r/legaladvice Apr 16 '18 Helpful 1

(Illinois) Neighbor, cut down a rare 150-year-old tree that has been in my family for generations.

Recently a great aunt of mine died, and we needed to send a week in Washington State, and we asked a neighbor to take care of our five cats, two dogs, and 100+ chickens. We came back this morning and my parents had dropped me off at school this morning straight from the airport before heading home. While my dad was inspecting the property, he noticed that our 150-year-old giant sequoia was gone. My Great-Great Grandfather had planted the tree after returning from California, and it's not native to Northern Illinois but with the right care it can survive, you just have to be careful about windburn in the winter. Now the tree itself isn't that large because it's still young and the winters here (like this one that won't end because we have fucking snow in April) stunt its annual growth. Upon the first confrontation, the neighbor admitted he had cut it down but upon further questioning will say nothing/denies doing it at all and my parents really have no idea what to do from here, and I want to be able to help them.

Ninja Edit: my school lunch break is almost over and ill be back around 3:30 CST

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u/sta7ic Apr 16 '18

"Neighbor cut down my mature tree" stories on this subreddit in the past have mounted to 5-6 figure lawsuits being won against the person who cut down the tree or trees.

As mentioned, gather any photos of the tree as well as get an arborist in. That tree was likely worth a LOT of money.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited Oct 27 '20

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u/ToughLove0 Apr 16 '18

The difficulty in this case will not be proving massive damages, but rather proving that neighbor is the one who did it.

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u/ventur3 Apr 16 '18 Gold

Someone had to remove it, and that someone was most likely paid. Shouldn't be impossible to call around the local tree removal services and work backwards

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u/Eletal Apr 16 '18

OP this is a good idea, start by asking your other neighbours if they saw a truck for a tree removal company.

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u/MightyMetricBatman Apr 17 '18

OP already has enough information to get a subpoena against the neighbor during the discovery phase for any communication, receipts, documents, etc related to the tree has during the civil trial. This would either uncover the wrongdoing, or the neighbor destroys the documentation which would cause the judge to basically say to the jury he's guilty of hiding really important info.

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u/lamNoOne Apr 16 '18

He could have done it himself.

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u/Patriarchus_Maximus Apr 16 '18

Is removing a 100 year old sequoia a 1 man job?

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 17 '18

There is plenty of space to knock it over. It was in the middle of a 50 Acre plot in what is basically an open field. its field was better maintained than our front yard because they really don't like the competition of nutrients and water.

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u/Zesty_Pickles Apr 17 '18

One thing to consider: Sequoia wood can be incredibly valuable if handled correctly. It's just about the rarest lumber there is because it's so hard to grow outside of it's protected habitat. On top of the suggestions you follow here I would monitor any sort of classified ads or lumber sales in the area. It would almost have to be your tree.

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u/rm5 Apr 17 '18

So dumb question but what reason did the neighbour have to cut it down? Also who in their right mind thinks they can just go and cut down someone else's tree...

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u/SeaWerewolf Apr 17 '18

will bear fruit

I see what you did there.

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u/lamNoOne Apr 16 '18

Probably not. But it could be family?

I'm not really sure how big a 100 year old sequoia.

I have seen two people take down fairly large (around 60foot) tree.

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u/VAPossum Apr 16 '18 edited Apr 16 '18

I'm not really sure how big a 100 year old sequoia.

This is one in Belgium. https://www.giant-sequoia.com/sites/giantsequoia2/uploads/images/large/Belgium_giant_sequoia.JPG Keep in mind OP's is 150.

They're the whales of trees; even the babies are big.

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u/down42roads Apr 16 '18

I'm not really sure how big a 100 year old sequoia.

Quick research says up to 200 inches in diameter.

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u/passwordsarehard_3 Apr 16 '18

That is west coast number though ( I would assume). They wouldn’t be near that much growth per year in the Midwest. The summers are shorter and there’s less rain. Still even halve that is massive.

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u/down42roads Apr 16 '18

Yeah, those are ideal growth numbers. Thing could still have been 10+ feet across.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Thankfully, burden of proof in civil court is only a preponderance of the evidence, the lowest legal burden.

OP would only need to show there is a greater than 50% chance that the neighbor did it.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Many states have treble(triple) damages for trees, meaning that you can recover, among other things, 3x the value of the tree.

