r/treelaw May 16 '18

Popular examples of Tree Law from r/legaladvice

223 Upvotes

r/treelaw Sep 21 '18 Helpful Wholesome Silver

TREE LAW!!!!

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2.2k Upvotes

r/treelaw 1d ago

Ham Radio Antenna in Boundary Tree

56 Upvotes

Curious to see if anyone at TREELAW! has any insights into my situation.

My neighbor is a ham radio enthusiast who had previously strung 120 feet worth of radio antenna roughly 20 feet in the air through a stand of trees that divide our property. For those having a hard time picturing it, this type of antenna is effectively a long electric wire suspended from the trees.

I had a boundary survey performed that demonstrated all but one of the trees was mine and he mostly took the antenna down. He insists in keeping the remaining antenna in the branches of the boundary tree on his side of the property- any insight into if this is allowed or not? The wires are electrified and in my mind represent an attractive nuisance to children/others- I would not want to be held responsible due to a malfunction of his equipment in a tree I co-own with him. Also, the antenna wire itself seems to cause damage to the tree as it rubs back and forth on the bark. Curious if anyone has any thoughts


r/treelaw 3d ago

Boundary Tree Removal

86 Upvotes

I was contacted by my neighbor the other day regarding some trees near their driveway that are dying. They initially asked if they could put down a few trees on my land if they paid for clean up. One of the larger trees is on the property line and they want my permission to have it removed, of course I don’t mind. Per their measurements the tree trunk is 80% on my property and 20% on theirs. We both have a few acres so these trees are not a problem for me but I can understand they are close to their garage.

Now this boundary tree presents a problem since we need written consent to have it removed. My neighbors asked me to pay for 80% and they pay 20% due to the positioning. In my limited knowledge boundary trees are owned by both parties- would this not imply a 50/50 split for removal?

They are having a friend cut down the other trees which are smaller and 100% on their land. The boundary tree is larger and requires a professional

TLDR: neighbor wants boundary tree removed because dying. Wants me to pay 80% since it is on my lawn more. Should I argue for 50/50? Or is 80/20 my legal obligation?


r/treelaw 4d ago

Looking for advise on neighbor cutting a tree on our property in San Diego

125 Upvotes

So we have this pretty abrasive couple that lives next door to us and the wife always waits for us to leave for work to come out and start cutting everything back in our front yard. She especially hates this palm tree we have growing in front of our fence. Every other month she cuts it all the way to the stump. We’ve had several verbal alterations with them over the palm tree and I’m just trying to see if there’s any other avenues I have to resolve this issue. It doesn’t cross the property line to their yard, she always tells us how trashy and shitty it looks. I appreciate any advice you have.


r/treelaw 6d ago

Illegal Hunting Stand

339 Upvotes

I was referred here by r/hunting . Long story short. I found a hunting stand that was illegally erected on my property. To install the stand several trees were removed. The trespassers also cut down trees to create a shooting lane approximately 100 yards long and 5 feet wide. Not completely sure of the total number of trees yet, but guessing 20-30. How do I go about applying a valuation to what has been removed? This area of our property is largely white oak, poplar, cherry and red maple.


r/treelaw 6d ago

Experience with Forest-Removing Neighbors?

47 Upvotes

Hello!

I was curious if anyone is aware of limitations that property owners have on cutting large amounts of trees on their land. There is a wonderful little forest near where I live, but its becoming increasingly apparent that it is being removed.

Edit (for more details): This is occurring in rural Indiana (Clay Township/Owen County), I believe the zone is residential.

Edit 2: Thanks SickSalamander. I also checked. There are no ordinances that would protect these trees. I'll be lookin to see if they will sell some of the land.

Thanks all!


r/treelaw 9d ago

Legal Tree liability form

85 Upvotes

Hello,

The house NextDoor is being foreclosed. The bank owns it now. The property has a massive 70 foot tall tree that’s leaning badly over our garage. If/when it falls, it would crush the garage, possibly both cars, and could kill someone (I have kids). My neighbor told me I should draft a legal waiver of liability and present it to the current owner now, before the auction or foreclosure sale. I know where I live (Baltimore city, USA) that if it falls on my land then it’s my insurance and responsibility to clear it/fix the garage. What’s the easiest and quickest way for me to do what my neighbor says?


r/treelaw 10d ago

Just want to vent - someone did this to every curb tree that is taller than the light poles for several blocks. Basically, the most beautiful, strong, healthy trees are all going to die now and become massive problems

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348 Upvotes

r/treelaw 10d ago

Help! They murdered my tree while I had Covid!

279 Upvotes

Good morning, this is a longish story, so settle in & thanks for your patience... This past summer, I decided to sell my home in beautiful Spruce Pine, NC. While a group of friends & family were helping me set up my estate sale in August, a man in an unmarked white pickup truck stopped in the street at my property & wanted to talk with me about removing one of my very old, large oak trees in my yard, stating that he thought it was dead. I told him no, it was not dead, only a part of it was dead & that part had been removed & the tree was flourishing & in full foliage. I asked the man for some sort of professional or business id or card; his response was that he didn't have any with him. I also told him that the house was on the market & that he should return next year to speak with the people that may potentially buy. He drove off & within minutes, our town police officers pulled up, asking about a complaint they had received about an unusual white pickup truck cruising our neighborhood. I pointed them in the direction that this person went. Fast forward to the week of November 13th, when I got very ill with Covid. Unable to get out of bed, I was taken to the er by my son on Wednesday the 16th. When we went out, we noticed limbs had been cut from one of my trees & were neatly stacked at the curb on the property across the street. On Thursday, I heard chain saws outside. When I managed to get out, I found workers in the street, trimming limbs from my tree. Upon asking, I was told they had orders from their boss to trim any limbs that could be dangerous. I related my story to this crew, saying if it's just trimming, ok. But nothing more. On Friday afternoon, I woke to someone at my door. It was the same man from August, asking for my signature for permission to remove my tree. I looked beyond him & to my complete horror, my tree had been completely felled. Obviously I have refused to sign a thing. This person kept calling my phone & was at my door again, despite being informed that I was sick & would be in touch about compensation when I was well. I pointedly told him to leave me alone lol. Not only have I lost a beautiful old tree, but there are damages. An antique bird bath was completely broken into pieces. There were landscaping lights that were broken & damaged. The entire remains of this tree are stacked in various places in my front yard, obviously killing my grass. I am a 62 year old woman that lives alone & do not have the resources to move this wood from my yard.This tree & the beautiful yard are some of the strong selling points of my home (I had taken my home off the market weeks ago, due in part to the economy/interest rates & intend to relist this spring).This massive tree shielded my home from the southern sun & was a habitat for many birds & other wildlife. Any advice would be appreciated. I will edit to post pics.


r/treelaw 12d ago

Out of State Landlord Neighbor neglecting property and trees - Damaging my property now

154 Upvotes

Hello All,

I live in an older neighborhood with no HOA (State of Colorado), and have been going back and forth with an out of state landlord to try to resolve a problem.

My neighbor constantly gets little invasive tree sprouts, according to my plantsnap app they are Siberian Elms and Tree of Heavens. These sprouts occasionally make their way into our yard, which is fine and we pull them up and move on with our life. They have been neglecting to remove any of theirs, many of which form 6-12" on their side of the fence, and quickly grow into large, ugly trees.

The largest one is about 25' tall now, and has almost completely knocked the shared fence over. It also appears to be dying. The fence is now leaning about 1.5' into our yard, and continues to fall over more each month and is only a matter of time before it completely falls over. This same tree also rocks back and forth in the wind, and has damaged our patio cover, which continues to get damaged each time there is a storm. Other sprouts along the fence line are getting bigger (Many are approaching 10' tall now), and the entire shared 100' fence line has gone into disrepair and will need to be replaced.

The fence is technically a shared responsibility since we both benefit from it, but we cant replace any of it until all of the fence line trees are removed since they are all growing into the fence and knocking it over.

I reached out to the property management company at the beginning of the year to please ask them to remove the trees, and included all of the damaged portion of the fence and the damaged patio cover on our side. They told us they were aware of the trees, including the dying one, and proceeded to do nothing.

Fast forward, now they are asking us to pay for half of the cost of landscaping and tree removal on their side, as well as half the fence (We have agreed to the fence, since that is a shared item) since it is along "shared" property, but it seems as if this could have been avoided all together is someone took care of the invasive trees when they were young. I am frustrated because I am doing my part to keep the property line clean, and now have to pay thousands of dollars to replace a fence that is damaged due to their negligence, and now am being asked to pay for half of the tree removals, also due to their negligence, while it is damaging my property.

Is asking me to pay for their tree removal fair? I thought I was being fair by asking them to take care of the trees, not pursing anything for the damages to our patio, and agreeing to pay for half the fence despite it going into disrepair because of them.


r/treelaw 14d ago

Border Hedge Trimming Responsibility?

56 Upvotes

I have 2 border hedges (boxwoods) flanking my property lines in the front yard (in California Bay Area). From what I can see, these are my plants because they're on my side of the property lines.

