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gianmarco

Neighbor cut down our tree

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On 10/22/2019 at 8:57 AM, gianmarco said:

Not much happening. Met with him briefly as he wanted to discuss cutting back some of the brush/foliage toward the back. He's going to do what he can to preserve what's on our side.

As for the tree, he's going to look into some replacements by talking to his landscaper and will get back to us by the end of the week. That's when we get to see where he is with this.

He at least seems to understand that he can't come in and just start doing what he wants along the property line. And at the same time, I'm ok with him trying to accomplish what he needs to get what he wants in his side within reason. 

I think we will get there. Conversations have been quite cordial so I'm confident this will get resolved between us.

I'd be taking pictures/video of your land, trees, landscaping, whatever, because any of those out of place... that is your neighbors ### on a platter. No way he has any right to touch any of your foliage or redirecting anything that may damage your area. Maybe you're playing nice on the internet and you're different in person but if you are playing nice in person... he's going to walk all over you. His defense in court will be, "you gave verbal permission and/or didn't object." I'd be much more wise as to what he plans on doing.

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:acorns: 

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Just now, Hawks64 said:

:crickets:

Ha, nice timing, "neighbor".

Just got an email from him.  I'll be reviewing with the wife later this evening, but he proposed to put up 2 trees in that spot.  He gave me an option of 5 different trees, but all of them would be 3" caliper and about 15' tall.  For example, one of them is an autumn blaze maple.

I just looked up the price of a 3" caliper autumn blaze maple:  $255.

Yeah, I think we're a bit off here.  I'll update later on when we decide what we're coming back with.

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Email we just sent to him:

 

Dear XXXXX,

Those trees do not work for us.

XXXXX company has Norway Spruce trees that are 9.5 inch caliper and 25-30 feet tall. Planting TWO of these trees is appropriate. XXXXX informed us that these need to be planted in the spring.

Let us know how to proceed by the end of the week, please.  Thank you.

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18 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Email we just sent to him:

 

Dear XXXXX,

Those trees do not work for us.

XXXXX company has Norway Spruce trees that are 9.5 inch caliper and 25-30 feet tall. Planting TWO of these trees is appropriate. XXXXX informed us that these need to be planted in the spring.

Let us know how to proceed by the end of the week, please.  Thank you.

price for 9.5 trees?

 

and you know he's getting those little trees, for free, from some job site.

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3 minutes ago, DA RAIDERS said:

price for 9.5 trees?

 

and you know he's getting those little trees, for free, from some job site.

$4750/tree (includes planting).

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15 minutes ago, DA RAIDERS said:

price for 9.5 trees?

 

and you know he's getting those little trees, for free, from some job site.

Even if not free, he's getting them for under $500 total for sure.  

He's not even close with his offer but wanted to see where he wanted to start. What aggravates me the most about it isn't the dollar amount. It's that 6" caliper versions of the trees he proposed are readily available in multiple nurseries (~$1,000/each). He opted to propose one of the smaller trees available instead. While still low, THAT would have been a reasonable starting point (6", I mean) for him that wouldn't be as insulting.

Assuming he balks at my email, my next response won't be as nice.  I also found out I can and should file a police report if we can't get this settled. That will likely be my next step if need be depending on his response. 

Edited by gianmarco
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Thanks for keeping up with the updates. 

:blackdot:

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2 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Email we just sent to him:

 

Dear XXXXX,

Those trees do not work for us.

XXXXX company has Norway Spruce trees that are 9.5 inch caliper and 25-30 feet tall. Planting TWO of these trees is appropriate. XXXXX informed us that these need to be planted in the spring.

Let us know how to proceed by the end of the week, please.  Thank you.

He should take it... he'd be getting off easy... $10k for his intentional action is a bargain.

Financially I doubt he'll worry much about that amount... but it will be interesting to see if he decides to fight it since quite likely that's his personality type.

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29 minutes ago, NotSmart said:

He should take it... he'd be getting off easy... $10k for his intentional action is a bargain.

Financially I doubt he'll worry much about that amount... but it will be interesting to see if he decides to fight it since quite likely that's his personality type.

Agreed.

