Article 984 and following of the Civil Code of Quebec provide a structure for tree-related questions.
It all begins with the statement of principle in article 985 of the Civil Code of Quebec, which states that:
“985. If branches or roots extend over or upon an owner’s land from the neighbouring land and seriously obstruct its use, the owner may request his neighbour to cut them and, if he refuses, compel him to do so.
If a tree on the neighbouring land is in danger of falling on the owner’s land, he may compel his neighbour to fell the tree, or to right it.”
From the wording of the articles, it is possible to “compel” one’s neighbour in case of problems. This is done through an injunction action, usually with a claim for damages.
This injunction is obtained at the Superior Court. Moreover, it is also important to note that it is not possible to take justice into one’s own hands.
In addition, the Tree Protection Act (P-37), provides punitive damages of an amount that does not exceed $200.00 for each tree, shrub, bush or coppice destroyed or damaged, totally or partially, in addition to the compensatory damages resulting from the general regime.