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Homeowner devastated after returning home to find large, 200-year-old tree chopped down: 'This is surely a crime'

"Your selfish neighbor has already ruined your relationship."

"Your selfish neighbor has already ruined your relationship."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A homeowner who went on a trip was devastated when they returned to find a cornerstone of their property was gone.

Unfortunately, the mishap encapsulated common conduct perpetrated by bad neighbors.

"Your selfish neighbor has already ruined your relationship."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"I stopped by my home today after being away for a few weeks and was super bummed to see that a beautiful Laurel Bay on my property has been cut down by one of my neighbors," the poster, from the San Francisco Bay Area, wrote, estimating the tree was about 150-250 years old. 

"The tree added huge appeal to my property and is probably irreplaceable due to the sheer size and age. What should be my next steps? I don't want to ruin my relationship with my neighbors, but I'm very very upset about this situation and the irreparable damage that's been caused to my property."

In an update, the poster said the responsible party was a new neighbor who worried that the tree would fall on their house, though the tree was maintained and healthy. The neighbor also provided a dubious excuse about not knowing where the property line was, but the poster remained calm.

Commenters urged them to take a strong stand in the name of the all but priceless tree.

"Your selfish neighbor has already ruined your relationship," one Redditor said. "Call an attorney knowledgeable in tree law."

Another commenter echoed: "Arborist and lawyer versed in tree law. This might be a million-dollar payout. Depending on property values."

Someone else recommended contacting the tree company, whose insurer could step in.

No matter the recourse, the disrespect for the poster and nature was baffling, maddening, and heartbreaking. Trees provide shade, suck carbon out of the air, and can even increase the value of your home by 10-20%.

They can filter toxic pollutants from landfills and even cancel out cancer-causing chemicals.

In similar situations, modeling and sharing respect for nature can help steer stray individuals toward a cleaner, brighter future — just as the poster showed compassion to their neighbor even when anything but would have been warranted.

"I'm really sorry. This is surely a crime," one user wrote. "I don't have advice except to say I sympathise and I'd personally plant a new tree. Two new trees."

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