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gianmarco

Neighbor cut down our tree

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Ugh...

We just recently moved into a new home a little over a month ago.  Part of the draw of the house was the landscaping and multiple trees on the property.  It's a 1 acre lot.

The house next door was recently bought by someone (a VP of a construction company) and he tore down the previous home and is building a new home.  We weren't even aware of this until we returned from vacation a little over a week ago.  Apparently while we were gone, he knocked on our door a few times to talk and introduce himself but we never got to meet.  End of last week, I found a business card on our door introducing himself and to call so we can talk and meet.  We spoke on Thursday evening and he explained he was planning on taking some trees down with one of them being on the property line and wanted to discuss.  I said sure and he said he'd be by sometime in the beginning of next week (this week) so we can talk.

Yesterday afternoon, my wife calls me from the other room that trees are coming down next door.  I go outside and one of the large 40-50 ft hickory trees between our properties is about to come down.  Our survey stakes are still up and I'm looking and it looks like it's at least on the property line if not our tree outright.  At this point, the tree comes down but I told the 2 workers there that they needed to stop taking anything else down even remotely near that area.  It's 5pm and they were pretty much done anyway.  I call the new owner and finally hear from him last evening and decide to meet this morning.

He comes this morning at 8am and he's just shaking his head.  That tree was the one he wanted to discuss with me as he knew it was likely on the property line which makes it both of ours.  The tree cutters yesterday were supposed to be working on the other side of the lot.  He admits that this was a mistake as we're both looking at this large stump. 

He plans on getting a survey out here to determine where this tree stump lie.  However, I'm pretty sure (and I think he is too), that it's at least partially over the line if not completely making it our tree.

I don't know even know what's next.  I did some brief reading and it seems in Missouri that if a neighbor cuts down a tree of yours, they can be liable for 3x the amount.  But how do you assign a value to a 40-50 ft mature hickory tree that's probably at least 50 years old?  How do I even begin to address this issue if it's determined it was our tree.

I'd rather not even begin to get a lawyer involved and hope that we'll be able to settle this between us, but given the likely amount we are talking about, I don't know if that's going to happen.  My wife is pissed.  I am too.  The new owner was pretty apologetic and it seems it was a mistake more than anything else, but wtf.....

Open to any ideas, thoughts, shtick......

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Tell him you want the wood so you can make a bat with a lathe to smack him over the head with.

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Oh, and save the rest of the wood for me for my smoker. Thanks in advance. :thumbup:

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tree cutting company should have insurance..  if it was their fault, they should be responsible

 

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if it's a 1 acre lot are you really going to miss a single tree that's on/very near the property line?

seems like much ado about nothing.  unfortunate that the tree crew botched it but.... :shrug:

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5 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Ugh...

We just recently moved into a new home a little over a month ago.  Part of the draw of the house was the landscaping and multiple trees on the property.  It's a 1 acre lot.

The house next door was recently bought by someone (a VP of a construction company) and he tore down the previous home and is building a new home.  We weren't even aware of this until we returned from vacation a little over a week ago.  Apparently while we were gone, he knocked on our door a few times to talk and introduce himself but we never got to meet.  End of last week, I found a business card on our door introducing himself and to call so we can talk and meet.  We spoke on Thursday evening and he explained he was planning on taking some trees down with one of them being on the property line and wanted to discuss.  I said sure and he said he'd be by sometime in the beginning of next week (this week) so we can talk.

Yesterday afternoon, my wife calls me from the other room that trees are coming down next door.  I go outside and one of the large 40-50 ft hickory trees between our properties is about to come down.  Our survey stakes are still up and I'm looking and it looks like it's at least on the property line if not our tree outright.  At this point, the tree comes down but I told the 2 workers there that they needed to stop taking anything else down even remotely near that area.  It's 5pm and they were pretty much done anyway.  I call the new owner and finally hear from him last evening and decide to meet this morning.

He comes this morning at 8am and he's just shaking his head.  That tree was the one he wanted to discuss with me as he knew it was likely on the property line which makes it both of ours.  The tree cutters yesterday were supposed to be working on the other side of the lot.  He admits that this was a mistake as we're both looking at this large stump. 

He plans on getting a survey out here to determine where this tree stump lie.  However, I'm pretty sure (and I think he is too), that it's at least partially over the line if not completely making it our tree.

I don't know even know what's next.  I did some brief reading and it seems in Missouri that if a neighbor cuts down a tree of yours, they can be liable for 3x the amount.  But how do you assign a value to a 40-50 ft mature hickory tree that's probably at least 50 years old?  How do I even begin to address this issue if it's determined it was our tree.

I'd rather not even begin to get a lawyer involved and hope that we'll be able to settle this between us, but given the likely amount we are talking about, I don't know if that's going to happen.  My wife is pissed.  I am too.  The new owner was pretty apologetic and it seems it was a mistake more than anything else, but wtf.....

Open to any ideas, thoughts, shtick......

