$1500 fine for new owner overcutting tree and damage the tree

carl1234October 2, 2007

Tree has been cut this way yearly similar like this style from previous owner who hire the tree professional to maintain the tree. I get this information from neighbors and the tree professional that cut that tree and neighbor tree in this street area for 20 years already.

I was told by pedestrian, car parking driver and childrens parent many times about couples of the big branch of that tree were broken and unsafe. Couple of branch half way fall down and they hanging over the air. We hire professional tree cutting person to remove the dangerous branches in that tree. The tree professional told us needed to cut this style because the trunk is weak and couple of weak and broken branches not enough strength to support the weight of them anymore. They told me it is emergency way to save this tree and human life at this time. There was no other way to keep the half way broken weak tree branches not falling down.

The tree professional told us they will try to cut in "Pollarding method" to save this tree and whatever the branches still with that tree. They told me the tree will grow back to normal size and will be much more healthy than before. They told me they are professional and should not be confused with topping method. Also, it is an emergency to cut the dangerous branches of that tree because the tree in front of Muni stops. Tree was unsafe because the several trunk and branches were broken. Many car and pedestrian from muni, childrenÂs parent, student, old people and animal in and out walking passed and standing in front that tree everyday. I call my insurance company and city tree department about this matter. They told me house owner need to maintain the tree in safe way for public. I this area have strong wind everyday; the broken and weak tree branches swing in the air. There were one big branch fell down on the ground at that time while someone waiting the Muni in front of my house.

Now, tree is better than before, very healthy and very safe. To save adult and children life. Tree never been damaged. The "Pollarding method" for that tree cutting is correct. There are no strange new shoot appear in strange area of that tree.

The new shoot only at the cutting edge area but not in the trunk area and other part of the tree. The tree will not be damage in the future because the cutting method is correct. Many stranger, children and their parent and neighbors and Muni waiting people in front of my house told me how happy to see this tree appearance today and what we did to this community to save someone life. They told me just like after thunderstorm. How may cars, driver, house and human life destroy by the big tree fall down and lose valuable life. Will some one complain the DPW tree department and fire department to save people life and their house by cutting falling tree and branches without correct method? My situation to hire professional to cut the broken tree branches like this is in an emergency way but still kept in "Pollarding method". Just like the doctor save the patient life to completely cut their broken leg or arm in order to save their more valuable life. As a United State of citizen. I should do something like this to keep my tree in safe condition more than anything else.

I hope you understand the tree had been cutting this style or damaged before I am the owner of this tree. Also, cutting this tree in this "Pollarding method" at an emergency condition just to avoid the broken heavy branches fall down to the people especially old people and children.

I think the professional tree cutter and neighbor force me to to do that tree style in emergency situation are correct. Both of the tree and human life are now in safe condition without damaged. No one will complaint the doctor to cut the patientÂs leg or arm in order to save their valuable life. No one will complaint DPW tree department, fire department to damage their tree and house because they want to save human life. I hope you understand my situation at this emergency tree cutting and also the tree is still no damage now and in the future. I think this letter should be enough to explain why the tree in this "Pollarding method".

The tree next by my house using a topping method but never had been fine. Couple of my neighbors trees either had their tree trunk buried by a higher soil flowerbed or cover completely by concrete. Some tree even topping up to the trunk and dead for many years already. Some trees even disappear for many year and replacement by flower plant. There are no doubt these tree are in big damages but never been fine in last twenty years. Why? I have a lot of pictures and addresses to provide you.

There was a Spanish tree-cutting handyman with glass who cut tree and cleaning the backyard blackmail me back in July 2007. He told me that he will call city tree department to complaint my tree if I was not hired him to clean up my backyard. I refused him because he wrongfully topped off my neighbor tree. He told me that his friends working in tree department and has the power to cause my tree and I both had trouble by fines. However, I refuse hire him for my backyard cleaning. He wastes our government fund and using city employee as his tool to do his retaliation. He mislead tree department as one of his chess to make innocent house owner suffering. He tries to get more tree cutting business by blackmail house owner in San Francisco. I do not think the tree department would be misleading by his tree complaint. I still kept his phone number in case the tree department to do internal investigation. He told me this tree cutting was his side job. He is also an employee of city tree department. If you need me to recognize him, I will love to help stopping this man harmful to other innocent house owner in San Francisco.

Recently, I find out a lot of trees in recreation part and Golden Gate Park are using topping method to cut even the trees are very healthy. Why? There was nothing falling down from the tree. The worker is a professional tree cutting city employee. I took a lot of pictures about these trees. This topping will damage the tree life in Golden Gate Park and other recreation Park.

No one in your office can tell me how many year of life my tree will be? What years my tree will die? I think this is very important data information to let each house owner to know. I think tree department need to provide each house owner a copy of his or her tree information so that we can take more good care about this tree. We need more information about how to maintain our tree. We do not know where to get this information. We think tree department have a certain responsibility to have a good communication with each house owner. I like tree department sent me a suggestion letter but not this letter.

If the tree dead or damage because this Pollarding method in the future or the tree owner before me. Then, we will talk about it in the future. May be we can replace the new tree in the future.

