Saturday, April 4, 2015


tree damage
The St. Louis area had some thunderstorms with high winds and heavy rain on Thursday and into Friday morning. The lightning flashes and thunder crashes kept me awake well into the early morning hours on Friday. Around 6:45 a.m. I heard a different kind of crash. One I had heard only one time before when one of our 100+ year old post oaks tumbled to the ground. Only in that case, it was the middle of a calm, sunny day when the tree dropped. Fortunately the only damage it did was to our planting bed. This time we were not so lucky. Our 100+ year old white oak fell this time, landing squarely on the Pathfinder owned by our next door neighbor.

Recently the neighbor added a small circular drive to his front yard so that his daughter could park her car there. On our side of the street we have a private alley that runs behind the houses, and most of us park our cars in the garages or parking spots out back. Same neighbor has also been building a new front porch on his house, and that fortunately was spared any damage from the falling tree. As both the neighbor and Jim dealt with insurance companies, I went out front to take some pictures. Yikes! We were so lucky that the daughter was not at that time getting into her car to go to school. She could have been seriously injured. She was off for Good Friday, so that was a blessing.

Both insurance companies said that the tree removal would not be covered as it is considered an act of God. Their policy will cover the car, less their deductible. But essentially, Missouri law states that you are only responsible for whatever part of the tree is on your property. That means at any point in time a neighbor can trim off any limbs of your tree that is hanging over their property line. Most people do not realize this. And in this case, that meant we only needed to clear the tree stump and probably four or five feet of trunk off our land. The rest of the large tree is their responsibility. Including all the limbs our tree sheared off of their beautiful maple. It doesn't seem fair for sure, but that is the law. We will definitely work out some sort of compromise.

Jim called two tree companies to come and give us bids for removing everything, and the neighbor lady and I talked to both of the estimators when they came out. Both showed up at nearly the same time, which was awkward to say the least. In the meantime another neighbor came by with a third name for us to call. In the end, the third company gave us the best bid, and they are here today cleaning everything up. They first freed the car from the large limbs so it could be taken off for an estimate. I hope it is not totaled, as no one wins in that deal.

It was not a very Good Friday around here.


Mrs. Wryly said...


Kim Wolterman said...

Big bummer! The tree guys are here again today taking down the last of the three sister post oak trees. Really hate losing century trees.