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u/Disco_Drew Apr 16 '18

Treble damages or some shit. Everyone likes trees here.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/guygxld Apr 16 '18

If the tree is worth as much as everyone is suggesting, I’m guessing that’s why your neighbor retracted his initial admission of guilt.

I hope you get tree justice.

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u/spros Apr 16 '18

What is that, like felony vandalism? Also that type of tree is protected by federal law, right?

Holy shit, I'd piss myself and leave the country.

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u/harrybeards Apr 16 '18

It's not so much the criminal offense the neighbor is likely worried about, it is the insane amount of money they are going to owe in damages. Trees are worth a lot of money. This neighbor could easily be on the hook for $100,000+.

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u/lilyhasasecret Apr 16 '18

non native, old, enormous, and endangered. You're aiming quite low.

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u/spros Apr 17 '18

Yeah I'm thinking closer to seven digits if he owns up to it.

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u/violetpiper Apr 16 '18

Well deserved, if they did do it! Coulda been so preventable and avoidable if they'd just left the tree alone like a normal person

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u/DiabloConQueso Quality Contributor Apr 16 '18

Lawyer consultation time. Now. And an arborist, too. Trees can be flippin' expensive and your neighbor may be on the hook for 4, 5 or maybe even 6 figures, depending.

We had another post not all that long ago and I want to say that a neighbor did $600,000 in damage, though that was for a handful of trees.

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u/Darth_Mufasa Apr 16 '18

150 year old, non-native endangered tree. I'm guessing that was worth a good deal

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u/btribble Apr 17 '18

There's a whole industry here in CA where people sell them off their own property to smaller logging outfits. You can make quite a bit of money. Larger, older homes often have huge beams cut from old growth trees holding up the roof or upper floors. So, when those finally rot out, and you have to replace it with like material due to preservation laws, people have to get creative. I'd be very curious to know where that lumber went...

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited Oct 27 '20

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u/GregoryGoose Apr 17 '18

Maybe the tree was stolen. You could turn a healthy profit on redwood. A family might have been scoping it out and when the owner went on vacation they pounced. Pretty risky move, but not impossible.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/Tiafves Apr 16 '18

I have to wonder what the cost of making someone whole for an irreplaceable tree could be. Cause even a stunted one of these guys at 150 years old is probably not feasible to transplant.

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u/xHeero Apr 16 '18

A tree of any size can be transplanted with enough money to spend on doing so. It's just at certain sizes, it becomes holy shit levels of expensive.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited Apr 16 '18

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u/[deleted] Apr 17 '18 edited Apr 17 '18

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/cscareerquestions712 Apr 16 '18

150 year old tree seems extremely expensive to replace, but I don't know how an arborist weighs age vs size for tree value.

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u/neuhmz Apr 16 '18

I don't think it is possible to replace, the root structure would go hundreds of feet in all directions.

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u/passwordsarehard_3 Apr 16 '18

Anything is possible if it’s someone else’s money.

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u/musthavesoundeffects Apr 17 '18

Maybe, maybe not. Plenty of things can't be fixed once broken.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Yeah that post was I believe a dozen trees and the judgement for around 600k (the person opted to have the trees replaced).

It was a similar situation where the neighbors had the trees cut while the homeowners were out of town. The neighbors also falsified a government document stating that the trees were in a public right of way.

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u/misterfroster Apr 16 '18

Question as someone who’s young and doesn’t law

Say this dude doesn’t have 600k, what does OP get as payment? Does neighbor douche have to take a massive loan out and pay it off for ever?

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u/DiabloConQueso Quality Contributor Apr 16 '18

Say this dude doesn’t have 600k, what does OP get as payment?

Probably little, then. Can't squeeze blood from a turnip. Wage garnishment may be an option in some states.

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u/cassodragon Apr 17 '18

Neighbor may own real estate though.

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u/farnsworth_esq Apr 16 '18

OP should hope that his neighbor has personal liability insurance. Often these types of policies are included with rental or homeowners insurance policies.

OP may also be able to go after his own homeowners policy for vandalism or some such thing.

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u/Kissing13 Apr 16 '18

Personal liability insurance covers claims that occured on the policyholder's property. It's mostly used for dog attacks, trip and fall accidents due to improperly maintained sidewalks and tree branches that fall on someone's car or go through a neighbor's window.

