My neighbor cut the branches from my very old oak tree. Do I have any recourse in the matter?

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My neighbor cut the branches from my very old oak tree. Do I have any recourse in the matter?

On two different occasions including today, I’ve come home and my neighbor has cut large limbs off of a very old oak tree. Tree is in good shape and is a focal point of my courtyard’s landscape. Yes, some of the branches dip over into your driveway, but they did not brush her house. If I’d wanted to not use the tree, I would have cut it down. Now, it looks as if it has been scalped. She never mentioned to me my tree was a problem. What recourse do I have; if any?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this general area.  Most state have what is called a "tree cutting" statute that says that anyone that cuts down the tress on another's property can be held liable for damages.  There is usually a fine imposed or a determination is made as to the depreciation of value to the property that resulted.  I suggest looking up the statute in your state and filing an action if you believe you have serious damages or just want to penalize this person.  keep in mind that you will have to continue to live next door to this person....


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