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She’s not very neighborly

Dear Annie: My neighbor has a huge tree growing in the middle of her yard. The tree is so big that a limb crashed down and broke part of a fence I share with another neighbor. I was left with the repair and the cleanup. When I mentioned this situation and my safety concern to the neighbor with the tree, she responded, “Whatever falls onto your property is not my responsibility.” My understanding is that I have a right to prune branches that might overhang my property, but is it my obligation to hire a company, scale the tree and have it pruned? Isn’t it the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain this massive tree and have it properly pruned so as not to endanger the well-being of a neighbor? — “Arboring” a Grudge

Dear “Arboring” a Grudge: It sounds like your neighbor is not acting very neighborly. She is lucky that the limb only harmed the fence and not a person or animal. While she might be correct that it is not her technical responsibility, it should be her moral responsibility to help you with your fence, especially because it was her tree that caused the damage. Perhaps you live in an association where you can speak with the head about the dangers of that tree. Sadly, if the tree is 100 percent on your neighbor’s lawn, it is her right to do with the tree what she wants. The only thing you have the right to do is trim the leaves that hang onto your property.

(Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. Visit the website at www.creators.com.)

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