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Old 06-02-2010, 05:59 PM
MazdaMatt MazdaMatt is offline
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Ontario Tree Laws?

This is an odd place to ask this question, but Google is not helpful and this is the only Ontario-specific forum that I write on.

I have a question for anybody who has experienced a similar situation, or any lawyers that read here.

I have (had?) a pretty large tree that hung over my neighbor's property. The tree had a "Y" that was on my side of the fense. Half of this Y did not cross the property line, but half of it did. The trunk is about 6-7 feet on MY side of the property line.

He came to me last week and told me that he was going to hire someone to cut a straight line up from the fence - as far as I know, this is his legal right. I gave him an okay and also said that he can freely trim any branches that are smaller than 1" on my side if he wishes. (I was being nice, he hates the crap falling into his pool).

So I came home yesterday and found that he had cut off the tree a couple inches above the 'Y'. This is about 6 feet into my yard and about 22 feet up, so he removed approx 25-30 feet of tree and made cuts that are approx 8-9inches wide including removing half of the Y that did not even cross into his yard. He also left all of the cut-off sitting in my yard. There is no way that this tree can survive now as it has no more branches, just a trunk.

I am going to speak with the tree company to find out exactly what instructions they were given and hopefully scare them into giving me a written description of these instructions. I have no beef with them, it is my neighbor that was malicious and destroyed my tree.

What rights do I have in this situation? What rights did HE have? What action can be taken against him?

Thanks for any concrete information that you can provide for me. I won't do anything spiteful or illegal in return. I also won't even talk to him till I have all of my answers ahead of time.

-Matt
St. Thomas, ON.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:43 PM
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Cap'n Pete Cap'n Pete is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

OMG, is your neighbour's name Roy???

Dude, I am in a similar boat. We have a HUGE maple in our yard, and the neighbours on BOTH sides (and to the back) of me have pools, and they all hate it. Well, guess what? The tree was here first .

Anyway, you were correct in giving your neighbour PERMISSION to access your yard to gain better access to the tree to trim it to the property line. But that's where their "rights" end, is at the property line. The fact that they had the tree cut back into your yard, all the way to the trunk (and have now jeopardized it) is, as far as I know, "crossing the line". I would phone your local by-law office immediately and file a complaint.

I have had nothing but headaches over the maple in my yard since I moved in 4 years ago, and I've spoken to by-law to make sure I know MY rights & responsibilities. I've told the neighbour whose yard the tree encroaches upon that he is free to trim the tree to the line if he so desires, but he hasn't taken me up on the "offer" thus far ..... instead, he likes to blow all the leaves into a pile and pitch them over the fence into my yard every fall (yes, I've phoned by-law over that too). The guy is a d!ck.

Again, phone by-law, see what they have to say. If the "trimming" he did (or had done) has indeed sacrificed the tree as a whole, then I think he should be held liable for that. I'm sure it seems "petty" to some people, but it's amazing just how much turmoil a stupid TREE can stir up .

Good luck. Keep me posted!
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:21 PM
soloZ soloZ is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

I hope your neighbor gets screwed because of this. I wonder if the cutting company thought the tree would be unsafe with only the half of the Y left up? Any pictures of the tree before it was raped?
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:36 PM
AndrewR AndrewR is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Sounds to me like the neighbour and tree company owe you a new tree, planted, and all the cleanup done.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:44 PM
MazdaMatt MazdaMatt is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Pete, I think you understand completely. What if that neighbor told you they were hiring someone to do that TRIM job and you got home and the tree was a 20ft stump with no branches on it? That's my situation.

I'm torn between two scenarios:
a) Call by-law, have a stupid court battle in which I make him replace my tree and have to live next to a <edited out explitives, don't know forum policy> Arfing Basshole for the next 20 years...
b) Tell him sternly that he will be paying for removal of all of the brush, that he crossed the line and pissed us off and hope he can be reasonable to live with.

