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Question DetailsAsked on 4/26/2017

my water line was broken by the neighbor's tree cutting service .There is a tree over water line. Cut tree now?

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2 Answers


I am not clear what you are asking - the line repair is up to the tree service company, or their insurance if they do not pay for it directly - and if that involves cutting the tree down (not always the case) that cost or work would be on them too.

Not clear HOW the line got broken - if so shallow that felling the tree broke it underground (or it was a surface line) orthey got it during stump/root removal then they should just pay to get it fixed, and cost probably not that much - in the few hundreds range if that shallow, most likely.

A water line running under a tree is not at all unusual, and in most areas with freezing conditions during the winter (so lines buried 3 feet deep or so) survive indefinitely - especially if right under the tree rather than off to the side where growing major roots might lift the pipe and break it.

Assuming this is a largish tree, cutting and removing the tree now is likely to cost at least as much ifnot much more than repairing the line if it fails in the future - which in many cases would be handled by just rerouting that section with flexible pipe rather than going under the tree again - or sometimes by jetting the line under the tree to repair it.

Unless you intended to remove the tree anyway, I would not do anything about it at this time.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD


I may have misunderstood - if you mean the tree is now lying over the broken line - or within a few feet or the break - then yes the tree should be cut and removed at least in that section to allow for digging up the line. Tree service should do this removal ASAP and at no charge since they dropped the tree on your line.

I am assuming this damage (and the line) is on your property - if not (running on an easement through the neighbor's yard) they still have to pay to get it repaired, but the following things on tree cleanup are your neighbor's problem if the tree is all on his side of the line.

I did not address the documentation and insurance issue - the tree service and/or its insurance should cover the cost, so get their insurance info. The neighbor's insurance is also potentially a source to cover the cost - you should not use YOUR insurance because that raises YOUR premiums, not theirs.

Document the situation (with photos too) and if there is any balking by them immediately (within a day) getting on removing the tree from your property and making arrangements for a plumber (who you should concur on selection of) to repair the damage, then personally I would call the police to report it and to document the damage, so it is on record. If they had ideas of escaping paying for it that might make up their mind for them.

I would NOT let them give you any delaying excuses - this should be their top job because it is a continuation of the neighbor's tree removal job and a trespass on your property, and I would not accept promises from the neighbor to pay for it if the tre company does not, because getting that money down the road will be tough and can also destroy the relationship with the neighbor.

Make the tree service get in there and clean up the damage (which may also include repair of fencing, lawn or garden damage, cars or boats, house (including outside A/C) or yard structure damage, etc depending on what the tree hit. Also inspect (and document) to be sure your windows and roof and siding on that side were not hit and damaged by flying branches - or by long top branches hitting them.

Also pay attention to any damage done DURING the removal - tearing up the lawn with equipment, etc. if you want it removed you can demand that - and unless you want them to leave the wood for your use (or the neighbor reclaiming it) they woul dhave to either move it all to the neighbors yard or dispose of it offsite, and clean up debris - twigs and leaves and such and get rid of the4m off-site too. Sawdust should be raked up reasonably, and then swept/leaf blown off any drive or walk or such. The same sort of care and cleanup as if they were removing a tree for you - don't let them sluff off just because they are not getting paid for it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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