My neighbor – the “tree hater”

I’ve mentioned a couple of times about our house being situated on a treed ravine. It’s really beautiful and is part of the attraction of our house. Obviously our backyard is also filled with trees, as is every neighbor’s yard, all the way down the block, along the ravine.

A few years ago our next door neighbor sold her house and moved to Atlanta. The new family is friendly and pleasant enough. They take care of their house and yard and even bailed us out of two feet of snow this past winter…(honey, anytime you wanna buy a snow blower, don’t stop yourself!…although, undoubtedly, the emissions aren’t good for the environment!)

Then one morning we were awakened by the roar of blaring chainsaws…slashing away at every limb, branch and trunk of all 12 of the neighbor’s backyard trees. By the end of the day, there were 12 sad, little, one-foot stumps sitting helpless around their yard.

I wanted to throw-up.

Even my kids knew how horrible it was. Our daughter said “Mommy! Why did she do that?!?!? Cutting down trees is baaaad!” She said she was tired of the leaves and acorns. Wow. Leaves and acorns. Such a problem. I cannot imagine EVER taking down a tree unless it is dying and a threat of falling. (In fact I have two pretty gnarly trees in my yard but can’t imagine taking them down.)

Trees are so very, very crucial to our environment. They provide oxygen and shade, improve air quality, conserve water, preserve soil and support wildlife (as both food and habitat) and the list goes on and on. Truly, it broke my heart.

Sure their new grass is thick, lush and green now. Mine is sparse in spots and slightly pathetic because of the limited sunlight, but when I look out into my yard, I’m at peace with Mother Earth and I know she’s at peace with me.

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26 thoughts on “My neighbor – the “tree hater”

  1. …so yours is sparse in spots – tell Jim not to pee in the backyard and the grass will recover. Other than that Mother Nature will continue to smile down on you.

  2. That’s for skunks not deer. Wolf urine is for deer. Don’t ask where these pearls of wisdom come from but I have a million of them.

  3. Matt – whatever the case… (for the sake of the neighbors) I’m encouraging him NOT to do it!

  4. While it is a pity when any trees are torn down (the city government just tore down the woods I had behind my house), the majority of the earth’s oxygen is produced by blue green algae. Just a bit of random information… but I’m sure with the amount of chemical spills and dying reefs the amount of algae could start to fall as well…

  5. We love trees. Our neighbor also cut down a tree but it was very old and had many branches wired to keep them up. My guess is that without the wires several of the branches would have already hit the ground. Still, it was sad to see it go. Our yard is full of trees so no planting now but I have planted trees in several states over the years and I find it quite rewarding just knowing that a tree i planted is growing and making someones day. I highly recommend the experience of planting your own tree.

    Johns last blog post..Slow Food

  6. man that sucks… what a waste! I heat with wood from the 20 acres behind my place, but the cutting down of diseased trees helps healthy ones grow (still working on the front 500 feet of the woods & diseased trees), plus now we’ve got tons of new plant life growing all over the area where trees have been cut (sunlight can get through).

  7. Emme – I agree. There are just so, so many important roles that trees play in our lives and environment, it’s just a pity that some people think of them as a nuisance because of some leaves and acorns!

    John – thanks for your comment! It made me smile! 🙂 I actually bought my husband a Japanese Cherry tree for his first Father’s Day. We planted it in our yard and have LOVED watching it grow and bloom in the springtime over the past six years! I agree! EVERYONE PLANT A TREE! 🙂

    Happy – I love that you’re being conscious and responsible about the ones that you are cutting. I wish everyone was! (Our neighbor’s trees were beautiful and healthy!)

  8. Here in San Jose you must get a permit to cut down a tree that’s over a certain number of inches in diameter. The city will even have a hearing, and you must have an argument (tree is dying/sick, danger to fall on your house, etc.) and you MUST plant 2-3 new trees for every tree you cut down. 🙂

    ~ Elizabeth

  9. Elizabeth – I love that! That’s how it should be!…but of course, you’ll get the crazy critics who scream about it being their property and their right to chop trees, but I think it’s GREAT! I especially love that you have to plant more trees if you cut any down ! Great policies, San Jose!

