Dead Trees
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DEAD TREES

QUESTION: With the drought, we look down at our proud brown grass and up at our trees which we hope to preserve. Several owners have giant redwood trees in their back yards. Should we address these tall trees which could fall onto our homes? Is this a board issue or an insurance issue?

ANSWER: Don't wait for it to become an insurance issue. If trees topple, you could have dead or injured homeowners as well as significant property damage. Surviving family members will file costly lawsuits that could easily exceed your insurance limits and result in hefty special assessments.

Water Your Trees. If trees are not watered, they will become stressed and subject to insect attacks, disease and death. Despite Governor Brown's executive order and subsequent legislation about not watering lawns, people should water their trees. If mature trees die, they're extremely expensive to replace (not to mention the small issue of death and destruction when they fall).

Recommendation: Even though you can't fine owners "for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns" (Civ. Code §4735(c)), a lawyer-letter may be sufficient to get owners to water their trees. If someone is too short-sighted to comply and his trees die, you can force him to remove them--which is far more expensive than simply watering them.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC