Neighbor cuts down my tree!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DennisHP, Jan 10, 2002.

  1. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just arrived home to find my neighbor has cut down one of MY trees on the corner of MY lot! It was a tree that had 3 main trunks and was 30 feet tall; an ash I believe. We had spoken a few weeks ago for the first time (he moved in this past spring but I make it a rule to not get too friendly with the neighbors) and I gave him permission to cut one trunk that was slightly leaning into his property and he does this!

    It pisses me off not only because I like trees and have quite a few on my 1/3 acre, but because he's taken advantage of me; I mean, you can't put the tree back up can you? I've watched him cut down about every tree on his property since he's moved in; a real nice large walnut, a maple and a few large shrub/small trees.

    He's not home and I wrote and left a message stating we needed to talk about it. Does anyone know the laws about this type of thing? Anyone been thru this before?
     
  2. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think if you call some of the more militant tree-huggers and spotted owl supporters they will have him strung up in no time flat...

    Like in Snatch except starved termites instead of flesh-eating pigs...
     
  3. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2000
    Messages:
    2,369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did you sign some neighborhood contract or something stating that only a certain amount of trees can be removed from your property? If so see if he broke it then turn him in. Might make you feel better.
     
  4. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    1
    Please don't think I'm making light of this ( I consider the term tree hugger to be a compliment) but, what did he do with the wood?

    Ash is very desireable in the fireplace and there's absolutley NO reason he should be warming his house with your tree.

    Jim
     
  5. Hugh M

    Hugh M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    324
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd be ticked off too. just trying to lighten you up a bit...

    I hate it when people do stuff because they know the situation has very little possibility of being reversed.
     
  6. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    MikeAlleto, There are no restriction on cutting down you own trees but I would think it illegal to cut down your neighbors.

    Jim, The wood is piled up neatly on his property but if he thinks by giving me the wood it will clear this up he's mistaken.
     
  7. MikeF

    MikeF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have to chuckle because this is akin to a case I studied in my first year of law school. We all laughed at the time because "tree trespass" didn't seem that common.

    I can't give you legal advice in respect of your particular incident, but I can state some legal principles generally.

    If X comes on to Y's land to cut down a tree (or do anything else) without Y's consent, an action against X lies in trespass to land. Insofar as a tree is realty (as opposed to personalty) and thus part of the land, however, Y must have consented not only to X being on the land but X cutting down the tree in question for a defence of consent to succeed.

    If it's relevant, I could also tell you about what happens if X cuts down a tree owned by Y that overhangs onto X's land without actually going onto X's property (though that's unlikely if the tree is actually on the property of Y).
     
  8. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    MikeF, Anything come to mind about "partial consent"? I did say he could cut down a portion of the tree but not all of it. I hope to talk to the guy soon but will probably consent a small claims lawyer tomorrow to see what my rights are.
     
  9. DavidY

    DavidY Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 1999
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dennis,

    Before you do anything, make sure that the tree in question is definately on YOUR property. Don't use fences (except undisturbed iron property pins or other markers that are typically used in your state) to determine property lines...fences could have been improperly aligned and installed. If in doubt, you may need to hire a legal land surveyor to locate and confirm the property lines.

    Dave
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd sue his ass off. Why the f&*k do people buy property with trees all over them and then cut them down? My last house was beautifully nestled in a bunch of trees, including some 70' cedars which were part of a cluster. The new owners clear cut the entire property. WTF! I have not seen the result as it would make me sick.
    There should be legal recourse. Maybe a $80,000 fine would smarten the guy up. Pain and suffering and all. That would be devastating to me, I'd be furious. What am I talking about, it isn't even my tree and I'm fuming! [​IMG]
     
  11. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2000
    Messages:
    2,049
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Real Name:
    CJ Paul
    If you do find out for sure that he screwed you and the tree was definately on your side, go over to his yard some night and write foul words in his grass with motor oil. The grass wont grow back where you pour the oil for years. [​IMG]
     
  12. DennisHP

    DennisHP Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    0
    DavidY, The tree is/WAS definately on my property. It sat near the SE corner of the place next to the curbed street and in the street is a property pin that lines up perfectly with my sideyard fence. Lining up the pin and the fence, it's pretty easy to see it's mine.

    Jeff, that's my first thought too but I feel like I should at least talk to the guy before I decide anything. This kind of tree is very abundant here in Oregon and probably not worth a whole lot by itself. But I believe it added value to the property.

    Charles, funny you should mention that cause that's what my dad said. I understand the guy is a coach/PE teacher at the local high school and a few weeks back someone, probably his students, toilet papered his house and the only tree left on his lot!
     
  13. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1998
    Messages:
    5,584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, not only was he trespassing, but he also commited an act of vandalism, and if the wood is on his property, theft! Calling in law enforcement should not be out of the question. Pruning branches on his side of the property line is one thing, taking out the whole tree is another. You might want to consider asking him to replace it with another of equal size. That would set him back a fair penny and he'd have little to argue about.
     
  14. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
    in the meantime I would call the police and file a report.

    I don't know if there's any kind of time limit, but I'd get it done just in case you need it later.

    out of curiousity what part of PDX do you live?
     
  15. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2000
    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Real Name:
    Henry Carmona
    OMG! I would be furious!!
    Get a lawyer fast, and dont let this doods stupidness deter you if indeed he made a mistake.
    Trees definitely increase property value and depending on how old and large this tree was not only determines its worth, but your properties worth.
    You could say that you LOVE trees and claim some emotional attachment to the tree if you wanted also [​IMG]
    Seriously, if he doest fess up, this is ultimately your word agains his. Hopefully things will go your way and you can get a new tree. Insist on him paying for someone to come plant one of the same size also.
     
  16. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,030
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  17. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2000
    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Real Name:
    Henry Carmona
    No, i understand.
    What i mean is he could say you told him it was ok to cut the whole tree down.
    You should get a close up pic of the wood stacked up also, without trespassing [​IMG]
    Use a telephoto lens [​IMG]
     
  18. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    0
    People are evil. [​IMG] Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let the proper people know what has happened.
    Jon
     
  19. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,481
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally I hate the law, so I would do the childish thing and go pour Gasoline all over his front law, takes forever to grow back. 24hrs and you should see a difference.[​IMG]
     
  20. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,609
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would consult a lawyer immediately and take pictures, but in the reality of the situation, the tree is now gone.... He should pay for stump removal and the re-planting of another tree, but it doesn't sound like you will be able to get anything that mature.
    Also consider any type of future relationship with this family when pursuing punitive action. While you obviously won't be poker buddies, you still live next door and will have some sort of "relationship" in the future. If you two are at each other's throats with lawsuits, things can get very ugly very quickly. I'm the HOA pres in my community and people are idiots over nothing, much less trees being taken. Can't wait to get out of this position since it has affected my judgement on mankind. If the second-coming ever does occur, my input will be "kill them all" (but not me !!! [​IMG] )
    Is it possible he misunderstood your "only 1 trunk permission" ? That's the defense he'll probably use.
    In my first house, we had a row of cypress trees next to our house on the property line. I honestly thought they were on my property and the one closest to the street was dieing. I got out my saw one Saturday and started to hack through it when my neighbor starts running out...slightly upset. Fortunately he was a good natured guy and I explained we intended on planting another. However, he had just put some sort of bugjuice on it and hoped it would recover. Luckily I hadn't gotten too far into the trunk. The tree lived to see a few more years (at least until we moved...).
    I'm sure that old neighbor still loves me ! ;-)
    Good Luck and try to stay calm - you're in for some tough times.
     

Share This Page