So your new neighbor attempted multiple times to contact you, was apologetic about a mistake, and you're thinking of putting the screws to him for 3x the value of the tree.  Don't get me wrong, I understand why you're upset, I would be too.  But this seems like a poor way to start a relationship with your new neighbor.  Did you guys even talk about potential compensation yet?

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Classic case of “have sex with his wife” here

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1 minute ago, Dan Lambskin said:

Classic case of “have sex with his wife” here

Really lay the wood to her, too.

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Goalpost time

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9 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

So your new neighbor attempted multiple times to contact you, was apologetic about a mistake, and you're thinking of putting the screws to him for 3x the value of the tree.  Don't get me wrong, I understand why you're upset, I would be too.  But this seems like a poor way to start a relationship with your new neighbor.  Did you guys even talk about potential compensation yet?

Did not discuss any potential compensation yet.  He wanted to get a survey to see where the tree lies which I completely agree with.  I didn't say I'm putting the screws to him at all.  I simply said I was trying to read about our area and what happens if someone takes down a tree of yours and that's what I read. 

At the same time, I get being apologetic, but you also have to be responsible.  As a new neighbor, just coming in and taking down trees before we even got a chance to meet up as we discussed isn't the best way to start on his end.  And we're not talking about a small tree here.  You can't just replace a 50 ft tree.

I haven't done anything with him yet or asked for anything.  That's why I'm starting here to get some ideas.  I was pretty calm talking to him this morning, listened to him, and said to let me know what he finds out with the survey and then we can talk.  Not sure how else I could have handled it at this point. :shrug:

Edited by gianmarco
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7 minutes ago, Parrothead said:

tree cutting company should have insurance..  if it was their fault, they should be responsible

I could see trying to get something from the tree company, if you really want. Otherwise, I doubt it would really be worth it to get a few bucks at the risk of making an enemy of a new neighbor, is it?

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I'm sort of on the side of letting it go in hopes to have a good relationship with new neighbor.  That said, he may offer something else to try to make up for the mistake.  He's the VP of a construction company?  Bathroom/kitchen remodel, new workshop/shed in yard.  Maybe something like that could make everyone happy.  

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5 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Did not discuss any potential compensation yet.  He wanted to get a survey to see where the tree lies which I completely agree with.  I didn't say I'm putting the screws to him at all.  I simply said I was trying to read about our area and what happens if someone takes down a tree of yours and that's what I read. 

At the same time, I get being apologetic, but you also have to be responsible.  As a new neighbor, just coming in and taking down trees before we even got a chance to meet up as we discussed isn't the best way to start on his end.  And we're not talking about a small tree here.  You can't just replace a 50 ft tree.

How much did that tree mean to you when purchasing the house?

What do you think is fair compensation for cutting it down?

What if he offers to transplant another?

 

Edited by belljr
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2 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Did not discuss any potential compensation yet.  He wanted to get a survey to see where the tree lies which I completely agree with.  I didn't say I'm putting the screws to him at all.  I simply said I was trying to read about our area and what happens if someone takes down a tree of yours and that's what I read. 

At the same time, I get being apologetic, but you also have to be responsible.  As a new neighbor, just coming in and taking down trees before we even got a chance to meet up as we discussed isn't the best way to start on his end.  And we're not talking about a small tree here.  You can't just replace a 50 ft tree.

What are you expecting to get out of it? That's the real question. Based on your description, it sounds like an honest mistake was made, possibly by the tree company more than your neighbor. It sounds like you have an apology in hand. What else do you want/need to "make things right" that is going to be worth whatever other trouble you potentially stir up?

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I’d let it go, was a mistake. It’s a tree, big deal. But I’m not looking to sue people over everything that happens in my life.

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Sounds like the guy knows he screwed up or his guys did. Let him offer something and go with it. If you plan on being there a while, your relationship is more important. 

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This was about 1000x more civil and reasonable than I expected when I saw the title. If it's truly your tree and you really care, asking him to have the company's insurance contact you for some kind of reimbursement is fine. Beyond that, I think this played out about as well as can be expected. Mistakes happen.

I thought this was going to end with the guy handing you a bill for your share of that removal since he was trying to talk to you about it first. 

Just realize there are plenty of people out there who would have done exactly that and be grateful you're not in that kind of situation with a neighbor.

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There are two parties involved here. One of the two parties is behaving reasonably, the other is being a bit irrational. 
 

I leave it to you to determine which is which 

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Am I the only one who thinks the neighbor is full of crap about telling the tree guys not to cut that down?  I'm guessing he thought it would be easier to claim it was an accident then go through the hassle of having to deal with if it could or could not be cut down.  

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9 minutes ago, RUSF18 said:

This was about 1000x more civil and reasonable than I expected when I saw the title. If it's truly your tree and you really care, asking him to have the company's insurance contact you for some kind of reimbursement is fine. Beyond that, I think this played out about as well as can be expected. Mistakes happen.

I thought this was going to end with the guy handing you a bill for your share of that removal since he was trying to talk to you about it first. 

