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$ VALUE ON TREES

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OLD PUP

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My neighbor cut down my trees without my consent. Brief description 4 Pecans ( 24" DBH x 55 ft. tall ) & 4 Sweetgums ( 24" x 50 ft. tall ). Our business is located on an L-shaped lot, neighbor is along side & behind us. The trees shaded 2 sides of our building & now all we have left are 8, 3 ft. stubs. The loss of shade is going to be great in the upcomming summer months. Any Certified Arborists willing to put a loss value on these trees ? Sorry, but we don't have any old photos of the original trees. Just stubs on 2 sides. Thinking of hiring an Attorney, dependent on your input or suggestions. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. OLD PUP !!!:cry:
 

lumberjack

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What state do you live in? Locally without some legal wizardry they would only be liable for the market value of the wood.

I'd consult an attorney this morning. They should be able to define your legal standing, probably without charge.
 
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OLD PUP

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I reside in S.E. Ga. if that helps ! Thanks.
 
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Frans

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Ditto what LJ said...Get on it though, dont wait. You might even call the cops so you have a report on vandalism on your property. It helps to build the paper trail right away. Hopefully you can get the neighbor out when the officer is there, because if the neighbor admits to doing the dirty deed to the officer it is admissable in a court of law.
Also attempt to get a statement from the neighbor admitting he was the one who authorized the vandalism.

Write down each and every step you take in the entire process with dates, times, etc.
At the very least, you can sue to the maximum allowed in small claims court to help with installing replacement trees.
Good luck!
 

Al Smith

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My uncle in Knox county Ohio sold a hundred big white oaks to a cruiser in the mid 80's.The lumber man marked the trees,he was looking for peelers[veneer] .

The price up front,cash on the barrel head was 500 a pop ,cheap even then.Well about 20 were just number 1 ,some f and s .The guy bitched about it and tripped another twenty.He had already hauled off the saw logs.

Evidently this genious thought he was dealing with a rube ,uncle Chas. is anything but.Those twenty trees cost that a-hole 40 grand.Little known fact,in Ohio,unless it's changed ,timber piracy can be billed at 2 grand per tree. The guy didn't have much choice , pay the piper or face charges for grand theft. The morel of the story,don't fool with uncle Chuck. Besides that old unc had the sherrif with him ready to confinscate two log trucks a skidder and two Cats .Worth way more that 40 G's .

Well,the guy was pi$$ed but paid up and left. Evidently he wasn't too mad because he came back and bought another 50 a few years later at 750 per.This time he gave old unc the respect he was due.:D
 
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Frans

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oh and also take photos. Digital photos may, or may not, be admissable in a court of law, so make sure.
 

sotc

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that sucks, i hope you get what is yours. if hes a good neighbor who made a mistake i hope this doesnt ruin a friendship
 

Al Smith

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I've seen some real pi$$en matchs over trees. Some times with neighbors .More times with timber buyers who are about as welcomed in these parts as a horse thief.
 

OTGBOSTON

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If fences make good neighbors, borderline trees make enemies of neighbors. I run the other way when some says "I'm not sure if it's mine or not"..

Anyway you've gotten some good advice so far, get a good consulting Arborist to value those trees for you.

I'd bet the value would be more than that of the timber itself. According to the Arboriculture and the Law book put out by the ISA there are four methods of determining damages for the destruction of trees. 1. the resulting depreciation in the value of the land on which the trees stood. 2. the cost of replacing destroyed or injured trees or restoring the premises on which they stood to their previous condition 3. the value of the injured or destroyed trees themselves 4. the resulting loss af aesthetic value or the resulting deprivation of the comfort and convenience which the trees provided the landowner.

Maybe get a few appraisals so you have a range to go to court with. Good luck
 

Paul B

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yup, I have arboriculture and the law (canadian version) and the guide to tree appraisal 9th edition, good info sources if you are going to reference anything for the determintaion of values.

Sadly it seems timber value is the common valuation, I have valued some damaged trees with cost of replacement but the insurance didnt go for it in the end, the client didnt get much out of it besides a new, small tree.
 

NickfromWI

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You don't need just a certified arborist...you need a Registered Consulting Arborist. Check out http://www.asca-consultants.org/ for one in your area. STart a journal. First entry: Monday 8am, came to work and noticed my trees were gone. Second entry: Monday, 11am- called the cops.

This will become very useful should you head to court over this matter. Lawyers are less likely to mess with people who really seem to have their ducks in a row. Line up them quackers!!!

