• Home Home

Homeowner devastated after catching neighbor chopping down memorial tree in backyard: 'Sue and sue fast'

"Get in touch with an arborist to assess the value of the tree."

"Get in touch with an arborist to assess the value of the tree."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A Utah homeowner has expressed outrage after catching a neighbor chopping down a beloved tree on their property.

Photos posted to the r/treelaw subreddit show the neighbor caught red-handed on the roof of a garden shed, where he has cut the top from a memorial tree.

Although the neighbor insisted that the tree would grow back within ten years, the homeowner said that it is destroyed and will never recover.

They reported the incident to the police, who intend to charge the neighbor with trespassing and destruction of property.

"Get in touch with an arborist to assess the value of the tree."
Photo Credit: Reddit

"I am devastated as it was a little memorial tree, provided shade and was home to squirrels and birds," the Redditor wrote in a caption. "He did not ask permission."

Despite intending clear benefits for the environment, many homeowners have a hard time introducing sustainable enhancements to their homes, like trees and native plants.

One landlord removed a 50-year-old tree without explanation, while HOAs have blocked their residents from growing wildflower meadows and xeriscaping.

One Redditor found that after a tree was removed from their backyard, water now fell from their roof in a torrent above their front door whenever it rained.

Those lost trees will also have provided shade, with cooling effects both for houses and gardens. Homes that are sheltered by trees often see reduced air conditioning costs, while in cities, trees help combat the urban heat island effect.

Biodiversity thrives in trees, which encourage a host of birds, insects, and small animals to visit. One single oak tree can house 2,300 different species.

Trees also absorb harmful air pollutants, improve local air quality, and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — making them vital to lessening the planet's increasing temperatures.

Chopping trees down comes with a high environmental cost, as well as an emotional one. Luckily, this homeowner has plenty of legal options to pursue, with Redditors jumping in with advice for securing compensation.

"Sue and sue fast, especially if he might be prepping to sell and move," one advised. "Much easier to win and put a lien on his house if he doesn't pay."

"Time to hire a lawyer or do some research and figure out how to do it yourself," another agreed, "but this person should be paying for a new tree as well as consequences with the law."

"Get in touch with an arborist to assess the value of the tree," said another. "Utah law says you can sue and have a right to treble (triple) the value of the tree." 

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider