AArgh... neighbors

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[whining mode] New neighbors next door- to the west. Their first week in they've cut down a *beautiful* 30 year old Black Olive tree that shaded my entire front garden- full of shade plants. Anthuriums, calatheas, ferns, teeny little gems that I had cherished for years in containers before putting them in the ground. That garden is only one year old- and now I am having to reorganize the whole darn thing. Plants are wilting faster than I can transplant them.
And I thought our town had an ordinance against this sort of thing without a permit- guess that explains the city trucks I've seen stopping to take photos of the stump three times now. Would I be evil to hope they get fined?
And I know about Black Olive maintenance issues- I have one. But had they bothered to live here a while before killing trees they'd have noticed that *we* always keep their walkways pressure cleaned- husband just can't seem to stop once he gets going. Not feeling too good about my new neighbors right now. [/whining mode]
--
Toni
South Florida USA
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Guess you should have bought the property when you had the chance.
Whining over a damn tree!? Lady, you ain't seen nothing yet!
Barking dogs? Noisy, unruly kids? Boom Boxes? Loud parties that go on for hours? Unkempt lawn? Oddly painted house? And on and on and on...
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How about neighbors that cut YOUR trees! That's what I had to deal with. I feel for you though. I love my shade garden, too. Your new neighbors sound like they are clueless. Hope you have someplace to put the plants you saved. Karen
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It will take 30 years to replace the tree. Resolving barking dogs, unruly kids, loud music and late night parties, unkept or ugly neighboring property problems will all be resolved long before the tree can be replaced. The problems you bring up are transitional, and believe me, as a renter for 20+ years, I've dealt with the gamut of miserable neighbors. However, a tree lost is gone -- forever.
Suzy O

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A tree that will eventually grow to be 50' tall and 50' wide should never be planted on a small residential lot.
Such a tree will not only effect the owner of the property the tree is on, but the property of at least eight other neighbors.
To you perhaps the other problems I mentioned are small things that will only last a short while, but that's not so.
Barking dogs may live for 20 years or more then might be replaced with other untrained dogs by uncaring neighbors.
Loud, unruly kids could be around for a decade or so to be replaced by God only knows how many more generations of grandkids.
A neighbor that is not keeping his property up now, may never do so.
That lone complaining neighbor may be angry about the tree being chopped down, but I just wonder how many others that have been effected by the tree's shadow for countless years are happy the tree will soon be burning in someone's fireplace.
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Your town has an ordinance that requires a homeowner to get a permit to cut down a tree on his own property? Yikes!
Sure glad I live in the "Live Free or Die" state. We just tax the trees that you cut down. No income or sales taxes but we have lots of little ones.
John
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John Bachman wrote:

So freedom is the right to adversely affect the lives of others just because you happen to be standing on property you own?
With freedom comes responsibility, or else we don't have freedom. We would have anarchy. Laws, such as those that prevent the willy-nilly chopping down of mature trees, attempt to balance the freedoms of everyone affected, not just the freedoms of the owner of the lot where the trunk happens to come down.
Simply imposing a tax, as you say your state does, means that only people who can afford freedom are allowed freedom. And that's not freedom at all. Whether or not a tree should be allowed to be cut down should depend on an examination of the particular situation, and not just an examination of someone's wallet.
There are situations when trees should be cut down, and there are situations when trees shouldn't be cut down. I'm not saying that just because a tree gives me shade, my neighbor shouldn't be allowed to cut it down. Nor am I saying that my need for an unobstructed view mean that my neighbor shouldn't be allowed to construct a cellular phone tower on his or her front lawn, either. The situations need to be considered on their own merits, and in whole. The ownership of the land involved may be a factor in who can initiate consideration of the situation. It may, in some situations, be the most important consideration. But it shouldn't always be the most important consideration, nor should it be the only consideration.
We live together on this planet. Being rich enough to own land, or rich enough to afford fees or taxes shouldn't give someone a higher right to impose on my right of freedom.
--
Warren H.

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wrote:

Are you saying that I should need permission to remove a tree that makes a mess so that I do not disturb my neighbor's garden? That is what the OP was complaining about.

