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Tree Hugging Hypocrite


This summer, many of my neighbors went on a tree-cutting frenzy. My next door neighbor had every tree on his property chopped down, which destroyed the shady, secret garden thing that my backyard had going. Other neighbors chopped down a big maple tree on the green belt. Another nearby neighbor chopped down a whole bunch of trees that completely changed my view to the west. My neighbor kitty-corner across the street from me (the house next to where the sun is setting) took down a big pine tree. Then, some people down the street had the nerve to chop down a whole bunch of healthy cedar trees on the green belt. They turned one of the prettiest trails into an ugly clear-cut.

Don and were furious that the HOA is allowing anyone to chop down healthy trees on the green belts. The trees are the only thing this neighborhood has going for it beauty-wise and most of the trees have been here longer than the houses. My feeling is that, if someone doesn’t want to live near trees, they shouldn’t buy a house on a green belt. There are plenty of house available in newer neighborhoods that don’t have a tree on them.

Who knew a logger's daughter could grow up to be such a tree hugger?
Who knew a logger’s daughter could grow up to be such a tree hugger?

Don went to last month’s HOA meeting to find out why the HOA is allowing so many trees to be cut down. Apparently, they aren’t. People are just doing it without approval. They asked for the address of the people who had all the big cedars cut down so I went down there and got it to turn them in. Michael asked me if I really wanted to be “that guy.” My answer is that, yes, I do!

Earlier this week, quite by accident, I did discover an unexpected benefit of tree chopping. I went out into the yard to discover the sun setting right in the spot where the pine tree in my neighbor’s yard used to be. For the first time in, well, ever, my yard got some of that magical light of the golden hour.




It was so beautiful.  Now I want more of it! I must confess I wouldn’t be too sad if something terrible befell the wall of cedars that blocks my view of the sunrise. Not the two huge, old ones, of course, just the ones that someone planted in a row on the other side of my fence. I wouldn’t have them cut down, but I do wish they would go. I guess that makes me a hypocritical tree hugger.


25 thoughts on “Tree Hugging Hypocrite

  1. I’d be furious about people cutting down trees in the greenbelt too! Those trees belong to everyone in the community. They have actual dollar value, aside from their value of providing beauty, fresh air, wildlife habitat, and water quality. If they are older trees that dollar value is quite considerable. I’m with you, if a person doesn’t want to live next to a bunch of trees don’t buy a house next to a bunch of trees! Even if the HOA plants replacements it takes many years for them to grow to an appreciable size.

    We’ve lost a tree and several bushes in the small grounds in front of my condo building in the last two years and I’m sick about it, especially since the HOA doesn’t seem to care.

    1. That’s awful that your HOA doesn’t care. I felt a little better after finding out that our HOA isn’t approving all the cutting. According to the board members that were at the meeting, their policy is to have an arborist come out to assess whether the tree is a danger to any homes. I figured they were just calling a tree service, who of course would be all for the cutting, no matter what. One of the giant cedars on the north side of my house could be dangerous because it splits into three trunks. But, I just can’t bring myself to request that it’s taken down. I figure it’s been there this long….

    1. I did enjoy that little bit of late day sun in my yard but I still feel a bit sick about the pine tree that used to be in that spot. We don’t have that many pines here and I think they’re so pretty.

  2. I was also going to say that the colour of the fallen leaves is amazing. “Hypocritical tree hugger?” Hmmm…maybe more of an optimist…finding good in the bad.

  3. I would be “that person”people have no right to cut down trees that are not on their property. Of course it won’t bring the trees back but if it goes unpunished they will keep doing it.

    1. I hope the HOA will do something to put a stop to all the unauthorized tree cutting. People went totally chain saw crazy this summer and that storm we had at the end of August took out quite a few trees as well.

  4. I would be furious that so many healthy trees were cut down. In my mind the only reason should be disease or danger to houses in storms.
    Here is Australia, well certainly in my state, you have to get council permission to cut down large trees on your property and/or council land.

    I would be a tree hugger.

    I love the photos of the sun shining through the leaves. Very pretty.

    1. In our closest town, Mill Creek, property owners have to get permission from city council. I’m not for people telling what you can do on your own property but I like this rule. Too many people just want to raze every tree to the ground and it ruins the neighborhood view for everyone. And then there are all the animals that need food and shelter from trees.

  5. Cutting down trees changes the whole environment. We lost all our rhododendron when the neighbors took out a huge old oak. I don’t think it was going anywhere, but I might be wrong. Guess we’ll never know! At least you now have that lovely golden glow.

  6. Think of all those poor, homeless squirrels who have been affected by that merciless tree cutting! You’d think that in your neck of the woods (no pun intended), preserving trees would be more of a priority. Widespread tree cutting is the kind of thing rednecks do when they have too much Pabst Blue Ribbon in their bloodstream…

    1. All those poor homeless squirrels! They go to all the trouble of building nests and then some pansy-ass who fears the trees will fall over on their house in our imaginary windstorms goes and chops down the trees. It makes my blood boil. I wish I were a squirrel-whisperer. I would help them plot revenge!

      Pabst Blue Ribbon is a pretty fancy-sounding name for rednecks! Although I honestly don’t know what they’re drinking these days. It’s been many years since I attended a backwoods kegger. I’m now surrounded by wine tasters. They sip and laugh loudly, because you’ve got to pretend you’re cool and interesting. It makes me miss those backwoods keggers. Minus the tree-cutting, of course. 🙂

      1. Speaking of redneck, me and my Dad would walk the roads salvaging cans for extra money when I was a kid… I knew every beer sold in town when I was just 10… and there was always a ton of PBR cans! That and something called Red White and Blue, which was probably off brand Pabst! There is nothing like dealing with half empty warm beer cans picked up out of the grass to give you an early distaste for ever wanting to drink beer!

        1. Ah, so Pabst is the Rainier of your area! Our ditches and woods were full of Rainier cans and bottles.

          That was probably your dad’s plan all along – get you so grossed out by old beer cans that you never wanted to drink beer!

  7. Here in Ballarat if you live in a green belt you need council permission to chop down a tree and usually the condition is that you plant another in its place. Some councils make it a two for one rule. Cut one down plant two. So you can cut down a big straggly thing and plant two small ones that suit your house better.

    1. That sounds like a really good policy. I think I will suggest that to our HOA. I would love to see trees replanted in the areas where they chopped them all down. Right now they’re just chopping them down, leaving the mess and not planting anything.

  8. We live on the edge of the forest- if you look at a map and draw a line perpendicular to our house, the next contact with civilization is in Northern Alberta. If we want to cut a tree (I think anything over 2″ diameter)- even on our own property, you need a permit. And thry enforce it. First offence is automatically $500, and it goes up from there…cutting trees in a green belt though? Why the heck??? Selfish and ugly behavoiur.

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