My next response to him will likely include letting him know I'm aware he was told ahead of time the tree was not likely his (i.e. not buying his mistake story), the fact that he's on the hook for 3x the amount + expenses, and that I'll be filing a police report for criminal trespass. 

One would think if we get there that it will change his tune, but I'm not even hopeful there. I'd like to not have to go there, but based on his initial offer, I'm thinking the chances aren't insignificant.

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40 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Agreed.

My next response to him will likely include letting him know I'm aware he was told ahead of time the tree was not likely his (i.e. not buying his mistake story), the fact that he's on the hook for 3x the amount + expenses, and that I'll be filing a police report for criminal trespass. 

One would think if we get there that it will change his tune, but I'm not even hopeful there. I'd like to not have to go there, but based on his initial offer, I'm thinking the chances aren't insignificant.

Before you email him this, you should file a police report anyway. You have to be a couple of steps ahead of him. If you aren't, he has the upper hand.

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44 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Agreed.

My next response to him will likely include letting him know I'm aware he was told ahead of time the tree was not likely his (i.e. not buying his mistake story), the fact that he's on the hook for 3x the amount + expenses, and that I'll be filing a police report for criminal trespass. 

One would think if we get there that it will change his tune, but I'm not even hopeful there. I'd like to not have to go there, but based on his initial offer, I'm thinking the chances aren't insignificant.

You've been amazingly patient and composed throughout this process. If he doesn't take your counter offer and run, I'd definitely drop the hammer.

The only issue is waiting until the spring to get the trees planted. Who knows what he'll try in the meantime?

Is there any downside to filing a police report now?

ETA I see Mario Kart beat me to it.

Edited by Terminalxylem

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20 minutes ago, Terminalxylem said:

Is there any downside to filing a police report now?

 

They are neighbors, and likely will be for a long time.  Filing a police report creates a public record. I’m not sure whether you can unring that bell if you want to.  He’s not doing anything until spring anyway. No reason to go nuclear at this point and take steps that can’t be taken back. It’s a negotiation. He started low, @gianmarco should start high, but not crazy high. Leave yourself some room to back down, let him save face, and still get an acceptable result.  Slow and steady wins this race. 
 

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3 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Even if not free, he's getting them for under $500 total for sure.  

He's not even close with his offer but wanted to see where he wanted to start. What aggravates me the most about it isn't the dollar amount. It's that 6" caliper versions of the trees he proposed are readily available in multiple nurseries (~$1,000/each). He opted to propose one of the smaller trees available instead. While still low, THAT would have been a reasonable starting point (6", I mean) for him that wouldn't be as insulting.

Assuming he balks at my email, my next response won't be as nice.  I also found out I can and should file a police report if we can't get this settled. That will likely be my next step if need be depending on his response. 

Do you own the whole hickory tree or only half of it?

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21 minutes ago, culdeus said:

Why the police report?

To have an official record of the damage, in the event the neighbor tries to weasel out of appropriate payment and legal action is required.

I understand not wanting to escalate the situation (initially wanted to turn the other cheek), but at this point the neighbor has proven untrustworthy and seems to be slow-playing his offer to make things right. Moreover, I don't think good neighborly relations are going to be preserved regardless.

 

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3 hours ago, NotSmart said:

He should take it... he'd be getting off easy... $10k for his intentional action is a bargain.

Financially I doubt he'll worry much about that amount... but it will be interesting to see if he decides to fight it since quite likely that's his personality type.

10k is getting off easy? You can buy a lot of cool stuff with 10k(a lot cooler stuff than tree anyways).  even if you have money he will not want give that much up for a tree (not saying he shouldn’t have too but it’s still a lot).   It will go to court before that happens imo.  
 

Edited by mozzy84

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7 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

They are neighbors, and likely will be for a long time.  Filing a police report creates a public record. I’m not sure whether you can unring that bell if you want to.  He’s not doing anything until spring anyway. No reason to go nuclear at this point and take steps that can’t be taken back. It’s a negotiation. He started low, @gianmarco should start high, but not crazy high. Leave yourself some room to back down, let him save face, and still get an acceptable result.  Slow and steady wins this race. 
 

Correct. And the police report gets forwarded to a prosecutor. No interest in going there if he makes this right.

