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Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
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Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Hi there.

I have lived in the same home for 11 years. My house is a sweet 1940 cape cod which will be paid for in 4 years. (LBYM) I have 3 beautiful Oak trees that provide shade year round. I love my home.

The houses on my street can be considered "starter homes" so I have seen a lot of young couples move in, have a child or two, then move on. When we first moved in, one could accurately describe my block as "tree-lined". In the past 3 years, I've noticed that rather than trim and care for the trees in a yard, some of the neighbors are just cutting them down. I don't like it. It is changing the look and the feel of the area.

My neighbor (1/2 block) down the street has become a close friend over the years. (let's call her Sally)

Sally and I take walks for exercise on the weekends. On some of these walks, we both have given our opinions on what we think of certain home improvements that neighbors have done. Sally has lived on the street for 10 years.

A week ago, Sally had every tree cut down in her yard. Every single tree. These were beautiful 60 year old trees. Two large trees in the front, 2 ornamental trees in the front, and two large trees in the back. She said they "were in bad shape" and "needed too much work". She lives on a corner and her front and back yard now look like scorched earth. I hate it.

To make matters worse, she had an albino squirrel living in the tree in the front. This is a beautiful squirrel that my DH and I have been watching for years. We have not seen the squirrel since the tree removal. I am praying that he survived.

Every time I drive by her home I wince. It looks like a barren wasteland.

I know that this is her property and she can do whatever she wants with it. I know that. Really, I do.

However, emotionally, I feel angry that she has destroyed the corner lot of the neighborhood, maybe killed a unique piece of wild life, and also hurt my propery value.

Am I being completely ridiculous?
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

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Originally Posted by Tracker
Am I being completely ridiculous?
Not the way I see it. While you may not be able to do much about it, you can certainly feel sorry for her shortsightedness. And of course she has probably taken at least $10,000-$15,000 of her property value!

Ha
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I just don't get how people can want to cut down all those trees.

Years ago Mr. T caught flak for cutting down a bunch of trees on his estate in Lake Forest, Illinois.

What the heck are they thinking. I'm with you on this one,

John
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I live right near where Mr T did his famous deforestation.

As a new homeowner I'm starting to understand why. Trees are nice to look at on other people's property. Sadly on mine they are all in the wrong places, ruining my siding, clogging my gutters etc.

I won't be doing any cutting until these trees die. Around here it's near impossible to get a permit to cut down an old tree.

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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

there are obviously times when a tree should be removed ... but there is no explaining stupidity and poor taste.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Tracker,
That is awful -- did she have any explanation or were there any signs she was going to do this? I remember when our neighbor clear cut their lot -- literally brought in a logging crew -- and sold the hardwood prior to building their house. Made us ill. My only consoling comment is that in time you get used to it, but something precious is lost. Don't get me wrong, there are times when trees need to come out, and no tree lives forever. Does your town have any tree cutting ordinances? I know it's closing the barn door after the cow is gone, but if there are laws and they are enforced, it might keep the next person from indiscriminate cutting.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Wow In CA the tree swat police would have come the instant someone started up a chain saw!
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

when i wanted a house i drove around looking for tall canopies of trees with a house for sale underneath. after two years of searching i finally found just what i wanted. a small house, offset on a large parcel near the beach & downtown. the area was iffy & i bought at the beginning of "white flight" but it seemed to me that the neighborhood was prime for redevelopment. the house inspected solid but in need of cosmetics, the landscape barren but for 7 fifty-foot tall scrub pines and a 75-100 ft diameter canopy (since pruned by me to about 50 ft) rising up 50-60 ft high from the 12-ft diameter trunk of a sandbox tree. on first sight i knew this was the property was meant for me.

i started off with lawns and palms. eventually, over the period of the last dozen or so years, i would plant over 35 species of palm trees, 7 or more species of bamboo, about 15 more pines (the dade county nearly extinct variety), and various tons of other stuff which would eventually take over the lawns and replace them with a series of trails leading into clearings in the jungle that now surrounds my circa 1942 shotgun cottage (built by a guy who had a landscape business on las olas when that was just a two lane dirt road).

i have so much shade that even in the middle of florida summer it is about 5 degrees cooler in my garden than it is in the street. the squirrels and birds and raccoon and possum love it here. i get nothing but positive feedback from neighbors and passers by. i have no idea why anyone would want to destroy such beauty; but no doubt, when i sell, at least half this garden will be leveled to make way for a 3-4,000 sq ft minimansion.

i used to get upset to think about that. but now with global warming and the notion that my town could very well be underwater in 100 years, i guess this was all just temporary anyway. still upsetting, but it will make it easier for me to sell this place one day when my stewardship has ended.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 12:56 PM   #9
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

One of the (few) good things about living in a very strict homeowners association like we do is that tree trimmings and cuttings are well regulated. No tree over 4 inches thick can be cut down without specific HOA permission. I had one deceased tree that was threatening to come down on my roof and even had to get permission to have that one taken down. PITA sometimes but it does protect the appearance of the neighborhood and property values.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 01:15 PM   #10
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I can relate to the "deforestation" issues.

When ever we moved to a new house, my Dad always severly trimmed or removed any trees within 75 feet of the house so that "they would not fall on the house."

Da would have loved living in the desert
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 01:24 PM   #11
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Gosh that made me ill just reading about it. I love my trees, I won't cut any down unless they are old and need to come down. I understand the work they can cause with falling leaves and limbs but that's the price you pay for shade in the heat of the summer. I'll just never understand people like that.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #12
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I would only take the trees down if they were already dying.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 01:40 PM   #13
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Quote:
Originally Posted by saluki9
Sadly on mine they are all in the wrong places, ruining my siding, clogging my gutters etc.
I bought a house in a mature, 30+ year old neighborhood with tons of old oaks, maples and pines. But my house was probably the only one without trees. I love it though! They are really a hassle. When all my coworkers are whining about spending yet another fall saturday afternoon raking, leaf blowing and bagging, I just laugh to myself and think about how lucky I am.

We did have a small japanese maple planted, and last week we planted 3 pink flowering dogwoods. All smallish trees with relatively small amounts of leaves. But I definitely understand the desire to not have trees.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 02:15 PM   #14
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I grew up with lots of trees in Seattle and I love them but I must admit I was tempted to "deforest" the huge oaks in my Lakeland, FL yard after the third hurricane in 2004. Luckily, only a small tree (about 2 feet across) fell during the third hurricane and it missed the house. Hopefully, the new owners haven't cut any of them down.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 02:18 PM   #15
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

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Originally Posted by Lancelot
Da would have loved living in the desert
There are trees in the desert. We have both Palm trees, which easily can fall on a house and orange trees, which can't.

On the other hand, my sister-in-law's house is uninhabitable because a tree smashed theirs in half.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 03:11 PM   #16
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

When hurricane Rita came through Houston, one of our neighbors cut down a healthy 120 foot tall cottonwood "just in case." I happen to know that the idiot paid $20,000 extra for the lot because of the tree. Additionally, the removal of the tree has resulted in severe foundation problems, which he was warned about before removing the tree. Duh!
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 08:55 PM   #17
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

I cut 7 of 8 trees in my backyard after coming home from work one day to have most of my neighbors standing in my backyard admiring the one fallen tree that had missed the house behind my yard by several feet. They could not get out of their back door. Did I want to do it? No. Was the liability high now that one had fallen? You bet. Remember: What did you know and when? Famous lawyer question!!!

I think it is a case-by-case basis on tree cutting. I will be cutting down the remaining tree in my backyard this year to be replaced by a young, strong Red Maple.

Ever think about a tree as a gift? Doesn't have to be something really expensive.

Good luck,

Hillbilly
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #18
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

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Originally Posted by Culture
When hurricane Rita came through Houston, one of our neighbors cut down a healthy 120 foot tall cottonwood "just in case." I happen to know that the idiot paid $20,000 extra for the lot because of the tree. Additionally, the removal of the tree has resulted in severe foundation problems, which he was warned about before removing the tree. Duh!
Cottonwood trees are one of the worst trees to have in a yard. they grow very fast drop tons of litter and grow like a giant 2-ton baseball bat awaiting the local lightning strikes. Growing up one demolished my next door neighbors house during a thunderstorm. Sent their son to the hospital. To pay $20,000 for that tree means you are a poor judge of value unless that tree is 130 feet from the house. If one were to know that removal of the tree would cause foundation problems and knowing that these trees do die and are suceptible to rot and infestations why wouldyou pay an extra $20,000 for it? Growing one is remarkably simple and they will be very tall very fast.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 09:28 PM   #19
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

Had it happen to me three times, only more personal. All three times were properties I sold. The first two had extensive hedges, fruit trees and various shrubs. Both buyers cut everything to the ground. Nothing was in bad shape or in danger of "falling on the house". I guess there are more bugs and leaves to deal with when you've got a lot of greenery.

Third time was just a handful of 5-9 year old trees I'd planted that had grown to become nice shade for the house and areas around it. Again, little explanation for why it was done or was needed.

Big fat bummer if you ask me.

If a tree falls on a house, you've got homeowners insurance. Except for untended trees, its also pretty unlikely that ones just gonna up and fall or drop a major branch with no warning.
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard
Old 04-28-2007, 09:39 PM   #20
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Re: Friend/neighbor cut down ALL trees in her yard

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Had it happen to me three times, only more personal. All three times were properties I sold. The first two had extensive hedges, fruit trees and various shrubs. Both buyers cut everything to the ground. Nothing was in bad shape or in danger of "falling on the house". I guess there are more bugs and leaves to deal with when you've got a lot of greenery.

Third time was just a handful of 5-9 year old trees I'd planted that had grown to become nice shade for the house and areas around it. Again, little explanation for why it was done or was needed.

Big fat bummer if you ask me.

If a tree falls on a house, you've got homeowners insurance. Except for untended trees, its also pretty unlikely that ones just gonna up and fall or drop a major branch with no warning.
Why is it personal? When I moved into my house the first thing I did was cut the 9 trees planted around the house. OF course the previous homeowner had planted a total of 250 trees on 1 acre 2 years before moving. Of course the trees look great when young and aren't too much trouble. It is when they mature that the extra work occur. Trees will tear up the foundation, ruin your sewer system and in the Midwest strong thunderstorms knock trees down all the time. My next door neighbor had a popular tree that was 80 feet tall they die after 15 years and as it slowly died he was too slow to remove.



Last summer carpenter ants were discovered and they caused $25,000 in damage. Now the local politicians are trying to make it a $1500 fee to cut a tree taller than 10 feet. Of course if you are wealthy you can move from a house 10-15 years after it is built and avoid all those problems.


Watch the local Chicago news this summer, a tree through a house will be on every strong storm with a news camera describing the horror of it all.
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