illegally cut trees

illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:59 am

Farmer's contractor mistakenly cut 35 trees in my garden...they were 70/80 foot tall and formed a little mini woodland at the bottom of my 1 acre garden with the tallest branches forming a canopy. This canopy and secretness feel has all gone and I have ten foot stumps which are unlikely to green up. The contractors girpper/crane leant over my fence and padlocked gate to rip these trees out, damaging fence and five bar gate which the farmer is going to replace once an agreement has been reached on the trees/replacement. The idea is to remove the stumps and replace with 4/5 metre lelandii (garden over looks orchrds)....but this will lose the character at eye level of the trees that were there, 50 year old trunks some over a foot wide.....a couple of rows of lelandii 5 metres tall will look more like a hedge than a wood. The farmer wants to do the work himself, he has the contractors and labour....but I want tree experts to do...but if I insist and he says no then it will look like I havent cooperated if it had to go to court.
Any advice on what to do re my lost wood, replacing this amount of trees, and should only experts do this work? I worry that the loss of the frontline trees means the row of trees behind it are now at risk as they are now exposed, not as thick trunked.
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arsie » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:58 pm

I wouldn't mess about - 'mistakenly cut' by leaning over a fence and padlocked gate? Baloney.

Farmer to remove the stumps? You risk more damage. I would tell him to get three quotes for stump grinding and for you to choose and him to pay. That is what I did when I accidentally damaged my neighbour (a farmer)'s stock fence. Rusty old fell down thing but I paid to replace it with new using one of his provided stock fencers.

Leylandii, you are joking. They are fast growing and quickly become trouble unless frequently trimmed. In my view they are not particularly attractive and will not form a canopy - more like a dense impenetrable forest. I would expect him to replace like-for-like, species and number wise, with reasonably well grown examples.

Failing this, take pictures, get quotes for the works and take him to court. They recently upped the small claims track limit.
arsie
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby span » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:45 pm

This is down to the contractor as well as the farmer - if it's any kind of non-cowboy outfit they'll have professional indemnity insurance.

Don't be afraid to make them pay for the right outcome - ie one you're entirely happy with.
span
 
Posts: 1468
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:34 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby APC » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:59 pm

What trees were there originally?
APC
 
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:37 pm

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:18 pm

Hi

I would be a bit suspicious of the farmer. How can the contractor mistakenly cut down so many trees of such a height? The farmer should have had an estimate for the work and would have queried an estimate that was too high. Is there any possible benefit for the farmer now your trees are gone? Imagine how guilty you would feel if you were in the farmer's/contractors position . Make sure they are not trying to pull a fast one. I am not normally suspicious but this seems very very odd.

Kind regards
Coggy
COGGY
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arborlad » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:19 pm

charabang wrote:Farmer's contractor mistakenly cut 35 trees in my garden...



Had there been any prior 'discussion' about these trees?

Where were you while the work was being carried out?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
arborlad
 
Posts: 7386
Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Hertfordshire

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:42 pm

The farmer is renting the land surrounding my garden for a newly planted area of apple trees...some 100 acres. According to contractor's assistant, a young lad who had the decency to speak to me while the contractor was still out cutting other trees on the 100 acres, the farmer showed the contractor around the land some six months ago pointing out several places where there are trees like mine that he wanted cutting down because a couple had fallen across the new apple tree plants in the last storm. Then last week the contractor arrives and receives text instructions 'cut the 35 trees by the ditch'...he claims he meant another ditch and the contractor made a mistake...the contractor told his assistant he was sure the farmer had pointed out my trees six months ago. It was all very careless of both of them. It is obvious if you look past my trees that it is a garden, it is almost lawned with a pond and plum trees etc. The trees are several feet within the fence boundary so not right next to the fence and no branches hanging over. I doubt the farmer would have done this deliberately, or the contractor...they were both just careless. The farmer says he knows all about planting trees and has the workforce and access to machines for digging out etc. I am worried that if I refuse to let him do the work to dig out and replace the trees then I will be seen not to be allowing him to rectify the mistake and a court would not look favourably on this if it ends up in court. But I want this work done by tree experts, thats if I decide the ten foot stumps should come out as at eye level and ground level they created a lovely feel. I dont even know how you put a value on 35 lost trees....every single person who knows my garden has said 'not your wood!'...as it was a lovely little area.
It may seem ridiculous but seeing the 70 foot trunks piled up outside my garden (on the farmers land where they were dragged for burning) is still making me cry. I have asked him not to burn them yet as I am still not sure how I want to rectify this mess.
I am usually in the garden most of the day with my dogs. That afternoon I had nipped out to the nearest town. When I returned I had an email from a neighbour asking if I had cut some of his trees (his acre garden runs adjacent to mine and he has similar rows of conifers). My partner and I didnt know what he was talking about, went down the garden with a torch and discovered what had happened. The neighbour only lost about 5 trees and isnt bothered as they rarely go that far down their own garden and have let it go to wilderness...whereas mine is where I spend alll day.
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:57 pm

trying to post pic of felled trees
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby arsie » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:13 pm