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6 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

Gian you were so chill in Lisbon. What the heck is going is going on out there? 

Thanks, GB. I am chill all the time.

I've never gone through something like this. Never had an issue with a neighbor in my life. Never filed a lawsuit or a police report. 

But just because I'm chill and never done those things doesn't mean this guy is going to do what he did here and not make it right for us. It sucks and I wish it never happened but we'll get there one way or another, I'm hoping.

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Anyone else think it's odd for two neighbors to be negotiating via email?

 

You say next step is to file a police report and start accusing him of devious behavior.  That's one move - for sure.  Another might be, "John, why don't we meet tomorrow night to go look at the area and talk face to face, see if we can come to an agreement."

As Cletius says above, you guys are neighbors, like it or not.  Talk to him and work things out.  Once again, you can always defer to a third party authority ("John, the law is clear on this..." / "John, the last thing I want to do is get lawyers involved in this.  What I am asking for is reasonable and there are plenty of examples where this happened before...").  Don't make this about him or you - defer to third party standards.

 

Good luck

 

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I love this.  He knew exactly what he was doing and got caught at his own game.  I'd put the screws to this scumbag.  He has got to be losing his mind with regret at this point.

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5 minutes ago, wilked said:

Anyone else think it's odd for two neighbors to be negotiating via email?

 

You say next step is to file a police report and start accusing him of devious behavior.  That's one move - for sure.  Another might be, "John, why don't we meet tomorrow night to go look at the area and talk face to face, see if we can come to an agreement."

As Cletius says above, you guys are neighbors, like it or not.  Talk to him and work things out.  Once again, you can always defer to a third party authority ("John, the law is clear on this..." / "John, the last thing I want to do is get lawyers involved in this.  What I am asking for is reasonable and there are plenty of examples where this happened before...").  Don't make this about him or you - defer to third party standards.

 

Good luck

 

If he apologized and admitted what he did..  Then sure.  As long as he continues to try to weasel off the hook with little repercussion then Hell no.

Edited by Grahamburn

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1 hour ago, wilked said:

Anyone else think it's odd for two neighbors to be negotiating via email?

 

You say next step is to file a police report and start accusing him of devious behavior.  That's one move - for sure.  Another might be, "John, why don't we meet tomorrow night to go look at the area and talk face to face, see if we can come to an agreement."

As Cletius says above, you guys are neighbors, like it or not.  Talk to him and work things out.  Once again, you can always defer to a third party authority ("John, the law is clear on this..." / "John, the last thing I want to do is get lawyers involved in this.  What I am asking for is reasonable and there are plenty of examples where this happened before...").  Don't make this about him or you - defer to third party standards.

 

Good luck

 

That was the first email communication. We've met in person every other time or spoke/texted on the phone.

He asked for my email yesterday so he could send the proposal with tree description and pictures. I responded to him last night via email after seeing his pretty ridiculous offer to "make it right". If he had sent something more reasonable, I likely call him to discuss. Not sure what's odd about that.

With that offer, I don't think it's likely that a conversation was going to go well asking what we asked. So that was the best way. I've met face to face on 4 occasions now, shook his hand each time, spoke pleasantly, and let him say what he had to say. What I've posted here from my end and what information I've gathered in the meantime is not how my interactions with him have gone. Yet.

ETA -- Also, you realize even though he's my "neighbor", he doesn't live there yet. There's no home there, just an empty lot. I can't pop over there and just chat. So now that we've met at the spot a few times, there's not much other reason for him to come over to discuss face to face. I'm expecting the rest will be by email or phone. 

Edited by gianmarco
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8 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

They are neighbors, and likely will be for a long time.  Filing a police report creates a public record. I’m not sure whether you can unring that bell if you want to.  He’s not doing anything until spring anyway. No reason to go nuclear at this point and take steps that can’t be taken back. It’s a negotiation. He started low, @gianmarco should start high, but not crazy high. Leave yourself some room to back down, let him save face, and still get an acceptable result.  Slow and steady wins this race. 
 

Also, as you said, nothing to do about it in the immediate time frame. There's still plenty of time to get this taken care of. The time sensitive stuff is already done.

If he takes my offer seriously and says he'll plant one of those or maybe one of those and another smaller tree or 2, then I'm sure we can get this settled. But if he responds saying that's not close, which I'm expecting, then what other options are left? 

I won't file a lawsuit or police report immediately. But I'll let him know the possibility of both and what we'd be owed. I'd let him know about his prior knowledge that I'm aware of. Then hopefully that information will make him reconsider his next move.

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51 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

That was the first email communication. We've met in person every other time or spoke/texted on the phone.

He asked for my email yesterday so he could send the proposal with tree description and pictures. I responded to him last night via email after seeing his pretty ridiculous offer to "make it right". If he had sent something more reasonable, I likely call him to discuss. Not sure what's odd about that.

With that offer, I don't think it's likely that a conversation was going to go well asking what we asked. So that was the best way. I've met face to face on 4 occasions now, shook his hand each time, spoke pleasantly, and let him say what he had to say. What I've posted here from my end and what information I've gathered in the meantime is not how my interactions with him have gone. Yet.

what you might do is prep one of these

http://www.kinglobal2017.org/uploads/5/2/1/6/52161657/the_negotiation_canvas__negotiation_workshop_.jpg

 

Going back to school for MBA this is roughly what we were taught for negotiation prep.

I personally think not just you, but anyone has a much greater chance of coming to a negotiated agreement face to face vs email.  Email is too static and slow and often communication gets skewed (ie misinterpreted).  

Key here is your interests.  Try and brainstorm those.  You mentioned you found a tree you like, but what are the characteristics you are looking for.  Is it a certain 'volume' (ie filling up space so you don't see neighbors), is it a type of leaf, is it how much leaves it sheds, is it acorns / no acorns, etc.  If you focus on those you will find there are many options to solve the problem.  I also encourage you to stop being fixated on price (ie first thing you did was google price of the trees he offered) and instead focus on what you want and finding a solution to match.  

As always - good luck

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51 minutes ago, wilked said:

Anyone else think it's odd for two neighbors to be negotiating via email?

 

You say next step is to file a police report and start accusing him of devious behavior.  That's one move - for sure.  Another might be, "John, why don't we meet tomorrow night to go look at the area and talk face to face, see if we can come to an agreement."

As Cletius says above, you guys are neighbors, like it or not.  Talk to him and work things out.  Once again, you can always defer to a third party authority ("John, the law is clear on this..." / "John, the last thing I want to do is get lawyers involved in this.  What I am asking for is reasonable and there are plenty of examples where this happened before...").  Don't make this about him or you - defer to third party standards.

 

Good luck

 

It is, but the neighbor's actions thus far make it pretty clear he isn't going to act reasonably.

Personally, I have a low tolerance for people treating me like I'm stupid. I'm also not into protracted negotiations when one party is clearly at fault - he should bend over backwards to "make it right" ASAP. For me, that would be a cashier's check for the value of the replacement trees, including installation, or contract paid-in-full for the trees to be planted by a third party next spring. No counter offer, no neighborly banter and no further delays.

Initially, I was open to giving him the benefit of the doubt. But that time has passed IMO.

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50 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Also, as you said, nothing to do about it in the immediate time frame. There's still plenty of time to get this taken care of. The time sensitive stuff is already done.

If he takes my offer seriously and says he'll plant one of those or maybe one of those and another smaller tree or 2, then I'm sure we can get this settled. But if he responds saying that's not close, which I'm expecting, then what other options are left? 

I won't file a lawsuit or police report immediately. But I'll let him know the possibility of both and what we'd be owed. I'd let him know about his prior knowledge that I'm aware of. Then hopefully that information will make him reconsider his next move.

How sure are you the police report isn't time sensitive?

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Apologies if I missed it, but was the neighbor the one with the chainsaw?  Or was this this a hired job?  I assume he hired someone to do it...that's who I would be talking too.  

Neighbor is a jackhole and you'll never get along with him, but if a reputable tree trimming company is the one that downed the tree they'll be the ones to compensate you.  

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If he agrees with this, you have him right where you want him, so it will be a perfect time to have him cut down the mightiest tree in the forest... with... a herring!

