What can I do if my neighbor is cutting down trees which land on my property damaging my natural buffer?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What can I do if my neighbor is cutting down trees which land on my property damaging my natural buffer?

I came home after being away for some time to find that my neighbor had cut down two trees on his property that fell onto my property. The trees were about 10 feet on his side of the property. The large trees 50 feet fell onto my property damaging the evergreens and pine trees that I have been planting for the past 25 years. These trees are used as a buffer between my back yard and his yard and ultimately a main road that he lives on. I see 3 problems: First of all, I want the down trees removed carefully as to not destroy any more of my existing trees. Secondly, what can be done about the damage that he has already done? Finally, I don’t really want him on my property. What is my course of action?

Asked on August 21, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming he does not voluntarily agree to pay for the following (it's always best to first try and work things out amicably), you could sue him for the cost to remove the trees and repair/restore/replant, etc. any damage. When someone inflicts costs or damage on you, either negligently (carelessly) or intentionally, they become liable for the costs. Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") is a fast, cost-effective option.
You don't have to let him on your property, and if he trespasses--and that's what it would be: trespass) could file trespassing charges. You could agree to let him personally remove the trees, but don't have to: you have the right to hire someone to remove them them and seek the cost from him. 

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