What are our rights regarding the city workers that have come to our home and butchered our trees?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2010

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What are our rights regarding the city workers that have come to our home and butchered our trees?

The city sent their “tree trimmers”, actually 20 year old dropouts, to our house to remove a rather large bush that was growing out over the street. While I am upset about that, what I am more upset about is that they came 2 feet over our fence line to cut and butcher an 8 inch limb off 1 of our pecan trees. They also, cut 5 spruces from 18 feet tall down to 3 feet tall. These trees were 3 feet onto our property. The pecan tree will probably die due to the hot weather that we are having. I am no expert on trees but the tree is old and won’t handle the abuse.

Asked on September 10, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should begin by reviewing local zoning and property codes, including anything relating to line of sight (e.g. for drivers on the adjacent roads); also about public safety (such as threats from falling limbs) and also relating to powers of the municipality to ensure the health of all trees (e.g. cutting down ones that may be diseased). The short answer is, there may be regulations or laws that do give the city the power to do what it did, such as if your trees posed some sort of hazard, blocked important sight lines, etc. In the absence of that, it would seem the tree trimmers exceed their authority and you may have a claim; but first, you need to check under what conditions trees on private property may be cut down.  A real estate attorney can help you do this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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