Roofers cut evergreen - Am I being unreasonable?

mdlnMarch 27, 2014

Roofers cut off evergreen tree branches when installing roof - without my consent.

It looks bad. Knowing those branches will not grow back - I am very upset.

Am I being unreasonable?

This post was edited by mdln on Mon, Apr 7, 14 at 0:04

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That is despicable. They could have tied them back or something. Hard to believe they could do something like that without thinking they needed permission.

It looks like a lot of bare branches rather than cut off. Why is that?

What to do. It can't be fixed.

My heart goes out to you. So heartbreaking and discouraging.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:02AM
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Sorry sight to see, so bare. I would complain, they had no right to make any changes in your landscaping, they were doing roofing. Branches could have been tarped or roped out of the way. Keep us posted. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:08AM
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The bare branches are from another tree behind the house.

It is an old tree, that is in a partial (at best) shade area.

Right now I am wanting to amputate some of their body parts.

Thank you snookums2 for your comments.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:12AM
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Thank you, Carolssis.

I am especially upset because I love trees. A major reason I bought the house was because of the trees. My sister even asked, "Are you buying the house or the trees?" - because I kept talking about the trees,

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:28AM
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You are so right. We love these trees and they add so much to our homes, including value. It can take a lifetime for them to grow. Then someone comes along and butchers them. Needlessly worse yet.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:55AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Sorry but they can't install a roof with branches that touch the roof. Those branches had to go. Really, the whole tree needs to go. It's planted too close to the house and will give you all kinds of issues from foundation heave to a direct invitation for rats and squirrels and ants and ladybugs and all maner of vermin to enter the house. I'm surprised your insurance company hasn't already sent you a letter about taking it down. They've done that several times in my neighborhood. My neighbr had to remove her tree or lose coverage.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:53AM
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Your picture is not very good. Can you take another from farther back?

Yes, they should have talked to you about cutting it back; the man who gave you the estimate should have mentioned it. BUT from the looks of it, that's a hopelessly overgrown evergreen which is too close to the house. Branches growing on the roof can damage the shingles. It should be removed or cut back below roof level or even down to the ground (assuming it's a shrub like a yew or arborvitae, which will sprout and start over). If it's a specimen tree (like a spruce or fir), it seems as if it was allowed to split and develop multiple trunks, in which case it can't look very attractive (hard to tell from your photo).

Trees and shrubs close to a house have to be managed and maintained, just like any other plant. In my neighborhood, we've got a lot of silver maples. Their helicopter seeds sprout like weeds every spring. One of my neighbors would let them grow wherever they came up. When he had multiple clumps along the house and garage up to the roof level, I asked him why he didn't remove them. "I don't have the heart." 15 years later, he did have a change of heart when his sewer was plugged and the corner of the garage started to lift because of roots.

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Fri, Mar 28, 14 at 8:08

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:04AM
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The branches did not touch the roof.

While someone many years ago may have planted it too close to the house, it has not created any problems in 13 years.

Unfortunately, due to their carelessness/laziness/stupidity, now I am not going to trust any of the subs and they are going to think I am a PITA HO. Have to go now and see if the furnace guy is somehow screwing up.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:33AM
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The tree is too close to the home, and frankly, doesn't look attractive to me. Cut it down and get some new landscaping.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:39PM
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@ Geoffrey_B - it was attractive (esp. to me) before they did a hatchet job on it. Can I get your address or credit card # to send the landscaping bill to?

New landscaping is not in my budget.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 3:51PM
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Ugh! They should never have cut those branches without your permission. I would have a licensed arborist inspect the tree to make sure the tree wasn't harmed by their actions and if needed do corrective pruning. Improper cuts can make the tree more vulnerable to disease and insect damage. Make the roofer pay for it.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Thank you Cercis.

Unfortunately, I think the damage is too severe for any correction, their cuts were all the way to the trunk; and it looks bad - even worse than the picture (as the braches from the tree behind the house, which show up in the picture, do not mask the long bare trunk).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:32PM
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What Cercis141 said. Let the roofer know they should have asked first before making any cuts and that you'll expect them to pay for the arborist. The arborist can clean it up and make it look somewhat better.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 4:34PM
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Personally, I feel that when you hire somebody to do a job, it's YOUR job to make sure they have a clear field to do their job. You cannot expect them to work while having obstructions, or warranty their work when there are factors that might interfere with that work, that are beyond their control. If the branches were in THEIR way while they needed access to stand on the roof, access the roof by ladder, etc., then it's not their job to remedy their access. It's also not their job to wait around while you decide what to do; that should have been done BEFORE they showed up. Time is money to them.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:39PM
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@beautybutdebtfree - I did not feel the branches were in the way, which is why I never considered the need for a "remedy." Had I known a "remedy" was needed I would have happily taken care of it. They were not touching the house or the roof.

I understand any delay I caused, I would have to pay for. They never tried to contact me, or even mentioned the need -- when they were out taking measurements weeks prior to the work.

They had NO right or authority to damage my property!!!

I maintain they were either stupid (didn't know evergreen branches don't grow back), lazy (did not try to contact me or tie back branches), or careless (not "their" property so they did not care).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 7:53PM
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They were wrong to not inform you before they cut the tree. If they had you may have chosen another roofer who would have tied the branches back or thought of another remedy.

Really sad that this happened.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 8:05PM
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To answer your question, yes. Kind of.

Take a deep breath. Set your emotions aside and have a conversation with your roofers. See where it goes.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 1:43AM
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@ Trebruchet - I need a few days to calm down and to talk to my builder (who is on vacation this week) because he hired them. However, that is my plan.

Right now, the revengeful lyrics from Carrie Underwood's song come to mind: "...dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seats... I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires...Maybe next time he'll think before he" CUTS AN EVERGREEN.