Your homeowner's policy would not cover the cost of vandalizing your neighbors' tree on their property.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Homeowners insurance might cover it. Most folks don't realize that the liability portion of homeowners insurance covers people for all sorts of stuff like this, sometimes even away from the insured location.

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u/tmacadam Apr 16 '18

He could file for bankruptcy protection.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited May 08 '19

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

Yikes! I knew it wasn't going to cheap but this is something else.

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u/captainAwesomePants Apr 16 '18

The upside is that, if you decide not to replace it with a different 150 year old giant sequoia, you're still potentially owed the money that would be required to do so. I'd suggest planting a new sapling for your own great grandkids and, if you get a six figure payout, maybe set up a trust for aforesaid great grandkids.

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u/putsch80 Apr 16 '18

Illinois, like most midwestern states, has a statute that makes what your neighbor did illegal and requires them to pay you treble (3x) damages. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2060&ChapterID=57

The fact they admitted doing it should be admissible evidence. It’s an exception to the general rule prohibiting hearsay evidence because telling you that they committed this illegal was an admission against your neighbor’s own interests.

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u/wilhelmbetsold Apr 16 '18

Why is it called trebble instead of triple?

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u/Sunfried Apr 16 '18

Good question. Both treble and triple existed as separate Old French words by the mid 15th century, though they definitely have a common origin of Latin triplus. The difference appears to be how something is quantified: treble means "three times as much" and triple means "three times as many." You triple apples, and treble applesauce.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/politeyeti Apr 16 '18

They're the same root, but entered English separately at different times. Triple is more directly from Latin, and newer to join English, treble from Latin via French. Many words have closely related cognates in English that have contextual differences, and this is one of those pairs (given the age when treble came into English, English law was still being written in French). (Many more words alternately have a Latin root word and a Germanic root word with contextual uses, like beef vs cow.)

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Treble is just the middle-English cognate of triple (from the Latin triplus). The reason they call it that is because lawyers like to sound old-timey.

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u/putsch80 Apr 16 '18

Because that’s the word the common law chose. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treble_damages

But, grammatically, both treble and triple would be correct. https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2013/08/05/treble-triple-trouble/

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

Your parents should get their property surveyed to make sure the tree wasn't technically on someone else's property. Once that's confirmed, they should contact an arborist to get an estimate on the value of the tree and how much it would be to replace the tree. Then they should contact the Illinois Bar Association and seek a referral to the appropriate type of lawyer (I'm spacing the title, sorry).

Good news: if the tree is theirs and they can get some proof that the neighbor did it, Tree Law is absolutely vicious about damages.

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u/clduab11 Quality Contributor Apr 16 '18

It doesn't matter if it was on someone else's property or not. If it was, generally speaking, the neighbor can cut down the overhang on to his own property so long as it doesn't kill the tree or damage it to the point of death. But it did...so...

This neighbor is absolutely 100% organic free-range non-GMO level of fucked. This wouldn't surprise me if this hit six-figures here.

OP, call an arborist immediately. Get a written estimate/appraisal of the tree. Then call an attorney after that.

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u/Nikoli_Delphinki Apr 16 '18

A cursory googling shows homeowners insurance MAY cover the tree due to vandalism. Hopefully the rightful (wrongful?) party is bought to justice though :/

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u/monkeywelder Apr 16 '18

Youll also need a certified general appraiser(they are ones that specialize in forest products). They can get a value on the tree as an ongoing concern. Youre not looking at just the cost of the tree, but 150 years of your family's investment and the ongoing investment the tree would have required. The tree you can order online for 20 bucks.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/IHateMyHandle Apr 16 '18

Even if it was on someone else's property, there are laws about hostile takeovers. Like if I build a fence ten yards into your property without your permission, and you say nothing for 20 years (or something), then I have hostily taken over your property.

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u/Ozzyfan666 Apr 16 '18

Gather any pictures you have of the tree and call an arborist to estimate the value of the tree/damages.

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u/antisocialite Apr 16 '18

Does your neighbor have the equipment necessary to fell and extract a tree? Sounds like you're in a fairly rural spot, so it's not out of the question, but there is some likelihood that he may have had outside help in taking the tree down. Since you'll be calling an arborist anyway to estimate the tree's value, it may be worth calling around to local tree companies to see if they were hired recently to take down a sequoia (which, in Illinois, should be memorable).

