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<Terry Damsky>
posted
My neighbor's tree (I've been told it's a Royal Polonia)has been growing next to my building for many years. My building is on the National Register of Historic Buildings, so the tree is probably also over 100 years old. It's very large.

Anyway, I have now noticed there are sheer cracks both outside and inside my brick building, including interior wall damage in that area.

The tree needs to be removed, but I am very concerned about further damage to the building when the tree and stump is removed. There may already be foundation damage in that area.

Is the owner of the tree liable for current and/ or future damage to my building?

Are there any site of case law in this regard?
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by Terry Damsky, on October 07, 2002 at 09:36:55:

Does the property line pass through the trunk? If so, the tree is not his/hers but yours. Either way, any steps you may take that might damage the health of the tree may not be legal; depends on your local jurisdiction.

It sounds like the tree is also worthy of recognition and protection. Paulwnias grace the front lawn of the Bloedel Estate on the Olympic peninsula, the most beautiful landscape in North America.

If the tree is that old, it's not growing much bigger. The damage you see to your building is not likely to increase very much. In answer to yuir question, yes removing the tree may do more harm than good to your building. A solution should be worked toward that will preserve both historic entities, the tree and the building.
 
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<Lew Bloch>
posted
Reply to post by Terry Damsky, on October 07, 2002 at 09:36:55:

It is possible the tree is old, but maybe not. At any rate, you need a consulting arborist, a lawyer, and an architect to visit the site to answer the questions you posed.

Your neighbor MAY be responsible and I agree that the tree should come down. The damages will continue to worsen.

Lew
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by Lew Bloch, on October 07, 2002 at 09:36:55:

Lew, I agree that getting experts on site is the only way to answer all the questions.

I don't agree at this point the tree should come down; it has value to its owner(/s?) as the building has value to its owner. Both owners have a right to these values. Ways that both can coexist should first be explored. Even if George Washington slept in the building, its value is not the only consideration here.

If the building owner forced the issue and got a legal order that the tree should come down, the tree owner may be in her rights to pursue a claim for equivalent value--COC, $ or both--to compensate for that loss or taking.
 
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<Lew Bloch>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on October 08, 2002 at 17:52:59:

Huy Guy,

I would be willing to speculate that if your buiding was being destroyed by a neighbor (or jointly) owned tree that you would want it removed??? I would, no matter what species.

Lew
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by Lew Bloch, on October 11, 2002 at 08:40:48:

Well Lew, not necessarily. I've seen many buildings with wall/foundation issues associated with growing trees, and in many cases the owner decided to accomodate the tree.
As the original poster in this case supposed, removing the tree would remove support for the building and necessitate much higher repair costs to make the building stable again.

As it is now, cracks would get filled occasionally.

I would look at the prognosis for future damage by the tree and the value the tree delivered and decide on a case-by-case basis. Old buildings are made of mud-brick, sand-mortar, and wood, basically. What is so precious abpuit mud and sand that makes every building's integrity more important than every tree?
 
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<lewbloch>
posted
Reply to post by Guy, on October 11, 2002 at 17:58:14:

Well, Guy, at least we agree that we can disagree-----

Lew
 
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<Guy>
posted
Reply to post by lewbloch, on October 12, 2002 at 16:08:18:

Yes Lew, disagreement can be agreeable; it sure beats silence.
We were about to go into the territory of "who are we working for" that's been explored already. I don't expect everyone to agree with my belief that I am working for the trees first and clients second and client's property--such as buildings--a distant third.

It's be nice if more people did but that's OK. The converstaion was good, as far as it went. Wish we knew what the outcome will be of the Paulownia vs. the historical building.
 
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