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Homeowner seeks advice after neighbor's logging crew makes a massive mistake: 'Get a lawyer first'

"This is a clear cut case (pun intended)."

"This is a clear cut case (pun intended)."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Washington state landowner recently took to Reddit's r/treelaw forum to seek advice after a logging crew accidentally cut down a massive fir tree on their property while clearing a neighboring lot.

"Nearly all of our property is defined by a boundary fence except for a 100 ft break," according to the original poster. "This break contains 4 fully mature Fir trees that are some of the larger ones on our property." They had discussed the gap with the logging crew's foreman, who "agreed this was a good solution" to mark the trees with landscaping tape.

"This is a clear cut case (pun intended)."
Photo Credit: Reddit
"This is a clear cut case (pun intended)."
Photo Credit: Reddit

However, the landowner shared, "One of his cutters came into our property and felled a 100' tall Fir with a diameter of nearly 40" (see pics for reference) and started to shave the side of another to prep for felling."

Photos showed the staggering size of the downed tree.

When notified, "the foreman apologized and said he would be speaking with the owner of the company to 'compensate us.'" The poster, while frustrated, acknowledged that "Mistakes happen. I'm not upset, just frustrated."

Cutting down trees without permission can lead to significant fines and legal consequences. Trees provide immense value through carbon sequestration, air and water filtration, and habitation for wildlife. Even one tree can provide a home for many creatures — key building blocks of the local ecosystem.

As one commenter noted: "WA State has some of the stronger tree laws on the books to prevent exactly this. That is a massive tree and you are entitled to 3x the value."

Commenters rallied behind the landowner, urging: "Go get 'em. Like others have said, get a lawyer first." They also suggested contacting "local arborist companies to see if they have someone they recommend" to "determine value and testify as an expert witness. … Either way, this is a clear cut case (pun intended) and you'll get paid."

One commenter shared a story of a friend who "ended up framing his own house on The Olympic Peninsula for free with lumber from his own trees after a logging co accidentally cut some timber on his property." The friend received "a pretty large settlement on top of milling the lumber for him and building a driveway onto his property to deliver the framing package."

By seeking fair compensation, the Redditor can help emphasize the importance of respecting property rights and the value of preserving mature trees in our fight to maintain ecosystems.

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