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49 minutes ago, wilked said:

what you might do is prep one of these

http://www.kinglobal2017.org/uploads/5/2/1/6/52161657/the_negotiation_canvas__negotiation_workshop_.jpg

 

Going back to school for MBA this is roughly what we were taught for negotiation prep.

I personally think not just you, but anyone has a much greater chance of coming to a negotiated agreement face to face vs email.  Email is too static and slow and often communication gets skewed (ie misinterpreted).  

Key here is your interests.  Try and brainstorm those.  You mentioned you found a tree you like, but what are the characteristics you are looking for.  Is it a certain 'volume' (ie filling up space so you don't see neighbors), is it a type of leaf, is it how much leaves it sheds, is it acorns / no acorns, etc.  If you focus on those you will find there are many options to solve the problem.  I also encourage you to stop being fixated on price (ie first thing you did was google price of the trees he offered) and instead focus on what you want and finding a solution to match.  

As always - good luck

I really don't get a lot of your responses to me.  It seems you always assume that I'm doing/handling something in a negative way.  Your very first post in this thread was inferring that out of the 2 people involved, I was the one acting unreasonably.  Given what I've provided so far, there's essentially no doubt at this point that this guy knowingly did what he did and yet you're still responding to me as if I'm the one not being reasonable here (i.e. being fixated on price, look for other options, etc.).

First of all, I'm not fixated on the price.  If I was, I'd just ask him to cut me a check or I'd take him to court.  I already knew that 3" trees were quite cheap in relation to what we're dealing with. 

I want replacement trees to try and restore what we lost.  That's it and that's not unreasonable either.  I'm actually entitled to more.  You asked me the above about brainstorming about trees, etc.  Do you think I didn't already do that?  I already spent that time, as did my wife, and we agreed that an evergreen would accomplish all of the things we want/need and be in line with what he intended to do.  It's also available in a large enough size to provide somewhat of a replacement to what we lost.  If the tree cost $2000 instead of $4750, I'd still be on board with this selection.  I didn't start calling around for the most expensive trees around.  I don't even know how this compares to other similarly sized trees other than oak/maple as those were similar to what we lost.  It's also why I was open to hearing what he suggested first before telling him what we wanted.  So I'm not fixated on price.

Let me flip this around:

Let's assume I was a neighbor that "mistakenly" took down a tree.  I posted here about taking down my neighbor's 80 foot tall mature hickory tree.  After meeting with him a few times, I got an appraisal.  Let's say the appraisal said the 17" caliper tree was worth $1500 (no chance the one he got is that low, but let's assume REALLY low here for an 80 foot healthy hickory tree).  I then offered to buy a couple 3" trees that are used for basic landscaping and would cost me less than $500.  I come here and post that the neighbor emailed me saying that wouldn't work and is asking for a lot more. 

Do you think you'd be on my side and say the neighbor is being unreasonable and is fixated on price?  Or do you think if I posted that it would be an overwhelming response that I'm not doing enough to fix the damage I caused? 

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56 minutes ago, jb1020 said:

Apologies if I missed it, but was the neighbor the one with the chainsaw?  Or was this this a hired job?  I assume he hired someone to do it...that's who I would be talking too.  

Neighbor is a jackhole and you'll never get along with him, but if a reputable tree trimming company is the one that downed the tree they'll be the ones to compensate you.  

It was a hired job, but they didn't look like any kind of reputable tree company.  It was 2 guys with a pickup truck.  No company name or anything on his truck.  I have his license plate number but that's it. 

I wouldn't be surprised if the reason he hired them is that they weren't going to question taking down that tree.  The arborist I dealt with explained to me he wouldn't have taken it down without a survey. 

I haven't delved into who they work for (if anyone) but may have to.  I've read your posts and have kept that in mind.  I've just been hopeful the neighbor will take care of this until this point.

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I’m on your side broski. Maybe not initially in the thread (to be fair you provided a limited view of the thing) but I am now. 
 

just trying to take the long view here. There are probably dozens of solutions here, some will leave you and your neighbor enemies, some won’t. I’m not a grudge holder, so I leave emotion out of this - figure out what do you want to be satisfied (in broad terms, not just one option) and then meet with him and seek a solution that satisfies you. Leave money aside, just talk landscape and trees. Once you agree on generalities move into specifics and ideally price the whole thing. 

