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Question DetailsAsked on 7/12/2016

Can I sue lawn service for cutting all the branches (from ground to about 5' high) from my 15' river birch.

River birch 15' ht provided a privacy screen. Prof tree service has always taken care of tree. Has an extra large circular mulch bed to protect it from mowers. Lawn service supposed to trim shrubs, weed,mow. period. I'm not sure what I can do besides scream at the workers (who barely speak english) and the owner. Tree is about 14 years old.
Advice most appreciated.

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1 Answer


Gray area if they trim shrubs, whether they could reasonably extrapolate that to trees too - though they should have certainly discussed it on-site with you before doing that, assuming these were not dead branches.

I would talk to the owner (workers have no authority even if they could understand you) - you might want to have a written bid detailing the damage type and the cost to repair/replace in-hand from your tree service guy to fix it - either by replacing the tree (probably $500-1000 plus so lawn guy certainly won't like that), or by the horticulturist doing grafts to grow replacement branches.

If the lawn guy refuses to pay for the work, suing in small claims court is a possibility - as it filing a claim with his insurance company - who may take the position his guys were authorized to trim shrubs so low-lying branches of trees fall in the same category. Whether or not the lawn company owner KNEW the trees were professionally handled by a tree service would factor into this significantly - also whether you ever had them trim tree branches in the past, which could constitute an implied authority.

And count on losing the lawn service and having to find a new one if he ends up paying more than a nominal cost for this out of pocket or through insurance.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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