Massachusetts Tree Law

Massachusetts Tree Law and Neighbor Lawsuits

Under Massachusetts law property owners with trees enjoy significant protection against neighbors who cut down or remove trees unlawfully.

Under the so called Massachusetts Tree Statute a person who cuts down trees willfuly, that is knowing that the trees do not belong to them may be subject to treble damages. Thus if your trees are cut down you may sue the person who cut them down for three times the actual value of the trees.

(The text of this law: Mass General Law: Chapter 242: Section 7. Willful trespass to trees, etc.; damages) A person who without license willfully cuts down, carries away, girdles or otherwise destroys trees, timber, wood or underwood on the land of another shall be liable to the owner in tort for three times the amount of the damages assessed therefor; but if it is found that the defendant had good reason to believe that the land on which the trespass was committed was his own or that he was otherwise lawfully authorized to do the acts complained of, he shall be liable for single damages only.)

How much are trees worth?

It depends on the size, health and age of the tree, but any large tree has a substantial monetary value ranging between $5,000 and $30,000 dollars per tree. Thus if a neighbor were to willfully cut down three large trees they may be liable in a Massachusetts court for over $100,000. Your attorney will work with you, a tree expert or arborist to find out the value of your loss.

Trees are often cut down by well meaning or disgruntled neighbors, overzealous developers or they may be destroyed through the negligence of another person in an accident. (Please Note: We represent people who have lost trees, not people who wish to cut them down). Protect your rights, recover for your loss today.

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