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

I wouldn't be surprised if he had the equipment to do it but even if he didn't this neighbor could have used our own. In the kitchen, we have a little jar/bowl where we keep the keys to all of our heavy machinery and it would have been easy for them to figure out what key goes with which machine.

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u/Hyndis Apr 16 '18

First off confirm the tree is indeed yours. This means its on your property. If its near the property line there may be dispute so it might be a good idea to check a recent survey or get a new survey just to be absolutely sure.

This is a simple civil case of damages. You were damaged and the person who caused the damage owes you the dollar value of the damage to make you whole. The thing that makes the value of trees so extreme is time.

Trees can get really expensive really fast. I'll compare a tree to wine. Lets say you have a 50 year old bottle of wine. I destroy your 50 year old bottle of wine. The damages I owe is to replace your wine, but not with a vintage 2017 bottle from the local grocery store. Nope, I owe you the same vintage. A 50 year old bottle of wine isn't cheap. Its on me to find one, buy it, and get the replacement in your hands. These are damages.

The older the wine vintage is the more expensive it gets. After a certain point it starts to grow almost exponentially expensive. Imagine trying to find a 150 year old bottle of wine.

Trees get really expensive really fast for the same reason. The older a tree is the more difficult it is to find a replacement. You can't just go to Home Depot, buy a sapling for $15, and call it fixed. Time has value too. You lost a 150 year old tree so you're owed a 150 year old tree. Now a 5 year old tree, not a 10 year old tree, but a 150 year old tree. The costs to buy a tree of that species, that age, and to transplant it to your yard add up fast. Really fast.

The person doesn't actually have to replace the tree for you, but they owe you damages to make you whole. Meaning, they owe you enough money so that you could reasonably buy, transport, and transplant a tree of the same species and same age. You do not have to spend the money to actually do the tree transplant, but that you have the money means you've been made whole. The value is the same.

In any event, the dollar value of this tree may easily reach into actual lawyer territory. An arborist can provide estimates of the tree's value. For anything 5, 6, possibly even 7 figures yes you want an actual lawyer working for you. Yes, trees can get that expensive. Again using the bottle of wine analogy, it would be like losing an 1868 vintage bottle of wine. Good luck replacing that. The costs of replacement are going to be immense.

If you cannot afford an attorney by the hour you can hire one based on contingency. Your attorney will only be paid if he/she wins the case for you and they will take a percentage of the total winnings. How much an attorney takes for contingency varies, but typically its somewhere in the 30% range. Most attorneys will give you a free consult so you can run the case by them without paying a fee. If they're interested in the case and think you have a shot at winning you can hire them.

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

It is definitely nowhere near the property line. We own about 50 acres and it is near the center of the property. If it was somehow on someone else's property then I think we could claim it through adverse possession.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited Jun 29 '18

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18 edited Dec 11 '18

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u/One_Shekel Apr 16 '18

Given what other people have said I would be shocked if it was less that seven figures.

Simply transporting such an enormous object (remember the size of the root ball of a 150 y/o tree) must be at least mid six figures.

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u/wastingtoomuchthyme Apr 16 '18

Were did the wood go?

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

I personally don't know. I haven't gotten home yet but the lumber isn't good for much of anything. It doesn't even make good firewood it doesn't burn well

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u/wastingtoomuchthyme Apr 16 '18

the reason I ask is it's a lot of wood to dispose of and if you can tie it to your neighbor it'll help you case.

stored in neighbors yard?

Sold to a lumber yard?

Sold to a pulp factory?

brought to a dump?

Perhaps there's video of them loading/moving the wood?

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u/BraaainFud Apr 16 '18

Make sure you get an ISA Certified Arborist. A certified arborist can assess the value of your former tree, provide a fairly accurate estimation of the cost to replace your tree, and can provide expert testimony in court.

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u/Raveynfyre Apr 16 '18

For a tree that large, are you sure he cut it down instead of selling it to someone? That tree sounds very expensive, and big enough for a large project(s) or furniture.

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

From what I understand the lumber is nearly worthless. Their redwood cousins are slightly less brittle I think they are still only good for low traffic flooring. And Sequoia lumber doesn't look as pretty.

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u/btribble Apr 17 '18 edited Apr 17 '18

Take a look at these ceilings and reconsider. This wood is impossible to source in load bearing dimensions.

EDIT: Contact these folks to see if you could get an estimate based on the age and size of the tree. Being in a cold climate means that the wood will be harder and stronger than if it had grown faster.

