Don't find yourself financially broken by a falling tree, solicitors have warned.
Landowners are required by law to maintain trees, bushes and hedges on their boundaries to prevent branches falling on to the highway and becoming a potential cause of injury to the public.
Birmingham solicitors Williamson & Soden said a recent High Court case had brought landowners' responsibilities sharply into focus and served as an important reminder that a tree could easily become a liability.
The case involves a motorcyclist who collided with a diseased tree that had fallen on to the road and successfully sued the landowner for damages for the injury he suffered and other losses arising out of the crash.
Although the landowner ensured the trees on his estate were inspected regularly by a general forestry expert, the claim succeeded because the court decided that more specialist inspection was needed.
"This case does not make any new law because a landowner has always had duties to neighbours in relation to hazards posed by trees, including damage by tree roots, but it shows just how easily a tree can turn into an unwelcome liability", said solicitor Louisa Jakeman.