They help us breathe, they’re fun to climb, they give the birds and possums a place to call home, and – let’s face it – they simply look stunning. But as those storm clouds gather, as tree pests and diseases set in, or as we take to them with the chainsaw, a fallen tree can cause a world of pain. Are you here to read all about fallen tree removal responsibility? There’s a lot of important ground to cover, so let’s get started:
First things first – the obvious part. If a tree falls and all that happens is it goes ‘thud’, there’s nothing to debate – if it’s your tree and it fell on your property, those fallen trees are all on you. But just imagine that fallen tree ends up somewhere that doesn’t belong to you, or – worse still – causes damage to someone else’s property or (worse again!) causes injury. And what if multiple parties start arguing about who is responsible for fallen tree removal and responsibility – while that tree hypothetically sits helplessly on a roof or across a fence or somewhere else in dispute?
There’s plenty of information about responsibility for a fallen tree out there, but a clear and concise ‘what to do’ guide is a lot, lot harder to find. That’s why we’ve put our decades of experience as hard-working Gold Coast arborists to the test in order to present this step-by-step guide to determine and deal with fallen tree removal responsibility. So without further ado:
1. Is it an emergency?
It’s quite possible that the first responsibility you (or anyone else) may have is to call emergency services, such as the SES. So, ask yourself:
- Is the fallen tree blocking a road, footpath or driveway?
- Is it otherwise causing a hazard to those around it?
- Is the fallen tree on a house?
- Has it damaged power lines?
- Is it obstructing an essential service?
- Has it trapped a person or animal?
You can either call 000 or for non-life threatening assistance call the SES on 132 500 from anywhere in Queensland.
So you’ve discovered a fallen tree but it isn’t really a true emergency. Before anything else, ask yourself: whose tree is it? Where has it landed? Has it caused damage to property, people or utilities? If it’s the latter, someone will have to remove a fallen tree in accordance with all the correct steps.
How difficult is it to instantly or easily identify the responsible party? Start with who owns the tree. If it’s yours, or your neighbour’s, then the property owner is simply and fully responsible for its removal. But if it’s fallen cleanly on public property, it’s probably quite easy to assume the local council needs to be called.
Has the tree caused damage to property or – heaven forbid – people or animals? The next thing to check are the relevant insurance coverage details, because that may fully cover the tree removal or the damage or liability.
5. Get an assessment
If you’ve got to this point and there’s still uncertainty about what to do or how to proceed, it’s time to call in the professionals. And we’re not necessarily talking about a lawyer – the first place to go to is an experienced and fully-licensed arborist.
6. Determine what’s next
Your chosen arborist will know what to do, including precisely how and when to go about removing that fallen tree. It’s a good idea to take detailed photos of the situation before it goes, but tree removal – whether done in an emergency situation or when it’s not as urgent – still needs to be done safely, properly and in full compliance. It also needs to not interrupt anyone else’s life more than is required, and it needs to affect utilities and other services in as minimal a way as possible.
7. Keep the records
While and after the tree removal has taken place, document the process as much as possible for future reference – including photos, correspondence, professional assessments and invoices.
Fallen tree? JC Trees will deal with it!
Here at JC Tree Services, we’ll quickly and efficiently assess the situation before compliantly and safely removing a fallen tree – and we’ll even deal with the debris in the required or most efficient way. And if you still have questions about fallen tree removal responsibility, the team at JC Tree Services have been undertaking Gold Coast tree removal in every situation you can imagine for years upon years – leaving you with nothing to worry about as life gets back to normal. Minus that tree, of course!
So for sound and accurate advice, and highly-skilled arborist services including the safe removal of trees all across the Gold Coast, South Brisbane and even northern NSW and scenic rim regions, get in touch with JC Tree Services today. With our continuous training, highly specialised equipment and even a $10 million public liability insurance policy, we’ll never let you down. Get in touch with the friendly team today.