Just realize there are plenty of people out there who would have done exactly that and be grateful you're not in that kind of situation with a neighbor.

I'd imagine he's still going to try to tell gianmarco that he owes half for the stump removal.

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For those of you saying, well, it's just a tree... come on.

A 50 year old tree is no joke. I'd be pissed as hell if my neighbor accidentally cut down my 50 foot oak tree that has been there since 1967.

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I think going to lawyers is jumping the gun, but I would see what they offer.  I think that can be consistent with starting a good relationship with a neighbor. It was the neighbor's fault, as he is the one who hired the tree company.  I don't think the victim should be the one with the onus to fix the grudge.

One of my neighbors hit the mirror on the side of my car not too long ago and was apologetic about it, but, yeah, I still took their money to fix it.

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7 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Am I the only one who thinks the neighbor is full of crap about telling the tree guys not to cut that down?  I'm guessing he thought it would be easier to claim it was an accident then go through the hassle of having to deal with if it could or could not be cut down.  

is his neighbor Dan Snyder?

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6 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Am I the only one who thinks the neighbor is full of crap about telling the tree guys not to cut that down?  I'm guessing he thought it would be easier to claim it was an accident then go through the hassle of having to deal with if it could or could not be cut down.  

Exactly what I was going to post. The tree cutting service insurance won’t be relevant since it’s very obvious he told them to cut it down. 

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37 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

So your new neighbor attempted multiple times to contact you, was apologetic about a mistake, and you're thinking of putting the screws to him for 3x the value of the tree.  Don't get me wrong, I understand why you're upset, I would be too.  But this seems like a poor way to start a relationship with your new neighbor.  Did you guys even talk about potential compensation yet?

 

Hey man, he didn't just cut down a tree. He committed arborcide. 

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That would really piss me off but the tree is now gone so lets work on getting a resolution that you are happy with.    The tree company needs to grind the stump down and then replace the tree with another tree of your choosing.   Find the biggest fast growing tree at a local nursery that you can and have them plant it.

Other choice is that you be compensated monetarily.

 

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If only you could throw some shade his way.

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3 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

For those of you saying, well, it's just a tree... come on.

A 50 year old tree is no joke. I'd be pissed as hell if my neighbor accidentally cut down my 50 foot oak tree that has been there since 1967.

It's just a tree. It's gone. Not like they can put it back. What are you going to do? 

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40 minutes ago, OrtonToOlsen said:

Tree Law is serious business.  Seriously.  Your neighbor could owe you a good chunk of change. 

 

This. Mature trees have a surprising amount of value. You can get a pretty big payout if you talk to a lawyer. I can guarantee your neighbor will massively low-ball you on a price if you do it without one. 

Also, this is a common occurrence, I am sure you can find someone knowledgeable about this kind of stuff.

Edited by huthut
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6 minutes ago, The Iguana said:

It's just a tree. It's gone. Not like they can put it back. What are you going to do? 

Get money and plant birches.

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10 minutes ago, Dan Lambskin said:

I’m stumped on what kind of advice to offer 

Go out on a limb and try anyhow.  Get to the root of the problem if you can.

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22 minutes ago, TheIronSheik said:

Am I the only one who thinks the neighbor is full of crap about telling the tree guys not to cut that down?  I'm guessing he thought it would be easier to claim it was an accident then go through the hassle of having to deal with if it could or could not be cut down.  

yup.  I know you can get some idiots at these contractors, but I'd be surprised if the company was going to cut down a 50 foot tree without some verification (spray paint, etc).  Well, mildly surprised at least.  It's a lot of work for them.  

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4 minutes ago, Ditkaless Wonders said:

Go out on a limb and try anyhow.  Get to the root of the problem if you can.

I’ll have to branch out in my research 

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Don’t go out of your way to screw this guy, but don’t leave what’s owed to you on the table just to preserve neighborly relations. 

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Just went out to take some pictures and look at this whole thing again.  Trunk is ~2 feet in diameter and this tree is closer to 70-80 feet in height.  Easily 50+ years old. 

This tree was right next to the front corner of our house ~ 20 feet away.  This wasn't some tree just sitting off to the side in a non noticeable area. 

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2 minutes ago, Dan Lambskin said:

I’ll have to branch out in my research 

Wood you really?

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Probably too much, sorry)

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If he works in construction I'd make it give you a free bathroom remodel or something. Pretty lame as money can't really replace 50 years of tree growth. There was something similar in Denver recently where construction next door dug up a bunch of tree roots and killed the tree. 

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45 minutes ago, belljr said:

How much did that tree mean to you when purchasing the house?

What do you think is fair compensation for cutting it down?

What if he offers to transplant another?

 

1)  A good bit, honestly.

2)  No idea

3)  I think that's very reasonable.  Just not sure what kind of comparable tree can accomplish that but certainly open to it.

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You need to sap his courage, really knot him up with all your demands.

Edited by The Z Machine
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