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Neighbors, meh - I’m nice to everybody but I don’t even know the names of the people in the 3 adjacent houses to ours.  We live in a 3,000 home subdivision though. 

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24 minutes ago, wilked said:

I’m on your side broski. Maybe not initially in the thread (to be fair you provided a limited view of the thing) but I am now. 
 

just trying to take the long view here. There are probably dozens of solutions here, some will leave you and your neighbor enemies, some won’t. I’m not a grudge holder, so I leave emotion out of this - figure out what do you want to be satisfied (in broad terms, not just one option) and then meet with him and seek a solution that satisfies you. Leave money aside, just talk landscape and trees. Once you agree on generalities move into specifics and ideally price the whole thing. 

Even if I don't ever get along with someone, I don't consider anyone an "enemy".  I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything mean-spirited to this guy no matter how this works out.  Just not who I am. 

I also don't think I'll ever be "friends" with the guy.  Not interested in hanging out with someone who does what took place here.  I can still be friendly, but I'm not trying to preserve any kind of relationship here that I otherwise have no interest in cultivating.

The problem with "leaving money aside" is that he's proposing a solution that costs him probably $250 and I'm countering with a solution that costs him close to $10,000.  It's hard to sit down and talk out generalities and then specifics when there's such a tremendous gap.  As I mentioned a while ago, I'm not looking for the guy to pull $10K out of his wallet.  If he's able to get the trees we're asking for at cost of $2K for him because of his connections, then that's great, we're all happy.  If he proposes a solution that's comparable, then I'm not going to ask for a receipt to make sure he's paid enough.  But two 3" trees doesn't come close to replacing a 17" mature hickory tree.  It's a joke. 

I don't think I've gotten "emotional" about this at all (other than being upset the first day when it happened).  I'm not basing any decisions or speaking to him from any kind of emotional base.  I think I've been pretty even-keeled about this once I got the info I needed after the first couple of days.  In fact, I've spent very little time even thinking about this as I'm just waiting for the next step at this point.  Went all week without much of a thought on it until I heard back from him yesterday.  My response to him was concise and to the point.  Not confrontational, not passive aggressive, not overly friendly.  I've spent more time updating this thread since last night than I've spent this last week total on this matter. 

In the spirit of making things right, he's failed miserably.  On my end, I've done little else other than respond to his poor attempt at fixing what he caused.  I'm more than happy to negotiate on a reasonable solution.  I would argue that my proposal to him is far closer to where we should be than his.  The "money" part of it agrees with that as well.  It's why I spent time getting an appraisal to begin with to make sure what I'm looking for isn't over the top.

Edited by gianmarco
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Of note, he's yet to respond to my email or acknowledge receiving it.  I'll wait until tomorrow to reach out and make sure he received it.

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4 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

Even if I don't ever get along with someone, I don't consider anyone an "enemy".  I'm not going to go out of my way to do anything mean-spirited to this guy no matter how this works out.  Just not who I am. 

I also don't think I'll ever be "friends" with the guy.  Not interested in hanging out with someone who does what took place here.  I can still be friendly, but I'm not trying to preserve any kind of relationship here that I otherwise have no interest in cultivating.

The problem with "leaving money aside" is that he's proposing a solution that costs him probably $250 and I'm countering with a solution that costs him close to $10,000.  It's hard to sit down and talk out generalities and then specifics when there's such a tremendous gap.  As I mentioned a while ago, I'm not looking for the guy to pull $10K out of his wallet.  If he's able to get the trees we're asking for at cost of $2K for him because of his connections, then that's great, we're all happy.  If he proposes a solution that's comparable, then I'm not going to ask for a receipt to make sure he's paid enough.  But two 3" trees doesn't come close to replacing a 17" mature hickory tree.  It's a joke. 

I don't think I've gotten "emotional" about this at all (other than being upset the first day when it happened).  I'm not basing any decisions or speaking to him from any kind of emotional base.  I think I've been pretty even-keeled about this once I got the info I needed after the first couple of days.  In fact, I've spent very little time even thinking about this as I'm just waiting for the next step at this point.  Went all week without much of a thought on it until I heard back from him yesterday.  My response to him was concise and to the point.  Not confrontational, not passive aggressive, not overly friendly.  I've spent more time updating this thread since last night than I've spent this last week total on this matter. 

