Hazard Trees

Phil Querin Q&A - When is a Hazard Tree Not a Hazard Tree?

Question. A couple of posts ago, I addressed a questions regarding the roots of a non-hazard tree located on the resident's space interfering with their sewer line.


There were some follow-up questions I will address below. However, here's the caveat: This is not legal advice, and community owners and managers should confer with their own legal counsel. Also, my answers are merely my opinions, and others have every right to disagree. Who is ultimately right is up to the judge before whom the matter is submitted.



Here are the follow-up questions:



A tree that was never known by anyone including the tenant, or the landlord, to be considered a "hazard tree" prior to a windstorm, later falls and does no damage. This tree was neither planted by the current tenant, nor the community.[1]



Question No. 1. Given that there was no negligence by anyone, is the damage done by the windstorm considered an Act of God?



Question No. 2. With the tree now uprooted and lying on the ground, does it now present a hazard or meet the definition of a "hazard tree" thereby shifting the obligation to "maintain" a hazard tree to the Landlord?



Question No. 3. Does maintaining a tree include tree removal?



Question No. 4. Who is legally responsible to pay the expenses associated with the disposal of the tree?


Answer. Wow! Asking me if God caused a windstorm could get me in trouble. What if I'm wrong?




Phil Querin Q&A: Large Tree Damaging Sewer Lines

Question. I read some articles that MHCO published about trees, but am still seeking a little clarification about tree roots. Our situation is this: A long term resident has a very large tree on their space. I don't believe the tree was planted by them or their family. It is not a hazardous tree but does have a DBH of more than 8". The tenant recently reported a blockage with the sewer lateral on their space (not the main park line). We hired a company to clear the blockage which was tree roots. Is the park owner or the resident responsible for tree roots growing underground that affect a resident's plumbing? Is the resident's sewer lateral (and other underground utilities for that matter) considered their personal property and the repair or upkeep to keep roots clear the park owners responsibility? Any clarification you can provide is much appreciated.




Phil Querin Q&A: Tree Damaging Home and Property - Solution May Create a Hazard Tree


Question: A park we manage has a tree on one of the lots whose roots are damaging the home owner's driveway, and the neighbor's driveway. In addition, it is also damaging the skirt of the home owner's residence. Our park rules say that all plants, including trees on a lot, are the responsibility of the home owner who is leasing the lot. The home owners are also responsible for installing and maintaining their driveways and carports. We had an arborist come out and assess the tree and it is not currently a
"hazard tree". The arborist advised against cutting the roots that are damaging the driveways as the tree would then lack adequate support and become a hazard tree. The question is, what responsibility, if any, does the Park owner have for the tree and or driveway damage? I am particularly wondering if ORS 90.730 (3)(g) has any relevance.


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