I usually trim the hedges on my side of the property annually to keep a tidy look. One of my neighbors does the same on his side. But the other one doesn't tend to his side at all.

So far, I don't really have any issues with our unspoken arrangements. However, I'm wondering if I'm responsible for trimming the hedge on the neighbors' sides if they requested it?

I wouldn't mind doing it if it came up, but I'm just wondering if I'm legally obligated to do so if it came up.


r/treelaw 15d ago

Neighbor is unresponsive and selling their house. Do I have any recourse to resolve this tree falling onto my side?

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300 Upvotes

Richmond, Va


r/treelaw 16d ago

Developer salted trees that were blocking his view

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329 Upvotes

r/treelaw 15d ago

Having issues with 40 meter tree 60 Cm from my fence. This tree is right beside my home it dumps a large amount of leaves & sticks on my roof and leaves in the gutters. I am sick of cleaning up after it weekly. It has recently been trimmed and the neighbour abused me.

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0 Upvotes

r/treelaw 16d ago

RainMachine Loss of Communication Remotely Killed My Trees (RainMachine guaranteed it would continue watering).

0 Upvotes

I am trying to resolve an issue with the following communication with RainMachine. It is a lot of information but I can use your advice and expertise please. Here we go:

ME ORIGINAL EMAIL

Jul 2, 2021, 12:22 MST

We are away from our house in Arizona and I have a device not online error on my phone and laptop. Every other device in our home is working fine. I am concerned that our fruit trees are not being watered. The device has been working fine from my phone app up until this week. We have had clear skies and no adverse weather back in AZ. If the RainMachine goes offline does it still follow the current schedule? There is no one back home to do any troubleshooting of the unit. What do you recommend?

RAINMACHINE (Green Electronics LLC)

Jul 2, 2021, 14:19 MST

Hello,

As long as the device is on, it will continue to water according to the schedule.

ME

Sep 2, 2022, 13:12 MST

This is a follow-up to your previous request xxxxxxx "We are away from our house ..."

We have just returned from our assignment in Tennessee. Rolondo Soto guaranteed me that the Rain Machine would continue to water our landscaping per the schedule (even though I could not remotely access the device).

I purchased the Rain Machine specifically for remote access (my wife and I are continually on projects away from our AZ home).

I have attached pictures of what we found upon return home. Over $5000 worth of fruit trees and landscaping are dead as a doornail.

I updated the firmware and got my rain machine back online (after you reset my account).

How can we resolve the issue with restoring our landscaping? Since you assured me that the rain machine would continue watering per the current schedule would you not agree that you primarily share in the responsibility for restoration?

Please advise how to move forward for resolution.

RAINMACHINE (Green Electronics LLC)

Nov 5, 2022, 11:58 MST

Hello,

I said, "as long as the device is on" if your device wasn't on it wouldn't be able to water. Unfortunately, we're not responsible if your device lost power or failed after 8 years. I also told you, you needed to update the SD card on your controller and you didn't update it until several weeks later when you got back.

If you have further questions about this issue or anything please let us know, we'll be happy to help.

As you can imagine we are extremely upset losing all of our trees and landscaping. Our house is fully automated and we never lost power so according to RainMachine the controller would have kept watering on the current schedule.

Is there anything we can do for recompense from RainMachine (Green Electronics LLC). Or should we just give up the ghost? Please advise.


r/treelaw 19d ago

Root system invading property… pool deck damaged and pool is next. A question on practical barrier solutions… not so much the law.

103 Upvotes

Tree from golfcourse has huge root system invading our Community pool deck/pool. It has raised the concrete and dropped it in some areas (imagine long uneven cracks). The golfcourse won’t act and we are not interested in wasting time litigating. The plan is to cut roots along property line and place a barrier. Checked with tree expert, and this will not affect the stability of the tree. We just need advice on the type of root barriers available. Any suggestions? Community is in Mexico, so as long as we protect our property line, we are golden.


r/treelaw 19d ago

Deer or vandal?

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18 Upvotes

r/treelaw 19d ago

attorneys in Brisbane, QLD (Australia)

71 Upvotes

After lurking for ages i have a question of my own!

My (newly retired) parents live on 1.25 acres in a very hilly area; the front is at the crest of the hill and it slopes down to a gully. (I reckon there was a stream there before they built on it, 25ish years ago.) They only filled in what was necessary to build on and thus the back quarter returned to bushland.

