Neighbor wants us to remove trees
We bought our house recently. We were doing some work before we moved in and the neighbor came over and asked about what our plan was about the tree removal. They had asked the previous owner to remove the trees. Nice way to meet a new neighbor! Buyer’s remorse set in very quickly but we are stuck here. Since we moved in, the same neighbor has asked several times about the tree plan. These trees are large, create shade which we want but I guess they don’t want. They also claim that the trees block their view and are affecting the retaining wall. We had several arborists come and all of them confirmed that these trees, if anything, might affect our retaining wall but not theirs due to the topography and the type of trees they are. I asked the neighbor and they don’t have photographic proof of the view they had at the time of purchase. These trees predate any of the property owners that live in the neighborhood. The trees provide valuable shade and privacy for us. Neighbors did not offer to pay for removal and replacement. Just simply keeps asking “what about those trees?” I want to feel comfortable in our new home and neighborhood. The neighbor in question is generally well liked in the hood and otherwise cordial and friendly. They are never rude but persistent. Arborists all tell us it’s doing great things for us now but may be beneficial to remove in the next 10-20 years as they do have potential to grow very tall and these are all small lots. They are healthy and what they do for us is nearly impossible to replace because trees don’t grow to 20-30 ft fast and not many trees can provide similar shade. Arborists estimate these trees may be over 50 years old. We got an estimate and it would cost over $10,000 to remove and replace. We also spoke with a lawyer who specializes in neighbor law and were informed that the neighbor does not have legal right to force removal and thus court would order them to pay to remove and replace.
Should I suggest a mediation? I want to be a good neighbor and what they want and what we want seen irreconcilable.
Comments, thoughts, insights will be greatly appreciated.