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Come on man!!
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I know there are a couple of you all out there that are surveyors and such. General question before I go pissing off my neighbor, who happens to be the big dog in our small community. My deed says, and I quote, "Beginning at a stake 5 feet east of a large red oak tree in the north margin of a gravel road".

I know where the tree is located and my question is simple: as this is a rather old property, the tree has grown quite a bit. Such growth, especially from oak trees that can have diameters measured in feet, can obviously affect property lines. What is the common method for surveyors to start a survey with this type of boundary? Is it from the middle of the tree or from the edge? The middle would seem to be the most fair, as that doesn't change the size of the property...but what do I know?

I ask, because Johnny Rich Guy next door had the gumption to tell me that the fenceline between our two properties wasn't the actual border. The previous owner of the farm (a widowed lady who is still a fireball) had some choice words when I told her that and tried to find the survey she'd had done years ago, but could not. She doesn't care for the guy, and oddly enough, neither does anyone I've talked to. He's the big-wig lawyer in our county and likely owns more land than any other single individual here. I'm doing some basic maintenance around the farm, which includes trimming brush and trees back to the fenceline. Of course, he's the kind of guy to make a legal issue out of it and I'm trying to make sure I'm good before I good running around, lol.
Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake here, but the way I read that bolded sentence is that the property line begins at the stake, which is five feet east of the oak tree that existed at the time of the writing.

Wouldn't the stake be what is marking the property line and not the tree?

I've never been through a property dispute but it would seem odd to use a tree as a marker of a property line when a tree can be cut down, its stump ground out, and grass growing in that same spot in no time at all.

Is Rockefeller trying to contest ownership of the ground the fence is on?
 

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Even if the metal stake has corroded away, you should still get a metal-detecting hit on the concentrations in the ground at that area. Photograph or video the stake-recovery effort, so no one accuses you of moving it further out, after the initial discovery.
 

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This thread just made me think of my own property lines.... Around me, a LOT of the property "lines" are old colonial-era rock walls. Actually makes it quite easy to see property lines. Along with that - it is very much against zoning laws to move a rock wall that marks property line - you can repair it, but you cannot move (or remove) a rock wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Maybe I'm a little slow on the uptake here, but the way I read that bolded sentence is that the property line begins at the stake, which is five feet east of the oak tree that existed at the time of the writing.

Wouldn't the stake be what is marking the property line and not the tree?

I've never been through a property dispute but it would seem odd to use a tree as a marker of a property line when a tree can be cut down, its stump ground out, and grass growing in that same spot in no time at all.

Is Rockefeller trying to contest ownership of the ground the fence is on?
My last piece of land actually used trees as a border and they were included in the deed description, so that's why I assumed this to be the case here. A stake in the ground makes more sense, lol.

He's not disputing it...yet. This started when his toothless retard of an idiot was bushhogging the field and came well across the fenceline. He removed a lot of blackberry bushes that we'd wanted to harvest from, and I ended up speaking to King Turd. He actually claims that the fence - which has likely been there since before either of us were born - wasn't the property line.

Sigh. Just my luck to have a rich neighbor who's a dick.
 

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Come on man!!
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My last piece of land actually used trees as a border and they were included in the deed description, so that's why I assumed this to be the case here. A stake in the ground makes more sense, lol.

He's not disputing it...yet. This started when his toothless retard of an idiot was bushhogging the field and came well across the fenceline. He removed a lot of blackberry bushes that we'd wanted to harvest from, and I ended up speaking to King Turd. He actually claims that the fence - which has likely been there since before either of us were born - wasn't the property line.

Sigh. Just my luck to have a rich neighbor who's a dick.
I'd be seriously pissed off about the bushes. Sounds to me like he was trying to get out of paying for the bushes.

Where is the fence in relation to the stake that is five feet east of the big oak tree?
 

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Typically, a concrete monument (a 3"x3" solid concrete pier) is sunk at the corners and key survey points around the perimeter of a lot or parcel, or a pin (a very large nail with a survey tag) is placed in concrete or asphalt surfaces. Modern survey equipment locates these (and other survey elements) with GPS. Surveys are recorded with the county, though the actual GPS data used to produce a survey is not.

