THE ADVOCATE 283
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
By R.C. Tino Bella*
Trees and the Law in Canada, by Julian A. Dunster, Dunster & Associates
Environmental Consultants Ltd., 2018. Hardcover; 262 pages. $175.
Reviewed by Mark Haddock
A client once asked for a legal opinion on remedies for trespass involving
many trees cut down by a neighbour’s contractor. While the basic law is
straightforward, determining how to assess damages, how to get the right
expert evidence and how to find the most relevant case law proved to be a
bit more challenging and time consuming than expected.
How much simpler that task would be now with the new book Trees and
the Law in Canada, a timely and definitive summation of “tree law”
by respected, B.C.-based arborist and professional forester Dr. Julian A.
Dunster. It is refreshing to have a book like this written by an internationally
acclaimed expert, and this likely accounts for the book’s very practical
organization. For example, in discussing nuisance, it sorts doctrine and case
law by factual context, from liability for falling branches and debris, to different
types of damage caused by tree roots, to compensation for the loss of
views. The discussion of trespass distinguishes 11 different types of trespass
and canvasses numerous cases in which each was adjudicated by courts—
likewise for the negligence chapter. The book includes a similarly comprehensive
review of tree law in Quebec.
This kind of detail and organization makes the text a valuable resource
that will lighten the lawyer’s task and orient the expert witness. So often our
case law search results must be followed by considerable effort aligning
decided cases with the relevant fact patterns before us. Trees and the Law in