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Homeowner takes contractor to court to pay the price for cutting down 250-year-old tree: 'The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn'

"Some people are way too quick to cut down trees that aren't theirs."

"Some people are way too quick to cut down trees that aren't theirs."

Photo Credit: iStock

A homeowner reached a satisfying settlement in court after a contractor approved the removal of a 250-year-old tree on his property in Michigan.

"The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn," the homeowner's sibling shared in updates posted by another Redditor in the r/BestofRedditorUpdates, a community dedicated to revealing how things turned out for users who asked for advice or help on the platform. 

In the thread, the OP detailed how it took years for their brother to receive an $89,000 settlement after he was convinced to pursue the case. 

"The tree is presumably on an easement of some sort, so the city could remove it if they wanted, but there is no question that the contractor removed it, not the city. Would this change the legal situation at all?" the sibling said in a post six years ago. 

A year into the ordeal, an update explained the tree in question was a historic Bebb oak valued at nearly $90,000 and that the homeowner had hired an attorney. It took another 12 months for the situation to be sorted. 

"I was hoping to be able to watch an actual tree law trial, but alas it was not to be. There is a possibility of significant penalties if you reject the settlement and then don't beat it by at least 10% in court, so I understand my brother's reasoning," the sibling wrote

One commenter in the r/BestofRedditorUpdates thread believed more people needed to be aware of the impact of their actions

"Some people are way too quick to cut down trees that aren't theirs," they wrote, sharing an article detailing how an incident in their Canadian city led to the removal of 23 trees and a $5,000-plus fine for the culprit. Like in Michigan, the trees were felled to make way for a house. 

Others felt that the Michigan property lines were confusing but agreed that the contractor should have done more research before removing the majestic oak. 

"As someone who not only works in tree law but regularly deals with funky and f**** boundaries on a regular basis … this happens a LOT," another person said

Unfortunately, it will take many years for a new oak to provide the same shelter and cooling shade. Mature trees also help improve our air quality by converting large volumes of carbon dioxide into oxygen. On average, a fully grown tree soaks up more than 48 pounds of CO2 annually, according to the Arbor Day Foundation

However, the sizable payout may be some solace to the homeowner. And while it's unclear if he has any plans to replace the tree with other wildlife-supporting greenery, that is certainly a possibility

Until then, many Redditors united over their love of tree law and the measure of justice served.

"Is there anything more glorious than tree law?" one person asked

"Wow, beautiful tree law post," another said.

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