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Tree falls on my mom's house

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What a way to spend a Sunday!

Around 9 this morning, we heard a huge boom and the house shook!!! I thought maybe a gas line blew or something. I open the front door to find that one of the main branches of an enormous cottonwood tree had fallen on the house. No wind, no storm, though we had had lots of rain the last couple of days.





This is my boyfriend to show the size of the branch that fell.

It tore up the brand new gutter and facsia as well as ripping the soffit off of the northwest end of the house. Insurance will cover the repairs. In fact the emergency restoration folks are out here now... and the remnants of Ike are making it a wet operation.



Here's the damage to the gutter, fascia and soffit - there is also internal damage to the roof structure and a stress crack on the interior soffit in the living room, which is the room underneath where the tree came down.

Sigh...

There's $1,000 deductible on the insurance policy.

The other issue I need to look into is whether or not this tree is on easement... I believe it is, which means it may be the township's problem to take it down. The twp may also be liable for the damage. I may have a fight on my hands. Anyone know a good lawyer?

In the meantime, I had to get this rolling otherwise the impending rain would be a HUGE problem!

Another sigh.....

OK - why did only one of the PB images come out the correct size!!!?????? ARGH!!!
post #2 of 12
Last April a Almond Tree almost came through my window and it.
I am glad no one got hurt at your Moms.
The rain must have softened the soil so the the fell.
post #3 of 12
Wow! That is a huge branch!

Will someone come and check the rest of the tree is safe for you? Glad no-one was hurt and no serious damage was done. If that had gone a bit more to the right it would have been nasty.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
Last April a Almond Tree almost came through my window and it.
I am glad no one got hurt at your Moms.
The rain must have softened the soil so the the fell.
Actually the restoration guys said the inside of the tree was rotted... and the branch - about 6-7 feet up -- got water logged and just gave way.

And yes, no one was hurt, for which we are extremely greatful.
post #5 of 12
Wow, I'm sorry for your mom.
post #6 of 12
Good Lord! I'm glad no one was hurt! And, it's good that the insurance will cover it.

From the pic with your boyfriend, it looks like it was just the limb, not the entire tree, so rain should have anything to do with it. Can you see signs of disease on the limb or leaves? It may have just been stress because that is a HUGE limb!

I almost got slammed by a tree limb falling last fall driving home. It was windy and for some reason I looked up at a tree and saw one limb moving away from the tree. I sped up and swerved to the left side of the road, and it fell on my trunk. In the rear view mirror, I saw it stretched all the way across the road. I called my husband, shaking, and explained what almost happened. He met me in the drive way to check the damage. No dents, and only 1 twig was caught under my spoiler. He looked at me and said "so, this was the tree that fell on you???". To this day he doesn't believe me.
post #7 of 12
Oh wow! I hate to say you guys were "lucky" , it'd be too contradictory! Yikes.

I am glad that no one got hurt though and that the damage was limited. I am sorry your mom is burdened with the extra worry of the deductible but I hope the city (or township) takes care of that issue.

Good luck! I hope it cleans up fast and this is over before you guys know it!
post #8 of 12
Wow! We've had winds from Ike (40+ mph for several hours this morning) but won't get any rain. TV reports lots of trees down in the area. Sis lost a couple of small branches and lots of leaves all over.
post #9 of 12
Cottonwoods are VERY prone to this kind of failure. So much so that most insurance companies advise getting rid of them. They grow big fast, but they fall apart from rot inside very young.

Did I get it right that you're almost straight east of where my grandfather had a farm in New Era?
post #10 of 12
Wow that is a huge branch. Glad everyone is alright.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Cottonwoods are VERY prone to this kind of failure. So much so that most insurance companies advise getting rid of them. They grow big fast, but they fall apart from rot inside very young.

Did I get it right that you're almost straight east of where my grandfather had a farm in New Era?
Hey, Mike. I live about 30 miles northwest of Detroit, so its kind of far to New Era - which looks like it's in West-northwest Michigan. Pretty country up that way.

Yeah, I know about them dang cottonwoods. And we have been living on borrowed time b/c I know they don't have a long life span. I do know they grow and die quickly compared to other trees and that the wood is very, very soft.

They were on this property when my folks built this house in '65-66 and were good sized back then. (yes, there are 2 of them).

I had an arborist come out last year (summer) - but he didn't indicate that the tree was rotting.

I'm going to see if insurance will help with the cost, if the tree is a hazard/threat to the house... or if it's on the easement then the township. Actually, both may be on easement.

I am thinking both trees should come down - the other one isn't as much of a threat to the property, but still...
post #12 of 12
Wow that is a huge branch. Glad nobody was hurt. good luck on what you need to get done.
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