should also pay for the damage it caused... fast forward to the more educated homeowner I am.. with a 'neighbor' that I am no longer speaking to..
The parts of the tree that were on the ground have been moved onto what is now their property (survey is coming now, as a fight as begun over this...), but the 40ft branch is still stuck in our tree.. We have contacted BGE a number of times, but it seems if a branch isn't physically 'touching' power lines they could care less. When-not if- it falls it's taking out the power line again, the damaged fence panels that are still standing and will destroy all of the playground. (though both are already damaged, this would leave them in a state of disrepair). I feel the neighbor should pay to remove the branch as it's part of her tree.. but it seems laws in MD do nothing for the homeowner unless the tree was diseased or previous knowledge of any risk the tree posed was communicated. Is this really the case? I have a ticking time bomb that will fall and take out power and do more damage to my property, and i have to pay to remove it? (insurance says they wont cover removal of a tree not from my property).
So that's one question I have... is it really our responsibility to remove it? (or we cld just wait for it to fall.. and yes, I will put it right back on the property it originated from..)
The second question is-how can a homeowner protect themselves from this in the future? The tree may not have been damaged, but was growing in a V shape-the weight of it growing towards my property. Now i see a number of trees around our property have their weight growing in the same direction. Is a certified letter making them aware of the risk we see in these standing trees enough to protect us down the road should another fall?
Last question-if trees in one neighbors property are growing both into the utility wires from pole to home on your property and are hanging excessively into your yard, who should trim them? My neighbor on the other side has a tree doing this very thing, and he had a tree company out here to trim the tree.. on HIS side of the property and did nothing on mine.. but its 110% his tree..