In the spirit of making things right, he's failed miserably.  On my end, I've done little else other than respond to his poor attempt at fixing what he caused.  I'm more than happy to negotiate on a reasonable solution.  I would argue that my proposal to him is far closer to where we should be than his.  The "money" part of it agrees with that as well.  It's why I spent time getting an appraisal to begin with to make sure what I'm looking for isn't over the top.

You've definitely been gracious in your approach. I agree there's no reason to be a jerk, but think the time for negotiation as passed.

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You've been quite reasonable. You cant please everybody. When you ask for everyone's opinion you are going to get a wide range of responses. Some want you to go to all out war, others think its no big deal, others want to mine it for laughs.

To me if the guy intentionally did you wrong and is playing games about it you need to take a stand. You will always regret it if you don't.

When a person deliberately screws you they may see your reasonableness as weakness and feel if they draw it out you will just get tired of it and let it be.

 

 

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Talk of the police report reminded me of an incident at our last house.

Our previous home backed up to a church-like building with a large parking lot. The parking lot was frequently empty, and always empty at night. 

One night, a car was in the parking lot doing donuts and not being smart overall. Within a few minutes, we hear a loud screech and then a crash. The car lost control, went out of the parking lot and into the edge of our backyard. It ended up stuck in our landscape bed after hitting a tree in the back. This tree was like 20 ft magnolia or something along those lines. 

Ended up being a dumb 16 year old kid doing 16 year old things in his new car. Police came out, gave them a quick statement and that was that. A couple days later, we get a knock on our door and it's the Dad of the kid along with the 16 year old. Made him come over and apologize. Left his card to call him to take care of any damages.

The tree died within a couple weeks (was split in half by his car) and we had to redo the landscape bed. But it wasn't that big of a deal and it was the kid being stupid. They took responsibility and hopefully he learned something that day. Never called them or even thought of calling them to take care of the tree that died.  Haven't even really thought of the incident until just now.

So, no, I'm not someone that looks to get even if I lose something. But apparently I have ####ty luck with trees.

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With the new info, here’s my latest thoughts:

- You’re doing great!

- No need to threaten to call the police or threaten to file a lawsuit. It’s a wasted step. Once you’re at that point, just do it. He’ll know when he’s served. 

- If he ends up agreeing to your proposal eventually, write it up in a specific way with you both signing and dating what’s being done and who will pay the bill. include a map of where they will be planted. I would include language along the lines of the trees must be installed by a third party nursery you agree to and be thriving in a healthy way three years (or some date) after installation or he will pay to replace them. Something like that. Essentially a warranty. If he agrees to cash that’s good too. I would avoid him or his crews doing the work. No way.

- I like that there’s some email negotiation so it’s in writing. Next message I would reiterate that you expect no further trespassing or damage to your property. 

- If this actually goes to court I believe the judge will push for arbitration in the end anyway. You already said this but aim high with treble, legal fees, etc. so when it gets negotiated down you still get at least the two large trees and legal. 

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I'm in the industry and I've said it way back in this thread but the guy absolutely knew what he was doing.  Continue to be cordial, but don't let him get away with this.  

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On 10/15/2019 at 10:59 AM, 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......

If it was not his fault if he can prove It and it was the Tree Companies fault the Tree company should be paying for the tree or at least giving you the valuation of that true amount. I'm late to the threads I'm not sure if anything else was discussed but have you talked to the Tree Company yet? I would ask for their number or if you already have it ask to talk to the supervisor of your site. Ask him what was discussed with your neighbor. I would get their side and their neighbors side of the story. My Dad is a contractor and we've had some contractors in my area of PA doing some pretty scummy stuff my dad has told me about them doing with people's properties they buy and then redo. These guys seem to think they have carte blanche on the properties around them and will do anything and try the whole "moving of the goal post argument" to get you to buy what they are selling to you. If not will try to lock you up into lawyers/court till you give up if they have the money. Your neighbor seems like he took more of an opportunity then the guys around my area to come and discuss the issue first so I'd give him the benefit of the doubt for now. However  I would still discuss with the tree company what happened. Did you at all talk to the supervisor about the issue who was on site? Usually when theres a mess up this substantial the best thing to do first is talk to the supervisor and all contracted companies for big jobs like this no matter the state should have one at least on site. 