So society should decide whether that tree comes down? Does not sound like freedom to me.

Nope, the tax only comes into play when you cut down a significant number of trees. The income from the logs more than pays the tax. I ran into this unexpectedly when I cleared two acres of my lot to put in an orchard, small fruits and vegetables. I suppose by your logic I might never have my beautiful garden if some nut thought that the trees should stay.
Sure glad that I do not live in such a place.

Who decides in your world?

Who decides?

In my world you are free to do as you please as long as it is lawful. So am I. That is freedom.
John
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Yea, I guess it does, if that's how you want to look at it. If I own the property, and I want more sun where a tree shades, then I can cut the tree down - without asking anyone's permission (and here in MA we don't have to pay a tax on it). At least that's the way it works around here. I wouldn't want it any other way.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

So clear-cutting forests, strip mining, damming of rivers and all other kinds of mass environmental damage is fine with you as long as the owner of the property is the one doing it?
If you can cut down your tree, why can't a lumber company clear-cut an entire forest? What if your neighbor was a farmer, and the trees you cut down resulted in erosion that wiped-out his entire crop? You owned the land the trees were on. Didn't you have the right to cut them down regardless of what damage it did to the environment or economy?
I'm sure glad it's not your way in most places in this country. I'm glad that most places have sensible land use rules that address environmental concerns, and who owns the land is not the only criteria used to determine if something can be done. That kind of thinking goes more with a feudal system than it does with a free society. (Note that it's a free society, not a bunch of free individuals. That's anarchy.)
--
Warren H.

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wrote:

A sure sign that a person is losing a debate is when they extend the subject to a ridiculous extreme. We were talking about one tree and you have tried to extend the same principles to earth scorching.
End of conversation.
John
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John Bachman wrote:

My response was to your earlier message that said::

So it was you that opened the scope of the discussion beyond that one tree.
A sure sign that a person is losing a debate is when they accuse someone else's point as being a "ridiculous extreme" instead of addressing the issue.
So how does the world work in your view that all it should take to cut down trees is to pay a tax? Or do you really have some additional criteria as to who has the freedom to do that on their property, and who doesn't? Apparently you're in favor of you having the right, but when someone else clear-cuts a forest, that's a "ridiculous extreme", and isn't covered by your ideas of freedom.
So where do you draw the line? Instead of pouting about how the example is a "ridiculous extreme", why don't you address the point, and tell us where you're drawing the line, and why?
Or was my position a ridiculous extreme. In case you missed it, I said:
"There are situations when trees should be cut down, and there are situations when trees shouldn't be cut down. I'm not saying that just because a tree gives me shade, my neighbor shouldn't be allowed to cut it down. Nor am I saying that my need for an unobstructed view mean that my neighbor shouldn't be allowed to construct a cellular phone tower on his or her front lawn, either. The situations need to be considered on their own merits, and in whole. The ownership of the land involved may be a factor in who can initiate consideration of the situation. It may, in some situations, be the most important consideration. But it shouldn't always be the most important consideration, nor should it be the only consideration."
Is that a "ridiculous extreme"?
If you've got a point, make it. Or do you want to stand on your "End of conversation" comment? If that's all you had to say in response, then you wasted your time. You said nothing. You haven't been the least bit convincing.
So do you believe that a property owner should be able to cut down all the trees they want without regard to others (so long as they can afford to pay the tax), or is that not your position? And if that's not your position, where are you drawing the line, and why? And how do you justify it compared to my "ridiculous extreme" position?
--
Warren H.

