I have a approx 150+ yo white oak tree and a black walnut which is in the corner of my back yard. the oak is 36 dbh and valued @ 20,000$, the walnut 3,000$. The neighbors wanted to put in a barn and cut the limbs that were hanging over the fence. A tree man came over to discuss it with me and the neighbor.there were two big limbs that she wanted to cut up against the tree (on my property) and I wasn't sure what else. She said her husband wanted it cut.The tree man said it might kill the tree and we wouldn't know it for ten years maybe. This was oct 31.I had to get plants in out of the cold so told lady I'd talk to her later. She calls later that night and I said I didn't want it cut due to the man saying it might kill the tree.But knowing they had a right to I sugested a certifed arborist cut it, which they did and did a beautiful job. The big limbs were still there and you could't tell it had been cut. Then the next week I came home from work and another company had cut the tree all up the side of it and topped the walnut which stands right beside of it.Both trees are on my property but I only had a fence on one corner of my property. I have been to mediation and the lady dosen't think she did anything wrong when she sent the second tree men around the fence, climbed my tree and damaged them, so shes not giving me a cent.It was estimated 3,000 damage to the white oak and 500$to the walnut.In nc it is double damages.I did learn the second tree cutters id in mediation and a letter was sent saying I was going to sue. It has been a education reseaching the matter. First spoke with the oldest arborist in the county who said to get the biggest white oak replacement price and the cost of installation and sue for that.Also to take it to small clims court which is 4000$ here in nc.So I'm looking on the net for big trees and I come up with an arborist in nj.He happens to be a lawyer and says do not settle for small claims but get a lawyer,consulting arborist for the price of damages and sue for that.So here I am.Today got the papers together and have been reading the forum for months (thanks for all the info, I couldn't have done without all the help) I've got lew's book and Victor's on the way. I read something about a case in ca when to person cutting the tree was just unreasonable? patel? So if anybody knows anything to help it would be greatly appreciated. I have forgiven the neighbors but am just curious now.
The advice to pursue the case depends on several things, including what a local lawyer advises. He will be best versed in discussing local and state laws that will pertain to this case. The issue to pursue is tresspass. The neighbor and the second tree company are both at fault, one for giving instructions to to trespass, the other for actually doing it. Giving permission for a specific purpose (the first arborist) is not the same as giving blanket permission to go onto your property.
Using a consulting arborist is a very good idea, so that you get a good appraisal of the value of the trees, and will be able to discuss the level of damage to the trees. Check with your l ocal lawyer, but I think your expenses are also covered, if you prevail in court.
Russ Carlson, RCA
Thanks Russ, I was hoping the Boosska v Patel case would help. Not everything can happen in NC.I said the damages to the white oak was 3000 but it was 6000. I wouldn't have a case without the trespass. I am going to ask for lawyers fees.I feel if this is my only recourse and I didn't start this thing it is only fair,but it isn't set up that way. It will probably be a couple of mo. befor we go to court. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again, nancxy
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