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Homeowner seeks advice after land developer cuts down their trees: 'A new survey to determine the true property line may be well worth it'

"Lumber theft is a big deal."

"Lumber theft is a big deal."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner was devastated to see that a new property developer cut down an enormous line of mature trees separating their adjoining properties.

"They were supposed to leave a line of trees to separate the two properties; however, that did not happen," they wrote on Reddit, posting accompanying photos of the results. "I'm worried that since the other property is on a slope and there are no trees now, there will be flooding or erosion into my yard."

"Lumber theft is a big deal."
Photo Credit: Reddit

Commenters quickly jumped in to advise. 

"Get a survey, if you don't have one, and see where your lot ends," one person suggested. "If those are your trees, many areas have strict laws on handling problems like this. And those problems are very expensive for the culprit."

Others felt similarly. 

"I saw one lawsuit that made the developer pay the cost of replacement for all of the trees. Not new saplings, full-sized replacements equivalent to the original trees that were cut down on their land," one said. "A new survey to determine the true property line may be well worth it."

"And keep in mind how your children would play under those trees and their shade," another advised. "... The judge will be empathetic. [It's] not just trees."

This seemingly thoughtless chopping down of trees was not only a loss for OP and their family but for the environment as well. Trees offer numerous benefits to their local ecosystem and the planet as a whole, acting as natural air filters, sheltering animals, serving as wind shields, sequestering harmful air pollutants, and more. And as OP pointed out, trees also mitigate flood risks.

But unfortunately, this sort of incident is all too common. Neighbors, developers, landlords, and HOAs are notorious for cutting down trees on adjacent properties. One person even lost nearly an acre of wooded land. Oftentimes, it's not clear whether the action was an accident or an honest mistake. Homeowners like OP do, however, have options.

Many states have laws relating to timber trespass, which are aimed at preventing the unlawful destruction of trees and can result in hefty fines for doing so.

Bottom line: Staying educated and informed is one of the best ways to be a great advocate for yourself and your local ecosystem.

"A friend of mine got $6,000 for one tree and our laws are quite conservative," another person shared.

"Lumber theft is a big deal," someone else agreed

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