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If you have damage to your home from a fallen tree, the process of removing the tree might seem pretty daunting. Dealing with insurance companies and arborists for removal is an intimidating prospect when you’re likely without power—and without a place to stay. But there are some things to keep in mind when dealing with a fallen tree so you’re sure to get the best possible outcome for your family and home—not to mention your wallet.


If a tree falls on your house, you need to evacuate right away. Even if you don’t see any structural damage, there could be overloading to your roof and the structure of your home could be compromised. There can also be problems with downed power lines, so getting away from the tree and the damage it has caused is the first priority. Once all of the humans in your home are safe, you should also take a moment to secure your pets, who might be scared and suddenly presented with a new avenue of escape.

Assess the damage

After you’ve put some distance between yourself and the fallen tree, try and see what the tree has hit. Can you see power lines, vehicles, or other structures like fences that are damaged? Take some photos if you can to use when communicating with your insurance company. Once you’ve done an assessment from a safe distance, find a safe place to make a phone call.

If you have a downed power line

Call 911 immediately if you have a downed power line and stay away from the line. Keep everyone else clear as well. Warn your neighbors of the danger if you can reach them safely. You should also report the downed line to your local electric company if you can.

Call a tree care or arborist service

Finding a company that can take away your fallen tree might be challenging during a storm because lots of other people in your area will also be needing tree removal help at the same time as you. You might need to leave a message with an arborist and then wait in line to get your tree dealt with. If you’re having trouble finding someone to take care of your fallen tree, your local municipality might have listings on their website.

Call your insurance company

Call your insurance company to inform them of the incident. You should be as specific about the damages as you possibly can; any structures and vehicles involved should be noted and documented. Send pictures to your insurance company to give them a detailed idea of what the damages are. You might also have to wait to speak to a representative for your insurer, as they may be as inundated with calls.

If you can’t get your tree removed right away

Once the immediate weather passes, you can return to secure your home, as long as nothing is shifting or moving. Avoid going inside if there are damaged walls or if there’s damage to the roof. Lock your doors, or board over openings of broken windows or holes caused by the tree wherever you can, to avoid animals entering your home while you wait for repairs. You can also try calling an emergency tarp service to see if any damage to your roof can be covered to prevent water damage pending removal of the tree and repairs. You’ll need to find alternative lodging while you wait for repairs if your house has been damaged.

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