Trees and Neighbors

January 31, 2021

When talking about trees and neighbors, most diligent arborists are aware of what self-help means. Self-help is the only available option when managing an uncooperative neighbor whose tree is encroaching onto or into an adjoining property owner’s land. Of course, it is incumbent upon each of us to attempt a mutual agreement between two neighbors […]

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Species Profiling

January 7, 2021

We are all aware that racial profiling ranks high in news and in social awareness but can species profiling be an issue with arboriculture and the courts? This question came to bear in a recent insurance company assignment I had regarding the failure of a Water oak (Quercus nigra) when a part of the subject […]

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Of Watermelons and Eminent Domain Takings

December 1, 2020

This assignment concerns a mediation conducted in an eminent domain matter.  You know, that area of our laws that is so important to the constitution that 12 members of the jury are seated, just as in a capital offense like death. In this matter, a tree farm and plant nursery were condemned to make way […]

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Desktop Review: Landscape Architects Beware

November 17, 2020

Landscape Architects Beware: An attorney defending a landscape installer for breach of contract asked for my review of the matter. Mediation was three weeks away. The allegation was that the plant material installed in a new commercial project did not rise to the level of acceptance or marketability. That allegation was spot on. The attorney […]

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Desktop Review: Gretchen Gallo and Bad Neighbors

November 10, 2020

Desktop Review: Gretchen Gallo and Bad Neighbors This desktop review came from the legal department of an insurance company. The matter was rooted in the claimant whose driveway and swimming pool were being damaged by the roots of a neighbor’s oak tree. Serious damages … think six figures. The neighbor did, in fact, own the […]

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Dead Trees Do Talk

November 2, 2020

Dead trees do talk. A birthday milestone for many girls is Sweet Sixteen. And so it was for the girl making her way home from a shopping trip with her father. Having just called her girlfriend to chat about the evening’s plans, she had approximately 45 seconds left to live. Ahead on the interstate, growing […]

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Tree Preservation: Different Things to Different People

July 27, 2020

Tree preservation: Different things to different people. If you are a builder or a developer, tree preservation pretty much equates to not knocking the tree down during development. If you are a homeowner, then tree preservation takes on a more feng shui application. The utility of doing it well, doing what’s right, and doing it […]

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Taking the Mystery Out of Tree and Landscape Claims

March 26, 2020

Taking the mystery out of tree and landscape claims can be difficult! If you have had a tree or landscape claim come across your desk, you know the empty feeling associated with wondering just how the matter will be resolved. If only it were a car or a home, life would be so much easier. […]

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A Misunderstood Common Law Privilege

March 5, 2020

There is a misunderstood common law privilege that permits a landowner to cut encroaching tree and plant parts extending onto and into his property from a neighbor’s property. However, that action does not extend to conduct causing damage to the neighboring property. There is a privilege, but it is not absolute. The privilege is not […]

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Tree Codes: Death, Injuries and Unintended Consequences.

January 21, 2020

Tree codes: death, injuries, and unintended consequences are a fact of life for arborists! I can recall to this day precisely where I was and what I was doing when I first heard the news. Unbelievable as it was. Stunned. Intellectually frozen in my thinking. The government was going to require that a permit be […]

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