Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tree Stories

In Feb. of 2011 I posted the saga of the butchered trees in my back yard neighbour's grove of Birches. It was a massive and severe pruning that killed the two birches in the photo above. Now, more than 3 years later, I am getting concerned about the possibility of these trees toppling down and doing damage, not so much to my house, but my next door neighbour's house. There are also two small boys playing in the shadow of these 'stumps' daily, and this concerns me greatly. When Birch wood is not split, the tight bark seals in the moisture and instead of the wood curing hard as it dies and dries, it turns pulpy and soft. The weight of the tree will then topple it without notice. These are massive trees and their weight is considerable.
I contacted the engineering and parks dept. of city hall and explained in an email, with the above photo, the situation. They stated that it was a dispute between me and my neighbour, on private property, so they suggested that I talk to him about it, send him a registered letter, and then see if he does something about it. Because I was contacting the city on behalf of my endangered neighbour, it is not my dispute. But, my neighbour is on holidays and only the renters in the basement are home.
The issue was driven home to me on Saturday afternoon when I was in my driveway washing my truck. I heard a loud crashing across the street and looked up in time to see a tree falling into the back yard of the house. Before I could check to see if anyone was hurt, the lady of the house came running over in a panic asking me who she should call at city hall. She is new to the house and our city, and was eyeing the trees on the adjoining property and was going to get an arborist to check things out. But now a big rotten Birch tree had fallen across her fence, destroying her dog run, clipping her patio on which she had been sitting, and smashed into a trampoline and sand box. Fortunately her young son was not in the yard at the time. Had the big rotten trunk struck him, he may well have been killed or maimed.
A few minutes later a city arborist did show up on the scene and investigated. As he was leaving, I accosted him and pointed to the big dead birch across the street behind my house. He was quite taken aback when I told him the trees had been standing dead for more than three years already. Because of their size and their tendency to lean over already, he took photos and was going to pursue the issue.
Now I have to wait for the city or wait for my neighbour to return from holidays. (Aug. 14th) I have done what I can.

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