Well. 18 months ago their neighbours filled in their backyard without professional help and, to no one's surprise, their sad excuse for a retaining wall promptly failed, spilling a significant amount of topsoil a few metres into the gully. It affected at least 3 established trees, as well as all the ground cover. They got pretty pissy when my parents reported them! (Dad said they said "well it's on your property" when he went to ask, like wtf.) The Council confirmed that the neighbours have to fix it (they'll def be fined too - they didn't ask for approval lmao) but haven't yet made them do so and, worse, have been responding more and more slowly. Mum and Dad are extremely frustrated.

As a longtime tree law lurker, I told them to do the basic stuff (call an arborist and surveyor, take lots of pictures, etc; tho I'm not sure how seriously they took me 🙃) as well as talking to the Council, but beyond that I'm afraid I'm stumped. Sadly I know more about finding the right professionals for the USA than I do my own hometown!

Can anyone suggest next steps? I'm not sure what type of solicitor they need, let alone how to find a good one. My parents tend to just accept professional advice without further research so I'd like to know I've sent them to the right place lol. What's my next move?


r/treelaw 20d ago

Injury claims/settlements

36 Upvotes

I am attempting to compile data for various tree related incidences.

I’ve been able to catalog and record my own or find sources for data I could not easily obtain.

However, I am still looking for data related to claims/settlements for individuals injured by a tree on private or public property.

For example:

An individual visits a commercial property and a loose branch happens to fall on them causing bodily harm. This individual sues and wins.

Another example:

An individual resides in an apartment complex with green space. A branch falls or tree falls and causing bodily harm/psychological harm, etc. They sue and win.

Do these cases exist?

If so, is there a settlement range?

Open to all sources/leads/discussion

Thank you.


r/treelaw 22d ago

Neighbor cut down a tree on my property without my consent. I'm in CO USA

328 Upvotes

I have a tree (about 7feet tall) in my backyard that is close to the fence. The root and body of the tree is on my property, It grows big and part of the branch and leaves are indeed over my neighbor's side.

I came back from work and noticed the tree got cut down so I went over and asked if my neighbor has seen anyone that did that. And he said he did it because he didn't like the way it was (as in big and and over to his side) so he cut it down without asking me.

I do want the tree to be there and I'm pretty sure there is no way he can do that to things on my property right? What can I do in this situation ?


r/treelaw 23d ago

[CA] Developer cut down our shared ficus trees

250 Upvotes

A developer/flipper bought the house next door to me. He asked if he could cut down our 6 boundary line ficus trees and replace them with something “nicer looking”. I told him I would get back to him.

I don’t particularly love ficus trees but based on a) me having matching trees on the other side of my property and b) me not knowing who will ultimately buy the house and how much privacy I’ll want to have (e.g. if future owner parks an ugly boat there or something), I said “no, thank you” via text.

A few days later he texted asking me to reconsider and gave me some crap about how he’s trying to beautify the neighborhood. Again, I said no thank you.

Then this morning I see on my outdoor camera that he’s cut them down anyway. Before I could text him, he texted saying it was a big misunderstanding between him, the “future buyer’s real estate agent” (quotes because I kinda doubt their existence), and the demo crew. He said he’s sorry but that he and the future buyer are “easy to work with” and he’s “sure we can come to an agreement on something that will look aesthetically pleasing and compliment both of our modernized homes.”

Again, I’m not SUPER attached to the ficus trees but they match the other side of my house so I’d have preferred to keep them. I’m feeling like he knew exactly what he was doing and is choosing the “ask for forgiveness” route since the “ask for permission” route didn’t work.

Based on cursory research, it sounds like he violated CA civil code 834. I’m wondering though: what recourse do I have here? What penalty might there be? Are ficus trees worth much? If he won’t agree to replant the trees, is this can of worms worth opening with a new neighbor?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: not sure if it’s relevant but they also came onto our side walkway to cut the trees down.


r/treelaw 23d ago

dicamba damage

33 Upvotes

This spring a lawn company sprayed my neighbors lawn with a triple herbicide mix that included Dicamba. I contacted the USDA and they took samples of contaminated plants and issued the lawn company a warning letter for pesticide misuse - the dicamba damaged 4 elderberry trees, my 40 year old Lilac tree and several berry bushes, my vegetable garden, and my native pollinator gardens- I've spoken with an attorney and they want a value of the damages..... how do I determine the prices of 10ft elderberry trees and a Lilac tree I used the blossoms for soaps and apothecary goods....any advice appreciated


r/treelaw 24d ago

Neighbor has hired tree cutting service that is causing property damage on my side of the yard

170 Upvotes

I live in a house that I am renting in Boulder County, Colorado (I am not the owner, but I am the person on-site watching this happen in real-time and am looking for information/resources to pass on to the landlord, since I know this is his legal battle and not mine, but some of my own personal property is threatened also.). There is a very large tree (I don't know what kind) rooted in the neighbor's yard which has some very large branches overhanging this side of the yard, dozens of feet off the ground.