In any property boundary dispute, I encourage all parties to hire their own surveyors, have their surveys checked against recorded plats and each other, and then hire attorneys if they can't quickly come to an understanding on where the actual boundary resides.

I hope you can resolve this easily.
 

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It would be in your best interest to have, at a minimum, a boundary survey conducted of your entire property. If there are any buildings or structures on your land and within 300' of the disputed boundary, I would have those surveyed as well (an "as-built survey"). Along the disputed boundary, it may also be helpful to have the trees and topology surveyed, as the trees would be easily observed points of reference, and topographic information would be useful if any drainage & grading disputes occur in relation to this issue (or in the future).
 

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I'm not a surveyor, but if there is fence; you might want to check on the "Encroachment" laws in your state.
I had the same thought, particularly since the neighbor is a lawyer.
In my limited experience, it is common to use trees as boundary markers for rural timberland. Purple paint on tree trunks is being used now to mark a border in the woods. Surveys are often skipped prior to a timberland sale.
You could try hiring a forestry consultant to come to your place. They have experience locating old survey markers and determining property lines prior to a timber sale.
 

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I had the same thought, particularly since the neighbor is a lawyer.
In my limited experience, it is common to use trees as boundary markers for rural timberland. Purple paint on tree trunks is being used now to mark a border in the woods. Surveys are often skipped prior to a timberland sale.
You could try hiring a forestry consultant to come to your place. They have experience locating old survey markers and determining property lines prior to a timber sale.
Trees might be used as a reference for boundaries but they are not used as boundary markers and not used in surveying. A forestry consultant does not have a surveying license and would do the op little good in a property dispute.
 

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I would not buy land without having a valid survey- seems like that would be the seller’s responsibility.

How did you get title insurance without a survey?

I am no expert on buying land - but the 25 or so pieces of property I have been involved with buying - it was always required.
 

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Trees might be used as a reference for boundaries but they are not used as boundary markers and not used in surveying. A forestry consultant does not have a surveying license and would do the op little good in a property dispute.
I did not mean to suggest that a forestry consultant should be used in a property dispute. An experienced one will probably understand how to locate markers and give an informed opinion on how best to proceed, prior to the OP paying several thousand dollars for a new survey. Every time a section of timber land is clear cut with the consultant managing the timber sale for the property owner, the consultant has to know where the boundaries are. They don't typically order a new survey every time timber is cut due to the cost.
 

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Does your county have a GIS division? I know you are in a more rural area but all the counties in the outskirts of Metro ATL have them online. It imposes the property lines onto a Google Maps satellite image along with giving all the details of ownership and such. Sometimes it is part of the tax assessors website.
 

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Trees mark several points on my property but the actual location is mared by large nails with colored ribbon tied to the nails in the tree at ground level.
 

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You reference being in Louisville, so I assume you live in Kentucky? Beautiful state but one of the few that does NOT have the usual section, township and range survey system. It makes surveying really difficult there.
 

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The assessor's office couldn't even answer a question about the plat that shows part of my driveway as belonging to the county (pic attached). I chatted with them about that weird little curve, which isn't mentioned in my deed - but that's a different story, as they told me to talk with the highway department.

I quoted the first sentence of my deed in my initial posting and my question is - where would a surveyor put a stake? The oak tree could have grown several feet in diameter when the initial survey that laid out property lines was conducted, which would mean that I'm losing land every year the tree sits there, since the stake would continue to be pushed east.




View attachment 853206
I don’t have any input except it sucks having crappy neighbors but looks like some good hunting there.
 

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He's a dick. Big money in a small town kind of dick. Heard a story from a local about when it snowed. The entire road was cleared from the main highway up to his house, but no further. ...
Sounds like the plot of "Road House" !

Time to call up Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot to come help you take the rich jerk down! Stay outta the way of that monster truck, though
 

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You need to talk to a local surveyor about your property description. Since it sounds like your ground was split up from a larger parcel, have you considered that the fence might have been an old farm fence and not a line fence? Seems a lot of trouble for some blackberries. Some of the advice about monuments and all is for modern surveying and won’t apply to original lot or survey of public lands type descriptions. The modern convention is that we defer to the historical lines even if we now know they were wrong
 
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