 

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On 10/15/2019 at 11:26 AM, Beef Ravioli said:

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. 

I say it depends how long the contractor plans on staying. Did he buy the property to fix it up and flip it or is he staying. If he's just flipping it I might make more of a stink then if he was staying. VP of a construction company is a pretty big deal. Right now it sounds like an honest mistake possible on the tree companies end but having a dad in construction and a brother who's an architect engineer for a big firm in Philly I've learned don't take these guys for their word at first. Make sure they are absolutely telling the truth. He maybe acting like "hey honest mistake" but in all reality he may have meant to take it down and just giving the whole I meant to meet as a cop out 

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:32 PM, TheIronSheik said:

Or, don't wait and then say the lawyers went ahead without your say.  You told them to sue other people, not him.  Tell him your sorry.  Hopefully he won't escalate things and become a jerk just because your lawyer messed up.  I mean, for the good of the neighborhood friendship.

I say bang his wife and knock her up. Then when he asks questions tell him you guys meant to talk to him about the situation. It was an honest mistake after all 

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On 10/16/2019 at 9:10 AM, gianmarco said:

I don't understand what you're getting at here?

I know of very few people that shrug of $20K as no big deal.  It's not life altering, but we're not talking about a couple hundred bucks here either.  When you consider that this guy very likely purposefully removed a tree of this size that is irreplaceable on the same scale when he knew it was on our property, there are consequences for that.  It's why the law is in place as it is and why the consequences of it are pretty significant. 

The landscaping and trees are a big part of why we moved here.  I really wish this hadn't happened.  If I had my druthers, I'd rather the tree was still standing and none of this was going on.  Not that I would pay $20K for a tree, but it was there and it was a beautiful tree in a beautiful location.  I'd prefer his construction truck damaged my car because that can be replaced.

So, with all that info, and since learning that this is not an uncommon thing from construction people (act first, deal with it later), yeah, I'm not letting this go at all.  I'd like to be made whole as best as possible given his actions.

I say #### can this MOFO at this point dude. If you are still having issues when he starts more construction make sure he has permits on the property. Have township come in and check on them routinely. If noise is being made prior to time allowed or after hours file those complaints. Make it a ##### for him. If you can delay his work that is the ultimate payback to him. Delays = loss of $$$$ in his line of work and the more delays the less likely he completes the project. But this is after the fact he doesn't play nice after politely telling him he'll be talking with your lawyers in the near future. Trust me on this. I have family in construction and they aren't #######s but there are a ton of scum like your neighbor in construction who do these things. 

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On 10/16/2019 at 9:49 AM, gianmarco said:

New development:

Called an arborist.  Happened to find a company that was actually contacted by the neighbor to clear the trees.  He's already been out there, knows the condition of the trees, and knows which tree I'm talking about because he also warned the neighbor that it looks like it may be ours and the arborist had it circled with a "?" on his plans.  He already has pictures and measurements of the tree.  He advised he talk to us first before doing any work on those trees near the property line.  He ended up not getting the job for whatever reason.

He's coming out today to give us an idea of the condition/value of the tree.  He also said that the neighbor should not do anything with the tree or stump.  In fact, if he tries to before we have a chance to evaluate this, he suggested even calling the police if need be as that could be a criminal matter.  He's dealt with this situation multiple times, he said.  I was a little surprised by that.

This happened in my old neighborhood before I moved. I never understood the whole situation as I was less then 10 but a few yrs ago was brought up to my dad when he was discussing with our next door neighbor we have a shared driveway with. Our neighbor at our old house had a tree that was more theirs another neighbor we had issues with cut the tree down as they were selling their house etc. They tried to remove the tree and everything and cops were called. My dad told me this sort of thing happens a lot the cop said but it's not as news worthy as a shooting or anything that will get big ratings on the TVs or get hits in the papers or news sites. 

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