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Homeowner upset after camera captures trespassing neighbor destroying tree: 'She trespassed on your property'

They had no real idea of why the neighbor would do such a thing.

They had no real idea of why the neighbor would do such a thing.

Photo Credit: iStock

One Virginia homeowner recently took to the r/treelaw subreddit to share a long and harrowing tale of how their neighbor came onto their property and ripped up tree saplings, for reasons unknown.

To make matters more awkward, the poster captured the neighbor in the act on video. Now in possession of hard evidence, they were unsure of how to proceed. 

"What is 'standard procedure' here? How do I get her to replace at least the one tree I have her on video destroying? I'd ask how to not make this living situation awkward, but we're way past that at this point," they wrote.

Confusingly, the poster had no real idea of why the neighbor, with whom they claimed to have had a previously "wonderful" relationship, would do such a thing. 

In many cases, overzealous neighbors and homeowners associations can make life difficult for anyone who doesn't conform to the standard of a perfectly manicured turf grass lawn (despite the fact that native plant lawns are better for the environment, easier to maintain, and more aesthetically pleasing).

In one instance, a homeowner captured their lawn-loving neighbor on a Ring camera mowing over their entire native plant garden.

That does not appear to have been the case here, though, as the neighbor in question is reportedly an avid gardener with vegetable beds, trees on her own property, and many non-grass features.

Ultimately, though they didn't know the motive, the members of the r/treelaw subreddit predictably had a lot to say on the matter.

"I, personally, would send her a letter, certified mail, return receipt requested, informing her that she trespassed on your property and you have video evidence of what she did," advised one commenter. 

Many other commenters had similarly intense advice. "Warn her that someone is vandalizing property and tell her what happened to your trees," wrote another. "Mention that you have it all on video but couldn't open the file on your computer, so you sent it to the police. They were able to open it and they found someone on the video. You're going down in the next week or so to see if you know them. Go home, let them sweat."

Ultimately, the original poster updated to say that they were going to take the advice of the latter commenter, informing the neighbor that they had video footage but pretending they hadn't looked through it yet. 

A bold strategy, to be sure, but it seems to have worked out for them. They later posted an update with an epic play-by-play of the conversation in which the neighbor owned up to it and agreed to repay them. 

"I reassured her that … we can wait to resolve this until I view the video because I absolutely do not want her to pay for replacements if she's not responsible," they wrote. 

"Y'all. She absolutely did not want me to go to the video.

"She asked me what kind of trees again and I told her. She said that if I told her how much they were, she'd pay me back."

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