Thursday, December 16, 2010

Choosing to Remove Trees

Removal of a tree is always an emotional decision. Usually the one wanting the tree removed is passionate about why he wants to remove it. There is almost always opposition to the removal that is equally passionate. Sometimes that opposition is silent, but the bigger the tree, the more the conflict and trouble that is likely.

Some of the legitimate reasons to remove a tree are:
  1. Competition with another tree that has greater financial, esthetic, or emotional value.
  2. Competition with a man made structure, whether it be a house, power lines, or sidewalk.
  3. The tree is dying.
  4. It has lost the value it was originally planted for.
  5. The tree is a weedy species.
  6. It is creating a bad phycological impact on those who live and work around it.
  7. The tree has become too much of a safety risk.

The last point is the most important: safety is the overriding decider in anything with trees. 

I don't think I need to list the reasons to keep a tree, I think we all have plenty of our own. I do ask that you respect the property owner's right and responsibility for his trees. While there are trees worth fighting for, they are not as frequent as I would like.

Too often I see that the trees that are being fought over are in bad shape and causing problems for the whole neighborhood.

A particular case in mind was a lot with large Siberian elms. These elms were dripping slime from a bacterial infection, had weak limbs that were a risk to the neighborhood kids, and were spreading seeds that were growing in every crack and fence line within a mile radius.

In this case the preservationists won, but I have to wonder if at this point, ten years later, they would be happier with what the property owner wanted to plant as part of the project, or the sick trees they stuck themselves with.

I know I would have chosen the healthier, safer trees.

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