So far I have two different antithetical opinions.....Does a neighbor
have the right to cut tree roots on his property that kills my tree. I've been told that he is not liable under a new york state ruling involving the principle of "self-help abatement. Another opinion suggested limits to abatment on what I took is an act of unreasonableness.
Bamboo in my yard is likely to have "invaded" my neighbors yard although not certain its from our yard- but likely.
Under a new law/ordinace/etc. in the Town of Hempstead, bamboo can not be maintained. Town representatives gave us thirty days to remove all visiable signs of bamboo and we have cut it all down. We also informed our neighbor that we would continue to dig up all roots and make sure no roots would approach is yard. The Town has returned, inspected our property and found us in compliance with no future action necessary. WE are continuing to dig up roots and making sure no rhizomes emerge to eleminate the bamboo's opportunity to acquire energy through photosynthesis as per instructions from the National Bamboo Foundation. The neighbors were informed and have observed us working in our yard. WE had also agreed in principle to contribute to the cost of removing rhisomes from our neighbor's yard and establish a barrier if necessary on the basis that I get to see the estimate and the work proposal. My neighbor's have dug up their lawn and removed the bamboo rhizomes (maybe 5-12) and roots. They then went ahead without telling us and put up the barrier. In doing so, they severly cut our tree root right at the base of the trunk (the root was on their property) and they informed us the next day that our tree was dead and unstable.
My question I guess is whether they are liable perhaps because of unreasonableness or some other reason. Did they really need to erect a barrier since all the bamboo was gone from their property and they had good indications that we were actively engaged in correcting the problem. Is it reasonable to take such a severe action when they had no problem, only the possibility of a problem in the future (meaning another invasion), that may or may not occur.
They did not notify us about the barrier even though I specifically made that request and they did not consider erecting the barrier just one foot out further from the tree so that it would survive. They could have run the barrier agianst the property line all but for the last three feet and then boxed in the tree which is in the corner of their property.
An opinion would be appreciated.