What do you think about this? Any suggestion? There are only 3 officer working in this urban forest department. I try to talk to their supervisor. However, no one control them. They are all invisble. They not return phone call or reply to your letter. They only give you a fine and claim that they are very professional to make this decision. They are overuse government power and violation code to against taxpayer.

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    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:53PM
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carl first registered today, for whatever that does or does not mean. San Francisco- they do many things differently from here in the Sunny Southeast. So what can I tell you?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 4:32PM
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I have no idea what half of this said. Nor do I understand or see the $1500 fine that is referenced in the title.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 5:36PM
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Sounds like Carl needs a good vent. I live not too far from SF and I'm scratching my head, too. Pollarding is a severe pruning method suitable for certain kinds of trees and not others, very stressful. He is right (if I read him right), it is used for the plane trees on the Music Concourse at Golden Gate Park.

Carl, is this the right type of tree for Pollarding?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 5:53PM
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Maybe his tree now looks like this? It that case, I can see why they might be concerned. Maybe, Carl, if you can explain that the tree will grow back healthier and that you took the advice of a professional (have him write a letter explaining his methods, reason, and credentials) they will be more understanding. If you are being blackmailed, file a police report.

I live in a community where the trees along the walk are the city's property. If there is a safety hazard or tree health problem we have to call the city tree department and wait and wait and wait. It took 3 years and some regular calls and anger to get them to come cut the tree roots that were destroying my patio and heading for my pool.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 6:19PM
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If that is what his tree looks like with this pollarding method, he deserves the $1500 fine.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:50AM
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My personal opinion is that if the tree is on his property and does not endanger any other person or property, he should be able to do with it as he pleases. As it now appears, if he owns a tree, he must spend HIS money to keep HIS tree in a manner that pleases OTHERS. Exactly how far into our lives do we wish such concepts to intrude?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 8:13AM
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Though I am not knowledgeable about the specifics of San Francisco's tree policies, I know that here, where I live, some trees belong to the city. I have 3 city trees in my yard, I take care of them so far seeing they get enough water (I pay for this) and are properly cared for but they belong to the city. I am not allowed to prune, cut down, or harm the tree. Any problems: branches about to fall, disease, etc. must be referred to the city. They assess the problem's urgency (probably in terms of liability!) and do what needs to be done. My guess is that he decided to do the pruning himself because the city didn't respond in a manner he considered timely and got in trouble.

SF Urban Foresty

My tree ordinances

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:22AM
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Some towns have rules that prohibit tree cutting even if the tree is totally on the homeowner's property. Yes I know it sounds strange but there are such rules in some places.

Based on his story of his life and death fear of a limb falling on someone on the street, etc...it does sound like the tree could have been on city property.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Where I currently reside, any protected tree or any tree with a trunk diameter of 24 inches of greater cannot be pruned or otherwise touched without the city giving authorziation. From my understanding the fines are pretty hefty if they catch anyone going around that.

Just wanted to through that out there to show how some cities are

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 2:16PM
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i have a feeling that the previous owners use dot get a permit to prune the trees and this guy did not.

that is what i like about where i live, if i want to trim my trees i go get the saw and get to it. heck, i have apile of brush right now tha ti need to burn fromt eh last tree pruning. i parked my turck behind it and could not see the truck!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 5:53PM
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Wow, I guess I better check my local laws. The concept that city government or a disgruntled neighbor can stop you from taking down or trimming trees on your own property is unbelievable to me. That's all we need, tree police. "Sir, did anyone tell you that certain varieties of holly sustain rare insect life and that by trimming that holly at the wrong time of year, you might have caused destruction of a colony of the super special and rare AB12 variety of Hungarian beetle? This beetle is a food source for the local box turtle population so in effect, you've now put at risk the ability for the mature turtles to feed their young. Yada, yada, yada." Give me a break. "But Officer Evergreen, the holly was rubbing against my siding and causing damage to my house." "Sorry Sir, that's no excuse and that'll be $1500.00." Don't anyone report this SF guy to Al Gore. Next thing you know, the type of pruning he had done will be the reason for global warming.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 3:13PM
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I just saw a news story about some homeowner being fined $1500 for trimming his trees. I wonder if it was about this guy.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:54PM
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It sounds like you need to call the Mayor's Office and speak to one of his assistants. They need to know that a city employee is trying to shake down a citizen.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 6:04PM
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It never ceases to amaze me how many people have problems putting together coherant thoughts as well as run together sentences without upper case. Basically, in urban settings you need to determine who owns/is responsible for trees growing between sidewalks and streets especially if you did not plant them. Our city only plants trees in the medians of divided streets so any tree on your property, regardless of its proximity to the street, is yours. You are required to raise low hanging tree limbs to accomodate service vehicles.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 8:21AM
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I'm assuming English isn't the poster's first language, so the questionable grammar and run-on sentences are fine by me---much better than I could write in Spanish or Mandarin.
And it does seem as though the local government there is inept---and at the same time, bullying a citizen. What else is new?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:43PM
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