OK, so there was a 40' elm tree in my backyard... quite dead, I can
No leaves on any branches for 2 years.
So I had it removed.
Opened my mail today to find a ticket for $250 from the H.A. for not
asking permission before I cut it down.
And, although there are a few extenuating circumstances that would
probably cause the DA to not prosecute if this were Law and Order - my
H.A. seems to be particularly stupid with respect to common sense if
they can squeeze someone for $$$.
So - I ask you. Is a dead tree still a tree, or is it merely a big
stick of decaying wood upended in the dirt?
At what point does a tree cease to become a tree, and become firewood?
It's always a tree. Sometimes a dead tree, but nonetheless a tree.
Here in my little community the city requires a permit before you can
remove a tree, dead or alive. They have been known to require the
planting of new trees before they will approve even a dead tree removal
permit. The result: people leave the dead tree until it falls down on
utility lines, and then the power company cuts it down. Apparently the
utility company can remove trees without a permit. Or maybe they just
pay the fines.
Your government in action.
Hmmmmm. I disagree. If something dies, then certainly it becomes
If an old human dies, he/she is no longer a human - he/she is a corpse.
An example: If a car were double parked, with a live 40 year old behind
the wheel, who gets the ticket?
Now, replace the 40 year old with a corpse. Who gets the ticket now?
A dead tree cannot be considered a tree; it is a pile of wood waiting
But, live tree or not, there are lots of trees on my humble lot.
Reading through the H.A. rules tonight, I noticed there aren't any
regulations about pruning a tree.
If I should start pruning a tree, and keep trimming, trying to achieve
a balanced look, and then ... suddenly notice that there aren't any
branches left, but simply an oversized stick stuck in the dirt..... did
I cut down a tree?
I think not.
And I'm sure all the highbrows will be thrilled to see the 5 big sticks
stuck in the dirt as they walk by.
And when they ask what happened... I will tell the truth.
I cut down the one tree because it was dead, and it cost me $250.
In order to keep the other trees from dying, and the associated $250
fine - I pruned them back a small amount.
So do I. It was made by Stihl.
I wonder why people voluntarily move to areas of the United Soviet Socialist
Homeowners in the first place. Uncle Nikita will review your request to trim
the dead tree on your property. Mr. Gorbachev called, he said your garage
door is open.
That is why it is important to buy land in the right place. Do a little
snooping. Find out what the neighbors have and what the town zoning (if they
have any) allows.
We have zoning to take care of the potential major issues, but I don't need
approval on my house color, I can leave my garage door open while I'm
working around the garden or in my shop, I can have overnight guests park on
the street all night with no permission. Basic courtesy takes care of most
Yea, a dead tree.
In this case, I would guess that the reason for the law would determine
if a dead tree would be included.
If the permit was required to assure that the tree was safely removed
without falling on a neighbor's car, then dead or live I would think you
would need a permit. On the other hand if the only reason for the permit
was to control what trees were removed or demand replacement, then maybe a
dead tree might not be included.
A tree is still a tree, even if it falls down when nobody is listening.
Read your HA documents - they print them for a good reason. It's a
stiff penalty, but it is probably written in the documents. If the tree
was dead before your purchased your home, you might have a chance if you
wrote the HA and told them it was a hazard and should have been removed
long ago. Or, let them put a lien on your house and die before you pay
it :o) In Florida, HA's and condominiums have a different set of laws,
and individual HA's or condo assns then each have their own
declarations, bylaws, blah, blah, blah. I believe there is a
per-incident limit on fines in Florida; wouldn't hurt to check out the
law where you are. Cheaper to pay than fight, unless you are absolutely
assured of winning. Loser pays legal fees here.
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