I own land in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Recent winds blew down a large tree on the corner of our property, and its trunk is now blocking a creek that flows across my land to my neighbor’s property. The neighbor wants me to remove the trunk, but our landscaper says Virginia law leaves me responsible for the roots of the tree on my land, but leaves my neighbor responsible for the trunk of the tree on his land. A Google search produced a News Release [[url]http://www.scc.virginia.gov/news/isabel_3.htm][/url], dated October 1, 2003, which says:
“In most cases, if a tree falls on your property as a result of a hurricane or other natural disaster – even if it is not your tree – the cost of removing it is your responsibility.”
Naturally, I need to know more before I can, in good faith (or good sense), tell my neighbor that I am just going to take care of the part of the tree on my side of the property line. I wonder whether that is a valid statement of Virginia law and, if so, its source. For example, is it a statutory provision or a principle derived from case law? I have conducted Internet searches of the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Administrative Code, as well as all Supreme Court and Court of Appeals opinions available on line, to no avail. I would appreciate any light that another member can shed on this for me.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?