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Who said any of the above other than you? Stretching your reach a bit, aren't you? But that just means you've run out of reasonable argument.
I can cut down any tree I want on my property. As I should be able to. You go ahead and live in your controlling environment, I promise I won't move next door to you. And thankfully most of New England feels as I do.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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I suppose that depends whether you view yourself as the sole owner the land you bought, or just the latest in a long line, the current custodian who will one day hand it on to another by death or sale or inheritance.
What if the tree is many hundreds of years old, or a "champion" of its species, or an extreme rarity, or a special landmark of the neighbourhood? Does someone who pays a mortgage on the tree's patch of soil for a few years, acquire an inalienable right to remove something very rare or special?
Janet.
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Stop it. You're being too logical.
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The question is do tree's have standing...as I try to remember arguments from 30 years ago. Some where John Seed or was it Johnny wrote eloquent about this . Still 30 years hence and SUV's rule.
Bill
--
Garden Shade Zone 5 in a Japanese Jungle manner.
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And there ARE weed trees......... 30 or 40 years ago someone planted a living wind-break // snow fence on the property line between our current property and our current neighbor. A row of alternating Poplar and White Pine. The Poplar are now in their senesence and already this year we have felled 4 ( for stove-wood) and a 5th has fallen on its own. The White Pines need the space we provide by taking the ailing /dying Poplar.
Our neighbors and I agree that we LIKE the row of White Pines, we are comfortable with and appreciate the "look" it gives to our contiguous property. WE ALSO agree that the Poplars need to be felled before they fall. They fall on OUR side of the line, WE slice and dice and WE keep the stove wood for our efforts. The neighbors do not use firewood. Works FOR US BOTH
I think there are 8 more Poplar that will be stove-wood in the next year or 2.
Another of our property lines abuts the Town Maintained Road. On this line we have 3 massive Sugar Maple, some significant Red Pine, and 5 mature clumps of White Birch.
Well, those White Birch are darn pretty trunks and folks always tell us how lovely they are, but looking up into their canopy tells the tale that those White Birch will be on the ground in a year or 3 also. As they overhang the Town Road, the Town may decide to take them before they create a hazard, and we would be out the heating fuel from the stove wood. OF COURSE we will take them before the town road crew gets them. Town road crew won't be getting OUR firewood. There is heating fuel in those trees!
The Sugar Maple and the Red Pine are Keepers, their size is testimony to their age and their age is testimony to both husbandship of this property, and to the age of our house ( circa 1814).
The blessing in our Small Woodlot Management is that there is replacement and regeneration, naturally, over time. Already there are more White Birch, Red Pine, Sugar Maple as well as Oak and White Pine in the understory needing sun and open space to prosper and reach maturity.
Oaks?? Where did our little OAKs come from??? Oh Years ago, there were 2 HUGE Oak ( I never saw them standing, but can still find the remains of stumps) and generations of squirrel did their best to help save their food supply.
We do routinely harvest mature woodcrop here on a tiny 2 acre parcel. Please note that we are harvesting only WEED TREES with a naturally short lifespan, and MATURE/DYING/HAZARD trees, while creating space for the natural renewal of resources.
WE may not see the harvest of the new crop in OUR lifetime, but the next owners of this property will, by nature and nurture, recieve their benefits in beauty and bounty.
Trees wear big shoes... They cast shadows to cool, they divert wind to save your heat bill. They divert water by their roots, and divert snow by their branches and girth.
Their height and breadth can squash property, but the wood from those trees harvested at the right time can help heat your house and create dancing firelight on your hearth.
Sue Western Maine
Never underestimate a Tree, it has all matter of value as your friend, but can be your certain enemy in an ill wind. Think of your trees as you think of your neighbors, both in life and death.

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I suspect the original windbreak planter meant for the poplars to be removed when the slower growing white pine filled out. The only recommended use for poplars that I know of is to have something fill in an area FAST. Removing the poplars, which are now very elderly trees, is probably just what the original tree planter had in mind. Go for it!
Suzy O
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As I've said in another post, I don't cut down trees willy-nilly. But that isn't what this is about. It's about property owners' rights vs. those who love to make rules for others to follow.
There's a gorgeous oak one town over, it's magnificent. I stopped one day and talked with the elderly lady who lived in the house and told her what a wonderful tree it was. She was happy to talk to me about it - and she told me she was worried that when she died someone would cut it down. It's still there, she's gone, we can only hope the new owners see the beauty of the tree and keeps it where it stands.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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No, it's about the common good of society being more important than any individual

Here, that tree would have a Protection Order placed on it. Of course, a protection order can't withstand a chainsaw but it does mean that anyone who cut it down would pay a huge fine.
Janet.
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