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Oak tree at the root of construction dispute

Nearly every construction project comes up against delays, complications and confusion that cause some headaches for everyone involved. This isn’t limited to the contractors and commercial landowners, either. Neighbors living near a construction zone can be affected as well.

For instance, recently a dispute arose when construction to build a fire station in another state resulted in an upsetting — and expensive — problem for the owner of land adjacent to the fire station.

The construction work ended up damaging a large oak tree. The tree is now expected to die, as half of its root system was damaged and exposed in an unexpected result of the construction.

It is not known if the contractor involved knew that the tree would be affected by the construction, but no efforts appear to have been made to contact the owner of the land where most of the tree is.

The landowner is now seeking damages, as he will have to remove the tree. Further, an arborist estimated that the tree itself is worth about $25,000, according to an accepted formula that calculates the values of different tree types.

Trees are at the root of many construction disputes. They are a natural and often large presence on any property. Further, they are not confined by property lines. Their root system and branches can span multiple properties, making it difficult for people to know who is responsible for them.

It is also important to note that in Orlando and other cities across Florida, there are efforts to protect trees and other vegetation for aesthetic and environmental purposes.

In other words, you typically cannot just cut down a tree unless you have proper permission.

With all this in mind, it makes sense that a tree could easily present complications during a construction project. Without proper action, these complications can quickly become expensive legal battles.

Whenever complications arise during a construction project, whether it involves removal or a tree or use of defective products, it is important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Doing so can avoid or minimize delays, protect property and ensure that a property owner’s rights are not violated.

Tue Aug 28, 8:28pm

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