Sorry to hear about this. What a bummer.

love
nick
 
F

Frans

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I dont think you need any type of arborist at all.

Simply photographing the stumps, making the vandalism call, going to the nursery to price out the trees you want to install, getting a stump removal quote (or three) and a planting quote (or three)

is just fine for a court of law............
 
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OLD PUP

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I've been retired a while, former arborist w/tree loss & valuation credentials. Also held a Ga. Cat. 24 Contractors License . I did see my attorney today. Tells me we'll sue for all the law allows. On the good side, while looking thru some old files, came upon this value worksheet.I know the non-arborist will love seeing what a tree is worth, in today's market. Thanks for all your help & input. I'm going goofing tommorow .
 

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NickfromWI

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There are a few ways that consulting arborist and courts look at how to value trees. The few that I know of are:

Replacement Cost Method
Trunk Formula Method
Cost of Cure Method

I JUST read about these last week in this month's TCI magazine (pg 84).

Honestly, before I talked to a lawyer or anything, I'd figure out what the trees were worth (using whichever of the above made most sense) and in a gentlemanly manner, explain that though he may not appreciated the trees very much, they were very important to me. I'd then ask the neighbor if he'd like to settle the issue.

If that didn't work, then I'd bring out the big guns.

But this might just be a simple (though awful) misunderstanding.

love
nick
 

stehansen

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There are a few ways that consulting arborist and courts look at how to value trees. The few that I know of are:

Replacement Cost Method
Trunk Formula Method
Cost of Cure Method

I JUST read about these last week in this month's TCI magazine (pg 84).

Honestly, before I talked to a lawyer or anything, I'd figure out what the trees were worth (using whichever of the above made most sense) and in a gentlemanly manner, explain that though he may not appreciated the trees very much, they were very important to me. I'd then ask the neighbor if he'd like to settle the issue.

If that didn't work, then I'd bring out the big guns.

But this might just be a simple (though awful) misunderstanding.

love
nick
From my experience it is always better to try to work it out between reasonable people first. Your savings in utilities because of the shade provided by the trees needs to be considered also.
 
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Frans

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Once again:

1. Take pictures
2. Get a police report for vandalism
3. Build a paper trail
4. Have a conversation w/ neighbor
5. Get the problem fixed
6. Make sure any and all correspondence is done by certified mail. Have complete copies of everything.



Getting a police report is not a bad thing to do. What it does is help to authenticate your paper trail and lends credence to your talks with the neighbor/courts etc.

Your pesticide applicators lic. is meaningless in this instance except that it shows you are professionally related in some way to the green industry. Courts are not impressed with having credentials thrown at them.

Keep it simple, attempt to solve this outside of the courts and only use the courts as a last resort
 
K

Koa Man

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In 1995, while I was still a C.A., I was hired by the City to put a valuation on an African Tulip tree on City property that the adjacent homeowner had poisoned because it blocked his view. He was reported by his neighbor who watched him drill holes in the trunk and pour in Round Up. I used the Cost of Cure method [approved by the IRS]. The City also wanted me to figure in 1 year of maintenance, mainly watering it once a week.

This tree is not a high value hardwood. Now days it is considered an invasive species and the City recommends not planting it. It was about 35 ft. tall with a DBH of 18 inches. Using the C of C method and the cost of the largest one I could find at a nursery [6ft. tall, 1.5 in. DBH] and the removal and maintenance, I came up with a figure of about $7800. I lived nearby, so I figured I could go and pour 5 gals. of water on it once a week for $75.
The removal and stump grinding was $885.

End result was I did the removal for the City. The homeowner agreed to plant a different tree approved by the City and maintain it for 1 year himself.

Trees can cost a lot more than many people expect.
 

Al Smith

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The moral of the story : It's best to investigate who owns the tree before you get out the saw or round up .If you're in the tree biz be carefull not to cut down the neighbors tree because somebody else thought it to be a nuisance.They might not even own the thing in the first place .Now that would be a dirty trick if I ever saw one .:what:
 

TC3

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One approach may be to get quotes for realistic replacement of the trees (landscape supply prices for available specimens + installation). Present this to your neighbor, pointing out that the plantings will be in between the stumps to avoid the cost of grinding & removal of heaps, etc.
Tell him that it's the best case scenario. The numbers will only escalate from there if it gets ugly:
Property survey to submit in court ($150 minimum)
Consulting arborist / report fees
Attorney's fees
+++ fees

I totally agree with getting a police report, first & foremost. ASAP.
If you & neighbor kiss and make up, you atleast need this first step.
 
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