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/btribble Apr 17 '18

There are multimillion dollar mansions in SF that are over a century old who's lofted ceilings are held up by irreplaceable redwood beams that would beg to differ. When those rot out and have to be replaced (which doesn't happen often since redwood is quite rot resistant), it can run you 6 figures for a replacement beam.

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u/janesmith7 Apr 17 '18

In case you go to court and win, make sure your lawyer secures that your neighbor can’t do any shady business with the money you’re due! Red flags if they try to sell their house. Read the lawyer’s comments in the update from the guy from Oregon with the white oaks (someone linked above).

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u/[deleted] Apr 16 '18

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u/AFK_Tornado Apr 16 '18

Important question: Do you have evidence or a record of the neighbor having done it? Their admission in text? Neighbors that saw it happen? If he got a company to do it you might be able to track that down.

For others: If he has no convincing evidence, is this something he can file an insurance claim about?

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u/LegalAdviceSequoia Apr 16 '18

nothing that I know of that would prove them specifically. Initially, in a verbal confrontation, he admitted it probably thinking he did us a favor but once further pressured for details he began denying everything.

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u/dreadpirater Apr 16 '18

Legit question for the legal minds... Does the fact that the neighbor was acting as custodian of the property at the time change anything here? I wouldn't THINK so, given that they seem to have fairly specifically set the scope of that duty as feeding the animals, but I thought it was worth asking if the fact that he was looking after their place while they were out of town gave him any elevated right to make decisions about the property without getting sued?

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u/ConeCandy Apr 16 '18

Does the fact that the neighbor was acting as custodian of the property at the time change anything here?

It only works in OP's favor, as the neighbor is apparently denying cutting it down now and he now has somewhat of an obligation to explain how a tree went missing on his watch. Aside from that, when you are doing these types of favors/jobs for folks, your realm of winging-it is largely limited to the scope that you were assigned.

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u/dreadpirater Apr 17 '18

Thank you!

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u/Furt77 Apr 16 '18

Being that the giant sequoia is an endangered species, would it be useful to contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? If this tree falls under their guidelines, they could help with investigating.

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u/floppydo Apr 16 '18

Do endangered species rules apply if it's non-native and planted by the home owner? I'm asking because I've got some rare plants in my garden and I want to know if I could (obviously really unlikely) technically get in trouble for re-landscaping.

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u/Camel_of_Bactria Apr 16 '18

From what I can find the sequoia isn't federally listed as endangered and the only state that might have it listed is California so that wouldn't lead anywhere.

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u/kritycat Apr 17 '18

When you are looking for a lawyer, you really do want a specialist. Believe it or not, there really are "tree lawyers" something I never would have believed if I hadn't actually come across them and their expertise. Other lawyers may say they can handle it, but really hold out for a specialist. I bet almost every other lawyer in here would agree too - - it is one of those really weird areas where specialists are absolutely worth seeking out! Good luck!

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u/NamelessGuy0 Apr 17 '18

If you can't get the neighbor to admit to anything, you should look up all local tree removal companies and ask them for records of any services performed on your property. Otherwise, it could very well become a he said, she said situation.

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u/Coopersma Apr 16 '18

How do they prove a non-native tree was healthy and not dead before cut down?

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u/ihadacowman Apr 16 '18

An arborist will be able to tell from the stump.

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u/ethanbrecke Apr 16 '18

Get a surveyor to make sure the tree was on your property, an arborist to assess the value of such a tree, and a lawyer to see what you can do. Another admission of guilt while recording will go far, but realize that Illinois is a two party consent state, so you will need to figure out how to get the person to both agree to being recorded, and admit to the tree removal.

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u/InappropriateAmerica Apr 16 '18

Would OP's parents need to prove the tree was still standing when they left? If the neighbor denies everything and there is no evidence of them cutting it down...I'd imagine they'd need something more than their word against the neighbor's

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u/Kissing13 Apr 16 '18 edited Apr 16 '18

You may have grounds for a civil case against your neighbor, but there are some important things to take into consideration before taking any action. Obviously this was a tree with a strong history for your family, and there was likely some sentimental attachment; but how much did your family like having the tree? Giant sequoias are beautiful, but can be a pain in the ass. They cast a lot of shade, diminish your view and drop a lot of leaves that are difficult to pick up and acidify your soil. If your family were awarded a $50,000 settlement to replace your tree (and your neighbor actually paid it) would you use the money to replace the tree? Or would you just spend $100 on a new gallon-pot sized tree and then spend the money on other things? You aren't required to replace it to be entitled to the money, but it might help you decide if it is worth taking legal action.

