Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Overhanging Tree Limb Causes Concern

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband is our lawn maintenance guy by choice, which since I have loads of allergies, works just fine for me.

What doesn’t work fine for me is that two of our neighbor’s trees hang over the fence, with one of the big old branches practically resting on the top of it. I’m nervous that if this branch or any of the other ones go, they’ll take the fence on our property down with it.

I want my husband to talk to the neighbors about this, but he doesn’t want to cause any hard feelings with them, which I don’t think will happen. They seem reasonable, so I think my husband is just making excuses.

What would be so wrong about talking to the neighbors about this problem? --- MY HUSBAND NEEDS A PUSH

DEAR MY HUSBAND NEEDS A PUSH: It’s understandable that you have concerns about the overhanging branches. Your homeowner’s policy may only cover certain kinds of damage, under certain conditions, and a fence can be an expensive repair project. Property laws also govern how the rights and obligations are assigned in circumstances like these.

Check your insurance policy and local laws, and then offer your husband some reasonable, solid arguments that might help persuade him to take preventative steps to avoid bigger problems down the road. Perhaps you can also offer to go with him when he’s ready to talk with your neighbors.

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