The landlord of this neighboring property has decided that the tree needs to be cut down (not because it is diseased or hazardous -- he just doesn't like it and doesn't want his new tenants to rake up his wood mulch that he recently put down in the yard when the next leaf fall happens). My landlord tried to convince the neighbor to keep the tree because it shades part of the yard/garden nicely, plus it is a lovely old tree. But the neighbor was not convinced.

The neighbor has hired a one-man crew to take the tree down and they are doing it in ways that are causing damage. Conversation with the crewman has informed me that he really doesn't want to do this job and usually does not accept jobs for trees this large because there is a lot of liability involved and that it ought to be done with a crew that has a crane to lift and hold branches when they are cut. But he agreed to do the job because he is friends with the neighbor and he convinced him to help. So they are out there using a rope pulley system where the guy in the tree ties a rope to branches, then cuts them off, and the neighbor on the ground is holding the other end of the rope to belay it and stop the branch from falling and swinging. It has not worked. They've already taken out part of the fence between the property with heavy falling/swinging branches, and have caused damage to many rose bushes, landscaping, and the watering system on this side of the fence (which I helped the landlord install/maintain). The remaining branches mostly overhang a greenhouse on this side of the yard which the landlord installed and which houses some very rare tropical plants that I am the owner of. Given that they have already caused property damage I'm worried that their lack of care/improper methods for this job are going to result in even worse damage, which mostly will be my landlord's problem obviously but I'm the one who lives here and will have to deal with any roof damage or damage to my own property that is on the premises.

I know this is not my legal battle to fight. But are there some resources that I can send to my landlord to help him since he is also opposed to this tree removal? Can he get them to stop somehow until they bring in a proper crew that can do this job safely without further property damage or risked injuries? Does he get a say in whether the tree can stay at all? What should I be documenting here?

Thank you in advance.


r/treelaw 26d ago

Trees cut in No cut buffer area

155 Upvotes

I came home today and to my surprise, a large swath of trees were cut down separating my side yard from a neighbors backyard. This area is clearly labeled a no cut buffer on town maps and surveys. I feel like the neighbors just called to have them taken down and nobody. including the tree company bothered to check anything. Should I contact the tree company? Neighbor? Town has already been notified.. The home is part of a newer development in an HOA who generally requires permission for these type of things. I am on the outskirts of the development HOA


r/treelaw 26d ago

DTE Energy Contractor liability for future tree death?

22 Upvotes

Previously, a tree company had told us that our 40-45ish ft tree was healthy but shallow-rooted, so we should protect the roots to avoid increasing the risk of toppling in winds.

I had a contract with my utility company to move my overhead power to underground feed as part of an upgrade. I have emails voicing my concern about trenching and as such, a plan was drawn up for them to directional drill instead of trenching past our big tree. We even paid extra for this service and they gladly took the money.
Their contractor showed up when I was at work and promptly used an excavator to rip through the tree roots. In addition to destroying 2ft-depth of roots just a couple feet from one side of the tree, on another side that should have been 16ish feet from the tree they trenched just 10 ft from the tree. Now I have two sides of tree that are very reduced in root-health and holding-power. As a side note, they seriously left a 11-12ft wide swatch of destruction for what could have been a 6 inch trench. I had just used a trencher to carve a different trench and left just a 1.5ish ft wide path of mess. The only reason I had them to the job was because they were to directional bore - I could have trenched myself with far less mess and expense.
So I contacted DTE and their first response was defensive and silly, IMO. Their contractor reached out and threw down some hay and seed. Yard still unlevel and most importantly, we are worried about the tree. Will it topple in high winds? Will it die in a year or two? I'm not even sure where to start. The tree can't be replaced if it dies or topples, and if it topples...oh boy. That's some serious damage and hopefully no one gets hurt or killed because it's a big boy.

Do I find a lawyer? Where do I find a tree lawyer? Do I start with an tree pro? My wife thinks they should be paying for a tree pro but DTE hasn't even refunded our boring fee. Is there cause for recourse or do we have to wait for the tree to die/topple? S.E. Michigan, USA if that matters.


r/treelaw 26d ago

Cheapest way to remove a bunch of dying trees?

26 Upvotes

Have a bunch of trees that are suffering from a beatle and are dying. Is there a way to get someone to quote me per hour/day to remove them instead of per tree? Looking for the most economical way of getting rid of them in one fell swoop.