Trees are one of the most common causes of neighbour disputes in Illinois. This is because while trees add beauty and value to a home, they can also cause problems.
In Illinois, a property owner is typically entitled to cut down trees on his property. However, there may be legal recourse if the tree was cut down in violation of an ordinance or other law.
You should first contact your local municipality to inquire as to whether there are any local ordinances prohibiting such conduct and/or if the tree was located in a historic district. If the tree was protected by a municipal ordinance or was located in a historic district, then you may seek an injunction and/or damages against the neighbour for cutting down the tree.
My neighbour cut my tree in Illinois
According to the Illinois Property Line Tree Law, a property owner has the right to trim tree branches if they hang over the owner’s property line. If the tree trunk is on your neighbour’s property, then they have the right to cut and remove any of the branches or twigs that are on their side of the property line.
However, if you have a large tree that is straddling both properties, your neighbour does not have the right to prune or remove any part of it without getting your permission first. If you don’t give them permission, then they can’t do it.
My tree branches overhang my property in Illinois
In Illinois, trees that grow over a property line (and whose roots extend into your neighbour’s yard) are known as “boundary trees.” While you have the right to trim branches or roots that trespass onto your property, you cannot cut down or otherwise destroy the tree without your neighbour’s consent — even if it is on your land.
If you do cut it down, your neighbour can sue you for cutting down a boundary tree and win. A court will award damages equal to the tree’s value times three, plus attorney fees. In one case in Illinois, a jury awarded $2,000 for a $400 tree.
In most states, the normal rule is that if your neighbour overhangs his branches onto your property, you may trim them back to the property line. You may not go over and cut down or remove the branches or limbs of your neighbour’s tree without permission. However, if the branches of your neighbour’s tree are on your property, they are yours and you may do with them as you wish.
My neighbour damaged a tree on my property in Illinois
A tree on your property has been damaged and you suspect your neighbour did it. What should you do?
Get to know your rights and responsibilities
You have the right to remove any overhanging branches that come from a tree on your neighbour’s property. However, you must take care not to damage the trunk or stand of the tree while doing so.
If a neighbour damages a tree on your property, you have the right to collect compensation for the fair market value of the tree, plus damages. If you believe that this is what has happened, consider contacting an attorney who specializes in real estate law.
My neighbour’s tree roots or branches damaged my property in Illinois
If your neighbour has cut down, top, or injured your trees or shrubs without your permission, you may be able to recover the fair market value of the tree. However, it is important to note that if the tree was located on your neighbour’s property, then you probably have no recourse against them.
If the tree was a nuisance (for example, it was dead or diseased) then they likely are not liable to you.
There are some exceptions that might apply. For example, if you can prove that the neighbour knew that their actions would damage the tree or shrub and went ahead anyway, then you could make a claim for punitive damages as well as compensatory damages (the value of the tree).
Also if the tree was in a historic district or had been designated in some way as historic, then its value might be much higher than just its fair market value and you could recover for the loss of aesthetic value.
How can I get my neighbour to cut his dead tree in Illinois?
There are a couple of options to get your neighbour to cut his tree down. You can approach him about it, keeping in mind that he may or may not respond. But if you do meet with him, it’s best to be assertive and make it clear that you want the tree cut down, with no more time for discussion.
In many cases, there is a statute that says you don’t need to get permission to have someone cut down their own dead tree. That’s because falling branches are considered a public nuisance and should be removed. So, if you’re concerned that your neighbour won’t follow through on his promise to cut down the tree, call an arborist instead.
What happens if I cut my neighbour’s tree down in Illinois?
In general, the rule is that a neighbour cannot cut down or trim branches from a neighbour’s tree without their consent. If a neighbour cuts down or trims branches from a neighbour’s tree, the neighbour who owns the tree can sue for damages and/or injunctive relief.
In Illinois, these types of issues are governed by the Illinois Right to Farm Act (a law designed to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits). Under the Right to Farm Act, a person may be able to cut down or trim the branches of trees if they have been there for more than 6 months. However, it is best not to do anything without first speaking with an attorney or discussing it with your neighbours.
If a tree is cut down on my property by a neighbour how much money should I receive in damages?
Property law is the legal relationship between land, improvements (e.g. buildings), and the landowner. In broad terms, there’s no such thing as a private property right to “cut down any tree you like.” The tree itself is usually not owned by the landowner, but by the local municipality – but only if it falls within that jurisdiction’s public rights of way or is located on public property. While a landowner does have a statutory right to remove a tree located on their property, this right exists to protect their own use and enjoyment of that particular piece of property.
Sometimes, free money is the result of being in the right place at the right time — like a lottery ticket you bought on your way to work. Other times, it’s about being wronged and knowing who to contact for redress.