April 10, 2015 at 10:57 am #47636
I was so saddened yesterday to wake up to the sound of chainsaws behind my house. A neighbor behind me made the decision to cut down five beautiful, mature conifers which have always been full of birds.
They were completely gone by the end of the day.
I understand the desire to re-do one’s landscaping, but please think twice about cutting down healthy trees! Especially during spring nexting season.
I would post a before/after photo if I could, but I don’t know how.April 11, 2015 at 9:28 am #47641
Can you tell us the rough address?
/rApril 11, 2015 at 10:06 am #47642
For what purpose? I’m not a proponent of public shaming…
i posted a photo on the FB page, but it has been removed. Big Brother does not approve.April 11, 2015 at 11:09 am #47643
I had no idea Facebook could remove a couple photos of a landscape, trees, etc.
It is always sad to see the removal of a healthy tree. But I guess if they are on their property, it’s their decision. If there are any nesting birds, I hope they find a new home.April 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm #47644
Looks like your neighbor was supposed to get a permit to cut down more than 3 trees of 6″+ diameter:
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/permits/permittypes/treevegetationremoval/default.htmApril 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm #47646
@iowagirl, to clarify, I think the Wallyhood administrator took it down, not FB. Our friendly neighborhood censorship czar.
@barbbsea, thanks for that link! I looked up the City Arborist page and didn’t find these links. Unfortunately, the lot size is likely <5000 sq ft, so no restrictions on tree cutting unless it is an “exceptional” tree.
also, while i agree that a property owner has a legal right to make that decision, the legality of it doesn’t assuage the moral, environmental and emotional loss.
The concepts of personal property, land ownership, and humans viewing nature as a resource are a social construction. The exact same paradigm that leads to rainforest destruction, oil drilling, and developers building high-rise condos with no parking. [Just wanted to touch on the issue that most Wallyhood members seem to care most about.]April 11, 2015 at 7:09 pm #47649
We are the owners of said house.
We had no intent to upset neighbors.
We actually spoke with our next door neighbors about this issue before we proceeded but we did not talk to neighbors of cornering lots.
We love this neighborhood. We loved these trees when we purchased the house.
Unfortunately, the original planter of these trees planted them too close together and close to our neighbors detached garage. First, as a result, the corner cypress tree (which has a trunk that grows out fairly quickly) was growing into the neighbors garage. Secondly, because of how close the large, thick trees were planted in a straight line, they were more susceptible leaning with high winds. This past winter, the trees started to lean with some high winds… And as a result started to break the fence. Not a huge deal. But we had two arborist look at the trees in march, and both said they were a hazard to neighboring properties. We didn’t need permits because of the our lot size.
You’re correct… We all enjoy these trees but we also live very closely together. If someone identifies hazard trees on our property, we are liable. They had to come down for safety reasons. We hate the resulting appearance as well. We plan on replanting trees in the next few weeks as well as replacing the broken fence.
I hope in the future, you would feel comfortable coming over and taking to us. We don’t want to be insensitive neighbors, nor create enemies. We are approachable… And frankly we want to live here a long time and see this community thrive. We are sorry to hear that we upset anyone, but it sounds too late to correct that now.April 11, 2015 at 9:45 pm #47650
That is such a nice post! I think your thoughts and reasons are 100% on target.April 12, 2015 at 10:32 am #47653
I asked about the location not for purposes of “public shaming”, but rather so I could see for myself what we were taking about.
It sounds indeed like the owners had little choice. My next-door-neighbors recently had to take down a big acacia tree for similar reasons. Sad but inevitable, I suppose.
/rApril 12, 2015 at 10:54 am #47654
Mshih12, thank you for your thoughtful post. I was home during a storm here and watched as one of our evergreens blew over and came to rest on our neighbor’s roof. It went over very slowly, and no damage was done. We were lucky. These trees do not have deep roots but they grow to be very high and have wide, sweeping branches that catch the wind. When the ground gets saturated after a long, rainy spell, they can indeed become a hazard to property and to people.April 12, 2015 at 3:39 pm #47655
Wow – tree fell on a house and there was no damage! That isn’t usually how it works! Living with great trees requires a certain level of communal risk acceptance. Trees fall over sometimes, and they usually cause some damage. If that’s likely to result in ruinous liabilities for the tree’s owner, eventually trees will attain large stature only in the yards of very foolish people.
I guess this was the lucky case where the tree gives lots of advance warning, so that’s the other side of the coin – owners have to respond to immediate hazards. But the large trees that are allowed to remain are a sign in a way of our health as a community, inasmuch as we’re willing to accept a little risk from these trees so that we all enjoy something of value from them.
By the way, I’d be interested to know what happened to the fir tree on the south side of N 36th near Carr, that looks like it snapped at about 16 feet.April 12, 2015 at 6:54 pm #47660
@mishih12, i appreciate your taking the time to respond and explain the circumstances. thank you. it sounds like we have both lost something we valued.
we are also friendly and approachable, so i’m sure we will have an opportunity to chat in the near future.
i also appreciate everyone who has contributed to this community conversation about the importance of our beautiful trees. our trees help to make Wallingford a green, bird-filled, special place to live. and, they sequester our carbon and provide us with oxygen. personally, i’m glad to live in a neighborhood where people feel sad about the loss of trees.
it is interesting to think about the idea that “my” trees on “my” property don’t belong to me, really – they belong to all of us who enjoy their many benefits.April 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm #47669
Unfortunately, with our vintage houses, a lot of us are living with trees that were planted years ago when they were small that were really inappropriate for a tiny Wallingford yard. It’s especially hard when the tree is damaging something that belongs to a neighbor, like their fence or roots under their sidewalk, and they aren’t happy. It can be quite pricey–so Runyararo, even though you don’t think your trees belong to you alone, you alone are responsible for damage. (Learned this the hard way.)April 17, 2015 at 10:19 am #47692
@loic, I was talking about intrinsic value, not liability, but I get your point.
Less well known to many is that removal of trees can also cause damage to neighbors’ property. When I bought my house, the removal of a large cedar tree by the neighbor years before had caused my garage slab to sink (as the roots decomposed, leaving a void under my garage). I successfully negotiated a reduction in the closing costs because of it!
I also feel it is worth pointing out the conflict of interest an arborist has when they are paid by a tree-removal company to refer tree removal jobs. It would be naive to think there isn’t some pressure to see and point out potential danger where there may be low probability of danger. It is telling that, when I asked the guys cutting down these five trees, “Why are you cutting them down?” their answer was, “Because your neighbors are paying us to cut them down.”
A notable exception is Tree Cycle, http://treecycleseattle.com/about.html. They actually discouraged me from removing a couple of trees I thought were dangerous to powerlines and/or my foundation, assuring me that a little trimming would solve the problem. Also, when they do remove trees, they mill logs so the wood is usable for furniture or woodworking projects, rather than turning them into woodchips and firewood.April 20, 2015 at 10:40 am #47725
Why it that people are against a new house blocking light and views yet they feel justified in planning a large Cedar on the property line that will do exactly the same thing plus damage sidewalks, sewer lines, and pose a hazard in high winds?
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