Fallen trees

Hi All, i have a question maybe someone can offer advice on:

A friend has had a letter from the local mayor, informing her that 2 trees bordering her land have fallen across a small stream which is a borderline of the adjoining property..and 70% of the trees had fallen across he neighbours fence.. the trees were reported to the local mairie by her neighbour, stating the trees were causing blockage and flooding his land.

My friend met with the neighbour to look at the situation, where the neighbour stated the trees fell in july 2012.. the letter from the mayor arrived mid Februray this year. I was asked to look at the trees and if it is within my ability to remove them.. upon inspection, one tree is one metre diameter, the other about 70cm, fully mature oaks.. BUt.. the crowns and much of the wood has been removed by the neighbour, leaving the remaining trunks for my friend to deal with..

my question is: does the neighbour have any right to have removed the wood, is he entitled to keep the wood?.. is there a law to quote for ownership and rights to the wood?.. my understanding is a neighbour can prune overhanging foliage, but has to give it back the owner?.. the fact it took him over 18 months to report the trees is a mystery, maybe it tok him all this time to remove the good wood?.. also, having seen the stream in full flood.. the trees were not causing and evidence of the water rising enough to flood.. I would like some information please.. to go with my friend, to the mairie and argue the detail.. thank you all in advance

Seems like flooding was probably inevitable this wet winter but somebody and something had to be blamed. Where the roots of trees are defines on whose land they are. Whoever's land it is owns them and is therefore entitled to the wood. However, if the neighbour had taken wood then they are within their rights to clear their land and there is no actual problem. Had your friend, if the trees are on her land, acted immediately then she would have had the right to have them cut and cleared and claimed the wood.