Should be ok now, you need to have done 3 posts. Stick the pics on a free image web site and post links, is the best way.
arsie
 
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am
Location: Norfolk

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:38 pm

Hi

If you are normally in your garden and this happened while you popped out for a short while then sorry but I am more suspicious. The farmer may say he can do the job but it is your garden, you have been wronged and they should put this right to your satisfaction. If you permit the farmer to do the work and then are not happy, what then. Surely you will then be in an even worse position. Thirty five trees is a lot of trees, is there another area where they have cut down this number of trees? How come the young lad came to talk to you, the contractor and farmer should have come to speak to you and apologise. Have you taken lots and lots of photos of how the area looks now and of the tree stumps? If the contractor knew his stuff then he should not have cut trees that were obviously not in the field owned by the person who had employed him. A reasonable contractor would have asked questions about this. There are many more honest and trustworthy people in the world than dishonest and not trustworthy. Unfortunately it appears that either the farmer, the contractor, or both, belong to the second category. Ask questions.

Kind regards
Coggy
COGGY
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:24 pm

I went to see farmer immediately it happened. He was sorry but not as shocked as everyone else who has seen what happened because I suppose trees don't mean as much to him ...immediately said would fix fence, came round next morning but has left me to bring up replacing trees and when I say Im bringing experts in he says he can do it but to give him the quotes and then 'we' can see where we go. The next morning I walked across the field to where the contractor (a plant hire company not a tree surgeon) was cutting trees and he had been informed by the farmer of the 'mistake'. He was rude and intimidating...said it was a mistake and basically that was that. I said I wanted his name and address and was he insured but he wouldn't say...did not accept it was a big deal. The 100 acres or so that has been turned into orchard had about 4 or 5 pockets of connifers but the others were on the rented farm land, not in peoples gardens....they have all been cut. I think my pile is the biggest though. The young lad helping the contractor to burn the trees just wandered over to look at what had been done to my trees and was friendly and sorry for me...he was just chatty because the machine had broken down and he had nothing else to do.
The farmer is not an unfriendly man and has always let me walk my dogs across his fields...I really don't think it was malicious or done on purpose, just a really big mistake and extremely incompetent of both of them....
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:35 pm

Image
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:37 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby COGGY » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:06 pm

Hi charabang

Surely it is a legal obligation for the contractor to give you his insurance details in the same way as a car accident. Have you put anything in writing to the farmer and/or the contractor? Have you contacted the police AND your insurance company? I think this should be a priority. If the matter should end up in court it may go against you if you have not done so. The police might put pressure on him to give you his insurance details. You do not want to end up with a dud repair/replacement. Surely the farmer should be more supportive than he appears to be. He may not like trees but that does not mean he should not appreciate the seriousness of the matter. You could contact Citizens Advice for help but please do not rely purely on the farmer's word with no proof. You have lost the enjoyment of your garden and seem to be bending over backwards to be reasonable while the people responsible are not being reasonable. Take lots of photos and find photos of how your garden looked before.

Kind regards
Coggy
COGGY
 
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: illegally cut trees

Postby charabang » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:21 pm

Hi
I did ring police...they said as it was a mistake it is not criminal damage as it was not done with intent. I have got a claim form from my household insurance for legal expenses incase it has to go to court. House insurance doesnt cover the tree loss...just legal costs if they think I have a case with 51% chance of success.
I am waiting on the tree surgeon reports before putting a letter in writing to the farmer and contractor......the pictures show the trees which have been laid out on the farmers land at the back of my garden. The pictures dont give any sense of how big this pile is.
I still dont understand why they got cut even if the farmer indicated them by mistake...as they did not overshadow the apple trees, could not fall on the apple trees ..did not affect anything. The farmer did say he had been worried that the other trees might fall on 'dog walkers' like myself...and by accidentally cutting mine he had done me a favour because the trees behind the cut ones would now flourish (tree expert said this was not true, they are now more at risk as not as strong).
charabang
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:53 am

Ads are not endorsed by www.gardenlaw.co.uk or the staff thereof and visitors should perform their own due diligence on the product or service offered.
 
Next

Return to Trees

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests