### Poll

#### Should neighbors have any input as to whether large trees are cut down?

Yes, they enjoy them too
5 (5.2%)
No, they aren't their trees
40 (41.7%)
Only if they sign something stating they'll accept liability if they fall over
9 (9.4%)
Why would I even ask them?
42 (43.8%)

Total Members Voted: 96

### Author Topic: Letting neighbors have a say  (Read 4320 times)

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#### ZipTheWonder

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2007, 03:28:21 PM »
Where I live (ie: with respect to the people who live in my neighborhood) removing cedar is generally considered to be an improvement, especially at this time of year.

Nonetheless, where I live (ie: with respect to county ordinance), removing trees requires a permit (though I'm not totally sure that applies to cedar.)

The tree is lovely, and I would hate to see it go.  And I'd certainly hate to pay for its removal!

#### kkl123

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2007, 03:30:27 PM »

I just wanted to respond to this real quick and say that, short of chopping off the top 50' of the trees (effectively killing them), there's no way they can fall without landing directly on someone's house.  These are really TALL trees.  I think one of them may be over 100'.  It's hard to estimate.

Do you know the shadow trick for estimation?  Measure the shadow of an object of known height (like an 8 ft
2x4 placed upright) and the shadow of the tree at the same time.  The ratio of the shadows will tell you the height of the tree.   Tree height = tree shadow length x pole length divided by pole shadow length.

My husband was *so* sure the big doug fir near our house was at least 80 ft tall -- quite disappointed when I did the math and found it was 42 ft. -- he'd wanted to run a ham radio antenna up the tree.

If you're talking red cedar, Juniperus virginiana, it's very rare to have them make 70 ft.  100 ft western redcedar, Thuja plicata, would be remarkable in anything but an oldgrowth situation.

Do check with your local governments, both city and county, before having them removed... there may be massive fines.  Ask for the "arborist".

#### platys

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2007, 04:11:15 PM »
It's very likely that if the trees are healthy, they are adding significantly to you and your neighbor's home value.  Now, if the trees were dying, I could see removing them.  But you are talking about old, gorgeous trees, and while its true that any tree can fall down, it doesn't seem very likely that a healthy tree would.

But, I love trees.  And if my neighbor said that they wanted to cut down old, healthy trees, I'd fight them all I could.

#### Shoo

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2007, 04:13:27 PM »
If you're talking red cedar, Juniperus virginiana, it's very rare to have them make 70 ft.  100 ft western redcedar, Thuja plicata, would be remarkable in anything but an oldgrowth situation.

Yes, Western Red Cedar is what they are.  The arborists we talked to said they were very old trees, though I don't know how old.

#### sammycat

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2007, 05:45:39 PM »
When we moved into our new home 3 years ago, it was also a new development, with very few trees remaining.  Our neighbour cut down all of the trees on his side of the boundary adjoining ours and also asked us if we wanted ours cut down at the same time.  He obviously wanted them gone.  We said no - he had no rights over our property despite his obvious wanting the trees to be gone.  We had actually liked having his trees where they were but, by the same token, we had no rights over his property.  The neighbours directly across the road came home to find that their immediate neighbour had cut down all his own trees and also some of the ones belonging to our opposite neighbour (without their permission).  Some harsh words were said.  My point is, I wouldn't ask permission of the neighbours before cutting down my own trees (and I certainly wouldn't cut down my neighbours trees without permission!).  I also would be unlikely to cut down a tree that is seemingly healthy.  If you are worried, just get the tree checked out every 6-12 months.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 10:28:29 PM by sammycat »

#### Suze

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2007, 06:48:19 PM »
IF you decide to remove those two beautiful trees.  Yes, I am in the camp of letting them stay, but get them checked every so often.

You might want to see if there is a lumber company willing to buy them.  They are more than likely old growth trees from what the experts say.  (if I read what you wrote correctly)

I was watching some TV program about how they are harvesting old logs from the bottom of some old logging ponds and how the old growth trees are rare and very valuable
Reality is for people who lack Imagination

#### bibbety

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2007, 07:04:46 PM »
Shoo, if you're in the Pacific Northwest or B.C., I completely understand why you want to cut them down. These storms have been terrifying. Our neighbour has two huge Douglas firs, and I want them gone. They should have been topped twenty years ago.

Do what's right - cut them down and plant deciduous trees that won't grow to more than 20 feet and you'll feel better.

#### Shoo

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2007, 08:08:57 PM »
Shoo, if you're in the Pacific Northwest or B.C., I completely understand why you want to cut them down. These storms have been terrifying. Our neighbour has two huge Douglas firs, and I want them gone. They should have been topped twenty years ago.

Do what's right - cut them down and plant deciduous trees that won't grow to more than 20 feet and you'll feel better.

Yes, I'm in the PNW.  Northeast of Seattle in Lake Stevens.

The problem with not cutting them down (for those who have suggested to just have them checked periodically) is that it doesn't really matter if a tree is healthy or not.  These types of trees, and pines as well, have very shallow root systems, which are basically just under the surface of the ground.  It doesn't really take all that much to make them fall over.  Wind and saturated ground are a bad combination, and we've had an an enormous amount of both lately.

I'm going to wait until this storm is over, and we're not in the midst of all this worrying and fretting.  Then we'll sit down and evaluate our options.  I don't want us to make an emotional decision.

We have thought of trying to sell the lumber from the trees.  Cedar can be quite valuable, but if there are too many branches (which make lots of knots), it lowers the value of the wood.  So we'll check into it and see.

#### lastonetoknow

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2007, 09:55:39 PM »
I wouldn't ask the neighbors for their opinions.  They're your trees, do what you want with them.

We bought our house 2 years ago and had all the trees removed from the back yard.

One was a huge pine tree whose base was about 8' away from our basement window.  That thing had to be 60 ft. tall, it was huge, and would really sway when the winds were strong.  Scary.

It clogged up the gutters in the fall, and we couldn't see out of the upstairs windows because of it.  The dog also brought in tons of needles on her paws which was a mess to clean up, and no grass would grow underneath, which meant when the basement window was open, dirt would come in with the breeze.

The other was some sort of berry tree, and the birds would nest in it and then come and deposit the colored remains all over our patio furniture.  Niice.

One neighbor did mention that it was a shame we took down the pine tree, but he was also the one who didn't like that we put up our privacy fence because he coudln't stumble into our backyard whenever he felt like it.

#### Lauren

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2007, 10:22:07 PM »
I'm going to add my experience.

I live in Sydney and the house my parents built sounds simillar to how you've built yours (in a not built up area, that has since been built up.

We had this HUGE oak tree in the back yard (about 20m high) which was a stunning tree but my parents were alway worried it would fall over in a storm. They had it assessed and because it was deemed healthy, the council flat out refused to let us cut it down. (we need permission to cut trees down) My parents fought the council for ten years to cut it down.

Eventually the decision was taken away from the council, as there was a huge storm and the tree fell (despite being classified healthy three months previously) on my house. The roof was damaged, but thankfully that was the worst. As no-one was home (everyone else worked and I had a driving lesson at the time) there were no injuries either but if I'd been home? Who knows what could have happened.

My parents insurance company ended up suing the council (had the paper trail) for the damage and won.

Personally, I'd cut the trees down. I agree its a dingdangity shame to have to cut down trees, especilly ones as beautiful as that, but its more important to be safe. Let you neighbour know and if she objects, tell her she's more than welcome to have the tree transfered to her property (if that's possible of course)

#### MineralDiva

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2007, 11:01:46 PM »
The trees are yours.  You may do with them as you see fit.  Would the fear or concerrn you have of them potentially falling over or presenting a hazard to the surrounding homes (including and especially your own), be lessened by a neighbor who objects?

ETA:  The only caveat to this, would be if the trees are of a certain age that they're protected by law.  There are some 300-400 year-old oaks here, that are protected from being removed, for that reason.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 11:04:22 PM by MineralDiva »

#### Bijou

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2007, 11:31:36 PM »
Here's our situation.  We live in a newer neighborhood with very few large trees.  Our backyard happens to contain two 100' cedars that were not cut down when the neighborhood was developed.  These trees provide a great deal of shade for not only us, but for many of our neighbors as well.

When we first moved here, a year ago, we met our neighbor a few houses down and one of the first things she asked me was if we were going to cut down the trees.  She hoped we wouldn't.  At the time, I said, of course we weren't.  We liked the trees.  End of discussion.

Now, a year later, there are new houses all around us that weren't here a year ago.  Very close, full of families with children.  And we've been enduring one severe windstorm after another.  We're in the middle of another one right now.

These trees are making us sick with worry.  We've had two arborists come to our house to look at them for us.  Each of them said the trees looked healthy, but that because of all the recent construction, their root systems could be affected by changes in ground water chemicals and other things.  Things that can take a few years to manifest.  Also, these are apparently only two trees left standing in what was once a forest of trees.  We were told that when trees are cut down all around, the remaining trees' root systems are left weakened.

We are seriously considering having the trees removed.  This would be a considerable expense for us, and a bit heartbreaking as well, but we feel like these trees are a castastrophe waiting to happen.

Should we inform our neighbors of our intentions and get their input?  Or should we just do what we feel we need to and just let them deal with it?  Everyone we talk to in the neighborhood loves our trees.  How do we tell them they're coming down?  Or should we?
Seems it would be solely up to you but can they come back and say you changed the enjoyment they had with the use of their property if you remove the trees?
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

#### MineralDiva

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2007, 12:23:03 AM »
<<<<...can they come back and say you changed the enjoyment they had with the use of their property if you remove the trees?>>>

Though I'm not the OP, I suppose they could say whatever they wished.  But if it was really that important to them, they should've purchased the lot the trees were on.

#### ClaireC79

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2007, 04:50:29 AM »
Before you have it cut down though, do get it checked out that it is legal for you to do so.  I know growing up my parents had a tree in the garden which they had chopped, can't remember what type of tree it was AFTER cutting it down the man (can't think what they are called) asked if they'd had permission, I think it was a protected species.  They hadn't realised.  As he hadn't asked before he said if they had trouble then he'd say the tree was diseased.

The trees at the back of my house can't be cut down as they are there as a landslide barrier.  I think we could have the tops cut off, but we'd need permission even for that

#### itiswhatitisn't

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##### Re: Letting neighbors have a say
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2007, 10:05:10 AM »
I always thought that if a tree fell on my house insurance would cover it under act of nature.  But I may be wrong.

If you think there's a problem and a tree may come down and then your neighbors may sue you, cut it down.  Call your insurance company and see what they recommend.  After all the last thing you need is the tree to come into your house and your insurance to not cover it.  That being said, I wouldn't ask your neighbors.

We have unusable swampy land between us and the people behind us.  It's their land, not that you'd notice it.  The bittersweet from their property was attacking the trees on our land.  My DH and I spent hours pulling it down and eventually had to cut down three trees.  Also, one of their trees had fallen over into ours and we had to get that mess removed.  Luckily we have a friend with a chainsaw, tree experience, and a wood burning stove.  When i asked the lady of the houe if she'd like my friend to remove her fallen tree she had no idea that the tree had come down and told him to take as much as he wanted for firewood.

I gues what I'm saying is my neighbors could care less about trees as long as they don't fall on their trampoline.  And while I think it's great to have concerned neighbors, in the end you are concerned for them and should do what protects all.  I'd give a heads up to the people who will have the chainsaw noise in their backyards, but other than that if they're a danger cut them down.