I was away on business and I arrived home to find that my neighbour has cut away all the branches on my Juniper trees along his driveway to about the height of 10 feet. The trees actually now look like Q-tips stuck in the ground. He has denuded most of the lower trunks. He did not ask us to prune the trees or ask our permission to do it himself. I planted those trees almost 20 years ago as a barrier between the two properties. Now it looks horrible and I suspect the trees will slowly die, although junipers are very hardy. I live in Quebec. I am very upset that these trees have been destroyed, what recourse do I have?Maureen
Province/Territory relating to question: Quebec
When I saw him doing this I told him that those trees were on my property. He answered that he was just cutting a few branches. I told him that he had cut the branches so far back, actually digging into the trunks and the trees look extremely ugly. He did not respond and continued gathering up the branches. I went out and took pictures of the trees and the pile of branches he has left at the curb.
Were the branches all overhanging his property?
The neighbour is only permitted to cut overhanging branches on his side and only so long as this does not harm the trees.
He is therefore going to be liable to you for damages.
The damages are equal to what it will cost to put you back in the same position you would be in had he not done this.
This is also trespass though the police will most likely say that this is a civil matter.
I suggest you consult with a lawyer with a view to retaining the lawyer to send him a demand letter requiring him to compensate you for the damages.
I also suggest you call a tree specialist to tell you if the trees will die, how much it will cost to replace them etc.
You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.
Here is the contact information you will need.