  10. Oh my gosh, that is so sad – I would totally have been heartbroken, too! Heck, I’ve been upset we have had to cut down trees that were dying or messing up the neighbor’s plumbing. (“No, no, can’t we give it some more time? Can’t we give it another chance?”)

  11. Lisa – It IS sad! I couldn’t agree more, and a few of my yard’s old, gnarly trees are happy I feel that way too!

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  14. Mom goes green,
    i would like to know where these very populated trees are located i am very interested in this and would love to take pictures of the trees. I would write an article about it and see how far it goes with public opinions. Whe there are sooo many tees like thats its beautiful to take pictures so please and thank you.

    and your neighbor is crazy…


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  17. That’s insane! It always just baffles me.. do people like how it looks?? Because to me, it looks the way you described it: just sad and barren and boring and depressing and gross. I’ve had people on my block do that, and those sad little stumps are just so hard to look at. That’s the appeal is it, a lack of nuts and leaves?? That’s the whole reason?? I honestly can’t do the mental gymnastics required to see how a plain yard would be preferable to a forested one. Just a grass carpet. How BORING. Why even go outside then? You’ve got a carpet inside, too.

  18. Pingback: » Another (not so) funny story about my “tree obsession”… - Mom Goes Green

  19. Hi, my new neighbors cut down a beautiful, fully-alive, old, huge, gracious pine tree that bordered the corner of my backyard, but was on their property. They did this because the tree made a mess. I had kindly, but strongly, begged them to please not do it. I tried to help them see the beauty and purpose of this grand tree, but they hated it and basically told me “it has to go”. So, two days ago, early morning, I heard the sound of chain saws. I had to listen to it all morning. I’m just sick, sick, sick over it and don’t know what to do with myself to pull myself together. My property line and backyard privacy is ruined, but I don’t even care about that. I care about that tree…in just several hours, it was hacked apart and butchered and is now just a huge sad stump. I found your website and, after reading the above, I thought maybe posting this comment may make me feel better knowing that I am not alone in my love for trees. p.s. I am a Mom, too. I have two beautiful toddler girls.

  20. Barbara – oh, my tree loving friend, you are not alone! I’m sure you ARE heartbroken, as I was when I saw the emptiness of my neighbor’s backyard. You did what you could, in asking them not to do it… Now you can make this sad loss of a majestic tree a wonderful lesson for your girls. Teach those two precious ones about how important trees truly are and they will grow up learning to love and appreciate nature instead of fighting against it! Hang in there and thank you for sharing the story… (hugs to you!)

  21. Wow, Doreen, that is the nicest, kindest reply – it brought me to tears and it makes me feel better to know that you and others like you are out there!…thank you, and I am really glad that I found your website!

  22. Barbara – you are so welcome! 🙂 I truly understand your heartbreak and I applaud you for your passion too! Thank you for joining others like “us” in teaching our children that nature is a gift. I’m glad you “found me” too… please “visit” anytime… and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday!

  23. I wish my roommates loved trees as much as I do. the city is cutting down some beautiful trees in our backyard and around the neighborhood for plumbing reasons. It makes me so sad I could cry and so mad I could scream. Unfortunately my roommates don’t feel the way I do and think I am over reacting. Trees are so essential to our lives I dont understand how we can’t find a way to work around them and with them. Yet too many people rather do what is easiest and cheapest, and if that means cutting down an essential part of our eco system than they do it. It’s such crap!

  24. We are having our over 40 year Indian Laurel tree cut down in less than two days. It had a twin which had to be taken down about 20 years ago as it was near the fence and there was only room for one. The book we went by didn’t give the correct diameter. We would let it grow forever but it is by the electrical box that services about 20 houses here in our crowded suburb. Ficus roots are very invasive and have been lifting the concrete pad the box is on. I am feeling so sad today.

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