If spring rains have left your property soggy and waterlogged while high storm winds blow through, you could at some point hear an intimidating crash as one or more trees gives way and falls. While your immediate reaction may be relief that your falling tree didn't hit your home or vehicle, you may now be facing a labor-intensive removal process. What should you do if a tree has fallen on your property without harming any surrounding structures? Will your insurance cover removal costs, and should you hire a professional to take care of this issue or tackle it yourself in your spare time? Read on to learn more about removing a tree that fell near (but away from) your home.
Will your homeowner's insurance cover fallen trees near your home?
Unfortunately, many homeowner's insurance policies won't cover the cost of removal of a tree that fell without damaging any of your household structures. One rare exception is if the tree fell in a way that caused it to block a handicapped entrance. In addition, while your policy may state that it will pay to replace trees that are damaged in a natural disaster, water and wind damage are often the two listed exceptions to this coverage. Unless you've purchased additional coverage or a rider to help defray the cost of tree removal from your property, you'll generally be on the hook for these costs yourself.
However, those with insurance deductibles would be unlikely to benefit from coverage anyway -- with the average cost of fallen tree removal at around $75 to $150 per tree, you'd often need to remove several trees before reaching your deductible amount.
Should you pay for professional tree and stump removal or do it yourself?
While taking down a partially-fallen or dead tree is clearly a task best left to professional loggers, you may feel that simply chopping or sawing up a fallen tree and hauling it away is a task you can handle yourself -- especially if you find out you won't be receiving any insurance funds to help defray these costs. If you already have a chainsaw and a truck or trailer at hand, this process can usually be accomplished over the course of a weekend. Even with these tools at hand, you may also need to rent a stump grinder to remove any remaining roots still attached to the ground. The wood you generate from this process can be used for outdoor bonfires or an exterior wood stove or even bundled and sold if it is of sufficiently high quality.
However, there are a few situations in which paying for professional removal can be money well spent. If the fallen tree contains termites, borer beetles, or other invasive pests, leaving your tree in its current position while you gather the necessary tools (and find the time) to get rid of it can allow these pests to spread. Often, it's much more cost-effective to have one infested tree quickly removed and the others treated by an arborist rather than allowing these insects to migrate to your surrounding trees.`
You may also want to pay for professional removal if you'd need to rent more than just a stump grinder in order to get your property back in order and your tree hauled away. With removal costs (even at the high end) of $150 or less per tree, running around town to rent or purchase the equipment you'd need may not be the best use of your time or money. Adding more trees to the removal list can exponentially increase the amount of time and trouble you'll incur, making professional removal from a company like Hudson Tree Service the wisest option.