As for the leaves being dumped into your yard... yeah that makes him a dickhead, but there are some places were the law holds the tree-owner liable for costs of cleanup of droppings... I don't know if that is the case in Ontario - I doubt it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:46 PM
MazdaMatt MazdaMatt is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Ps - thanks for the responses... it was a little like therapy.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:02 PM
IWannaGoFast IWannaGoFast is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Definitely call the by-law office to discuss this, in Toronto itís the Urban Forestry Services. Depending on the city you live in there are different rules on what can be done to a mature tree. Itís my understanding that in the city of Toronto you need a permit to cut down a mature tree and if the actions of your neighbor end up killing the tree there could be a substantial fine.

Here's the link for the city of Toronto http://www.toronto.ca/trees/private_trees.htm
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:20 PM
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

I would buy a store bought cake and refrost it with EX-LAX, bring it over as a peace offering, ask to use the washroom and plug his toilet with two rolls of toilet paper and leave politely.

Or you may want to brush up on the noise bylaws, then plan extremely loud activities from the earliest to latest possible times. Wood chipping, chainsaw or get a recording of babies crying, dogs barking and back up alarms and let it play loud and leave your house.

Cook the most obnoxious foul smelling food on the bbq when the wind blows his way and he is out at his pool.

Or ask him nicely "what the hell happened to my tree?"


In case you are wondering........i don't care much for my neighbours
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:57 PM
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darcyw darcyw is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

My in-laws assface neighbour convinced the village that his wife was nearly hit by a falling branch from my in-laws tree. The tree was planted by my m-inlaws grandfather 50 years ago and was in fine health. it was on their property by 66%, 33% on the neighbours.

My in-laws returned from work one evening to find the tree had been CUT DOWN. not trimmed, but CUT DOWN. they were given NO notification. They come home. The tree was GONE, branches and all!

They call the OPP. They call the village. they raise hell. They go to court to sue the village. They win and the village agrees to put any tree of their choosing on their property.

The MF neighbours get no portion of the blame for the incident.

Problem is, you can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family...or your neighbours.

darcy

p.s. The neighbours are still a-- holes. Thankfully, they are old and will die soon so we can piss on their head stones.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:15 AM
MazdaMatt MazdaMatt is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Haha... I'm getting very amused at the bitterness that this thread is bringing up.

I spoke with the tree cutter. I don't really blame him. My OTHER neighbor and I just used the same guy to mutually cut an overhanging HUGE branch of a different tree off and that neighbor made all the arrangements. I suppose this lead him to feel a little more comfortable with my neighbors approaching him with the details. On the first branch with the first neighbor I WANTED the wood, so we bargained a lower price to leave it there - my parents have a wood fireplace and could use it. On the tree in question i was ONLY supposed to get brush taken down, so there was no agreement to leave it in my yard.

Something that really bugged me about this conversation is that the neighbor ALSO tried to get him to cut the top off of a third tree that is in the middle of my yard! That's when the tree cutter said "no, you'll have to call me with Matt to arrange any more cutting" and he left.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:24 AM
GordRoss GordRoss is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Is it possible the tree service made a judgement call for the health of the tree? perhaps leaving the long branch would have been a problem?
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:17 AM
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Stories like these remind me of why I will never have neighbours who are closer than 1km to my property.
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:01 AM
MazdaMatt MazdaMatt is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Gord, no way. The part hanging over their yard was horizontal, the other part was vertical. Would not hav been an issue.

sjd (Steve, right?) Wise plan. I was consdering trying to get my increased equity in this house out of it and into another property... this may spur that decision a bit.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:15 PM
Burnsey Burnsey is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MazdaMatt View Post
Something that really bugged me about this conversation is that the neighbor ALSO tried to get him to cut the top off of a third tree that is in the middle of my yard! That's when the tree cutter said "no, you'll have to call me with Matt to arrange any more cutting" and he left.
Whoa! That guy has some b_lls trying to get that done on your property. Sorry I can't offer much more than my sympathies Matt...guess you can't buy good neighbours.
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:29 PM
DaveCotie DaveCotie is offline
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Re: Ontario Tree Laws?

Small Claims Court?
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