My neighbor (and best friend!) lives next door and had a willow tree planted within a foot or two from our fence line. The tree is 20-30 ft tall after 6 or so years. It has lifted our mutual fence, pushed up our patio, and now the roots are coming up through our lawn.
This is a very delicate situation as she is very attached to the tree. My question is this: what is the best way to handle the situation regarding replacing our property and removing the tree? Do we submit a claim to our insurance company? Hers? Do we sue? I want to remain friends and make this as cost effective for her as possible.
My entire patio will need replaced, possibly my sprinkler system and now I'm afraid it could be getting into our foundation. I mentioned the problem to her several months ago, but told her nothing needed to be done "today", so we can take some time to figure out what to do. It has caused much more damage in just the last few months so I mentioned it again and she didn't say much. Help! What would you do?
Thanks in advance.
Hardiness Zone: 10a
By Jodie from Sacramento, CA
I doubt that a six-year-old willow is a protected tree, but contact Sacramento's Urban Forestry Service. Here is a link to their FAQ: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/transportation/urbanforest/faq.html
There is a section on "Tree versus property conflicts." You should also contact your homeowner's insurance and your neighbor should do the same.
Your assumption that she would not give up the tree should be challenged. Can one take cuttings from this tree and root them? If so, give her ten rootings and she can grow this fast-growing tree elsewhere while you address the current problem. The tree could possibly then be cut down and removed.
If this person is willing to allow her tree to tear up your fence, ruin your patio and possibly your foundation not to mention the sewer pipes if it gets into them, then she is not your friend and you don't need any more like her. She shouldn't treat a stranger this way much less someone she claims to like. Do what you have to do.
Find out if the roots are coming up as a possibility of the tree coming down! Call an Arborist or local tree service and they will come out and check the structure of the tree. If they can prove it may be dangerous, perhaps your friend will see it as an emergency removal and not just an "inconvenience" to you. I like the idea of making cuttings too, so that she can plant a new one elsewhere!
It's only a matter of time until the willow roots get into your water and/or sewer system--and hers, too. Willow does a great job of wrecking a great many things, as you are finding out. Unless your neighbor has vast acreage away from your house (about two miles would be good), DON'T encourage her to plant more willows!
When a willow tree broke into my sewer lines and began backing things up into the basement, I got RotoRooter. They guaranteed their (expensive) work for only six weeks (vs. six months to a year or more for any other kind of tree). We had the willow tree cut down promptly! How about a nice dogwood or weeping cherry? Take a photo or several of the tree so she can grace her walls with its beauty. Good luck!
I must encourage you to encourage her to have the tree cut down and the stump/roots poisoned, by removing the whole tree the vacuum which is left will take a long time to settle so if the roots/stump die slowly and rot away this will encourage settlement and 'return to previous status' over a long period of time which is preferable. Also, as previously stated, the roots will find water, whatever form it is so complete removal is not an option. We say, whats above ground is the same as below ground! this gives a frightening picture eh? I also agree with the previous posting that this lady is not a 'good' friend if she ignores requests. this is serious and will cost an extortionate amount of money to repair/put right and you should not be expected to pay either via insurance or your own pocket. I wish you lots of luck.
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!