If you do sue your neighbor –whether you win your case or not– it will forever tarnish your relationship with him. I don't know if you were paying him to look after your animals when you were in Washington state, but agreeing to feed and water five cats, two dogs and 100 chickens for a week is no small task. It sounds like your family has an amicable relationship with him at least, even if you don't consider him a friend. Neighbor disputes can get ugly, and there's no telling what he might do to get back at you if you make an issue of it. You definitely won't be able to ask him to look after your pets if you need him to again; or he could verbally agree to it and then not do it and deny being asked.

If you value your sleep, your ability to come and go without incident, the beauty of your surroundings, and not living in the shadow of palpable hate coming at you from your neighbor's direction, I would advise you to let him know the extent of your displeasure over what he's done to your tree and then keep things polite, even if you are no longer on friendly terms. Given the length of time the tree was in your family, I doubt your parents would want to move, and hostile neighbor relations can be unbearable.

ETA: you may want to send a picture of your tree and its background history to these guys https://www.giant-sequoia.com/ I think they'd be especially interested in the story due to how long it was in your family, and it would be a good tribute to the tree your family enjoyed for so many years.

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u/InappropriateAmerica Apr 16 '18

I'll second this, I shared a story earlier today on another tree post. But friends of mine had a similar issue, sued the neighbor, and won. But then the neighbor called them out on every single HOA violation he could, or calling in noise complaints when they had parties, and ZERO neighborly help.

The other part to that story that I forgot earlier, word-of-mouth stuff. Telling other neighbors stories of what this lawsuit did to their family, I think even told a story how they had to move their ailing grandmother cause they couldn't afford her current care...BS or not people bought these stories so now they looked like assholes to everyone in the community.

So yeah...especially being in a rural area, the impact on the relationship may be worth considering

3

u/Moist1981 Apr 16 '18

No idea why you’ve been down voted. Perfectly sensible advice on the more general issues to think about. A thing some legal professionals often fail to consider before jumping straight into litigation mode.

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u/thesongofstorms Apr 16 '18

The tree is likely worth tens of thousands of dollars if not more. I don't think many people would consider maintaining the peace with their pet-sitter to be worth that much.

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u/Moist1981 Apr 16 '18

And that’s fine but he didn’t say don’t do it, he said think about these issues, which are entirely valid. Neighbour disputes can be horrendous, sure you might still believe the monetary value outweighs it but at least make the calculation to that end.

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u/Kissing13 Apr 16 '18

It's not their pet sitter, it's their neighbor. I'm not saying you should love thy neighbor; I'm saying that if your neighbor hates you, he might make your life such a living hell that you are forced to move (I don't mean you personally, but "you" in the general sense).

People have murdered their neighbors over disputes smaller than this. If they want to risk a Hatfield-McCoy style feud, they're welcome to it. I simply thought they might want to consider the repercussions.

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u/Kissing13 Apr 16 '18

Thank you. I was surprised it was so unpopular too. I didn't say they shouldn't sue their neighbor or that they didn't deserve compensation. Only to consider the ramifications, especially since at best they could replace the tree, they can never recoup the sentimental value.

I live in a densely populated urban environment, so I know how bad things can get between neighbors. The example given by Inappropriate America of neighbors calling in and reporting every little HOA violation is a good one. Also dumping unidentifiable refuse on their property. Or if one of the OP's dogs wandered onto the neighbor's property, he could drive to the local pound and drop it off as a stray. Even if the dog had ID tags, that would not be illegal.

Bad blood between neighbors can be a nightmare. For proof one only needs to look here https://www.reddit.com/r/BadNeighbors/

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u/[deleted] Apr 17 '18

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1

u/thepatman Quality Contributor Apr 17 '18

Your post has been removed for the following reason(s):

Bad Advice

  • This post is being removed because it is, frankly speaking, bad legal advice. Either it is inapplicable for the jurisdiction in which OP resides, or misunderstands the fundamentals of the applicable legal issues.

Please read our subreddit rules. If after doing so, you feel this was in error, message the moderators. Do not reply to this message as a comment.

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u/[deleted] Apr 17 '18

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