logging co cut trees off my property

acesaMarch 16, 2012

A neighbor had a timber company remove timber from her land. The company ignored my property stakes,which were clearly visable. They removed 15 oaks and pine trees majority being pine. Without my permission. When I made him aware he stated he was allowed to make x amout of error by law. Told me to take him to court. He offered me $200.00. I became furious I 'm left with a sloppy property line, 15 tree stumps removals ($100t)each. I have owned this property since 1993 and some of the trees are at least that old. I'm seeking advise before I retain a lawyer. He left a check for $200.00 which I refuse to cash. The check has his name on it as

none of his equipment did. Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Find out the cost of 15 replacement trees of similar size (including planting and the after-care contract necessary to ensure establishment), and sue for that amount.

At a very rough guess, you'd probably be looking at claiming around $10,000. Maybe much more depending on the size of the trees lost.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

IMHO, he's bluffing. Don't sue, file charges of theft of property at your local police department. Have him arrested. Each mature tree adds value to the property, plus they have value in and of themselves. So those 15 MATURE trees are worth thousands which is the reason he came across the property line and stole them. So treat him as a thief, same as someone coming onto your property stealing your car, tractor, lawn mower, jewelry, of just plain cash, and he knows it. There is absolutely NO difference. Just like stealing shoes from the mall. Don't cash the check, as if you do, that constitutes acceptance of terms (i.e. accept the value of the trees as $200). On the other side, him leaving a check to pay for his thief is an admission of guilt in the eyes of the law. It even has his signature of admission. Do threaten him, don't warn him, don't communicate with him in anyway. Go to the police department now, and have him arrested. That will get his attention, and don't settle for restitution and drop charges until he pays out the yahoo. This is what I would do, teach him a lesson.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brandon7 TN_zone(7)

There's probably more to this than many people imagine. Your options concerning this situation will depend on the specifics of the case and YOUR state law. Many states do set limits on liability for mistaken timber harvest, but $200 is highly likely to be way less than what the guy is actually liable for. Here's what I would do:

1. Document everything thoroughly! Take date-coded pictures of property markers, fallen trees (if they are still there), stumps, etc. Get the details recorded as completely as possible.

2. Call the South Carolina State Forestry Commission at 803-896-8840 (ask for the law enforcement department). Go over the details with them, and see what they have to say. They should be able to give you valuable information about your options.

3. Evaluate what they say. Hopefully, they can get enough information about the specifics of your case to give you some guidelines and options. You may get a surprise, either way (positive or negative) depending on the specifics.

4. Get back with us and let us know what you found out. I've seen people spend lots of money on lawyers in situations like this and come out with next to nothing, but I also know that many states have laws with some pretty big teeth in them for situations like this.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Many years ago I had a 1.5 acre lot that was to be divided into two 3/4 acre lots. We had a beautiful tree 8 - 12' diameter on the second lot that was a couple feet from the lot line on my property. The state came in with one of those huge rotary cutters and took it out. while they were clearing the right of way.

While I consider it a lot to be built on and the tree a thousand dollar asset on that lot, I had to settle for $75. The logic was on in a natural woods, and could not be consider a tree in a lawn adding value to the property.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What Brandon said. They even have a website.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 10:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a friend who had a similar situation here in TN, and the law here (at that time) provided for 3 times the value of the trees because, like you, his property line was marked. He said if the property line had not been marked he'd have only gotten the actual value of the trees. Good luck with whatever you decide to do - attitudes like that of the logger are so very sad!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 4:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I had a 35 foot Japanese larch cut by the electric company. It was clearly outside their right of way. I got paid $2,000.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

I would sue them for thousands of dollars! I am so sorry that this happened to you. How cruel of them to do that!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 7:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would agree with Arktrees and Brandon, be aggressive in pursuing this thief. What he did is not much different than stealing the wheels and tires off your car. These guys do that knowing they can usually get away with just giving a check for chump change, and most homeowners won't make the extra effort to do anything more.

Good luck and keep us posted!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Recommend you measure diameter of each tree stump and develop a list. Photos of each tree stump with ruler showing size would be helpful in establishing your case.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:29AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
2015 Midatlantic/SE/New England winter damage thread
I don't mean to exclude the midwest but I think for...
davidrt28 (zone 7)
Please help me identify this tree???
I have searched everywhere and can NOT find the name...
Terry Whitehead
Just bought a house. Need help identifying trees!
Hello all, I have no real knowledge of tree types and...
So happy that this is the 1st spring where I don't have......
Vole damage. Burying our fences underground 6 inches...
Tree Planted Too Deep - Too Late To Raise
Hi all, I've been searching for some guidance on this...
Sponsored Products
Saber 3-burner Built-in Stainless Steel Grill
Lights Up | Weegee Table Lamp
$198.00 | YLighting
Famille Rose Scalloped Tea Jar Porcelain Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
George Kovacs Rectangle Nickel 11" High 2-Light Wall Sconce
Euro Style Lighting
Adesso Lamps Venus Spiral 72 In. Satin Steel Floor Lamp 5015-22
Home Depot
Strut Console Table by Blu Dot
$449.00 | Lumens
Spray Valve for Pre-Rinse Faucet - Chrome
Signature Hardware
RGB-pixelpro-bullet-8 RGB PixelPro LED Bullet
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™