Seriously, I am a tree-hugger and while really old and not planted in the best location, this tree was my second favorite on the property. Am sure my personal situation is not helping my response to what happened.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:10AM
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I think I agree with Hollysprings....before the roofers cut your tree branches, did you notice if the branches were touching the roof when the wind was blowing? A ponderosa pine is planted about 8 feet from our small barn and when the wind blew the branches hit the roof and ruined the shingles/siding. From your picture, it looks like you could cut the tree down where it branches up from the other one, and it would look very good. I am a tree lover also and would never cut a tree down unless it was dying, ugly or distroying property.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:36PM
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@ grandmaof3 - No, the branches did NOT touch roof when the wind was blowing.

They cut branches off both limbs of the tree (to horizontal level on the right limb, at an angle on the left limb).

Only options I can think of are to: (1) cut it down or (2) plant another tree in front of it, to hide the missing branches. I do not like either of these options.

Wonder if a tree surgeon can transplant/reattach branches (like we do in human medicine)?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:02PM
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Sophie Wheeler

A tree that will grow to the size that that one will should not be closer than 20 FEET to a house. That's more like 20 INCHES. If you think there's nothing wrong with having that tree there, just wait. Time has a way of giving unfortunate experiences to the naive. The roofers did you a favor, and looks like no good deed goes unpunished. You get an actual certified arborist out there, they'll tell you the SAME thing. The tree needs o come down.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Sophie Wheeler

A tree that will grow to the size that that one will should not be closer than 20 FEET to a house. That's more like 20 INCHES. If you think there's nothing wrong with having that tree there, just wait. Time has a way of giving unfortunate experiences to the naive. The roofers did you a favor, and looks like no good deed goes unpunished. You get an actual certified arborist out there, they'll tell you the SAME thing. The tree needs o come down.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 6:30PM
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@hollysprings - NO, they did not do me a favor. They irreparably damaged MY property, without my consent.

When I amputate someone's leg to prevent gangrene from spreading and killing them - it is with the patients consent. I don't wait until they are asleep to cut off their leg and say, "I did you a favor."

You are entitled to your opinion (right or wrong), just as much as I am entitled to my opinion. The tree was NOT in violation of my village building code; thus, it did NOT need to come down.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 7:18PM
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I think the photo makes it appear that the tree is closer than it is. Can you post photos from different angles? Can you measure the distance from the tree to the house?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 8:07PM
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@debrak2008 - you are correct; the photo makes the branches that are behind the house, look like they are coming off the same tree.

The reason I know the branches were not touching the roof is, I have a tree on other side of house where they were, and I recently trimmed those branches. I took that opportunity (since I had the ladder and loppers out) to see if any other branches needed trimming - and to inspect the shingles to see if I really wanted to do the roof.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:04PM
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If the branches were in THEIR way while they needed access to stand on the roof, access the roof by ladder, etc., then it's not their job to remedy their access.

It's also not their job to wait around while you decide what to do; that should have been done BEFORE they showed up. Time is money to them." >>

While i agree HO's should clear their stuff, a tree is not the same thing. Of course it is their job to ensure they can gain access. They have to run into this all the time. That's part of scoping the job and prep, whether they handle it themselves or advise they can not start the job until something is taken care of is another aspect and step in the job. No one has the right to take such liberties with your property.

How about all the HO's time they are wasting. That never seems to matter. Maybe we should start backbilling for all our time and money that they waste.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 23:41

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:57PM
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that is a terrible picture.

if workers could stand up & work,
put a ladder at eaves of the tree
area & haul shingles up...then
it may not have been necessary.

but with such a bad are the only
one who knows how it looks now...much less

I planted evergreen trees 15 years ago. if they had
been within 10 feet of my house...they would have
been too close. they are huge now.
I agree that your trees are close to the house...
13 years is not long enough to assume that it
will be ok later because it has for 13 years already.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:15PM
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The tree was not planted 13 yrs ago; it was probably planted 50-75 years ago.

Closer look today in the sunshine shows most of the branches cut were not even growing in the direction of the roof - they were facing away from the house.

I have reached my conclusion - I am not being unreasonable.

Thank you everyone for your comments. Will update when resolution is reached with builder & roofer.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:58PM
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So the original post was not looking for advice, but was simply a rant.
I completely agree that the property owner is fully entitled to have the tree as they prefer it to be. But it most certainly is not the way I would want it if it was mine.
Here is the kind of news in my area for the past several months. The last part of the video.

So I have no trees that can fall on my house.

The link works well. Ad and Tracker Blockers may prevent it from loading.

Here is a link that might be useful: News

This post was edited by bus_driver on Sun, Mar 30, 14 at 21:42

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 6:09PM
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@ bus_driver - My OP was 3 short sentences; hardly a rant...

Thank you for agreeing a property owner is entitled to have a tree as they want it to be. If the tree damages my roof/house, that is my choice.

Since the majority of responders felt I was not being unreasonable, and I had a few days to calm down, consider it, talk with friends, family & colleagues, I am now confident in my conculsion.

However, when a poster feels the need to SCREAM a response at me, and to post it twice, it is more likely to evoke an emotional reply.

BTW - your link is not working.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 6:51PM
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Is there a reason you have not provided the requested additional photos? As stated above, the photo you posted is poor. It appears that you are seeing things other are not seeing because they can only judge the situation based on the one photo you provided.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:11PM
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@ dekeoboe - am not living in the house, it has been raining, or too dark, & when it was not - I didn't have a camera with me.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:39PM
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Why does anyone need to see more photos? The issue is whether they had the right to butcher someone's tree. It doesn't matter if it was too close, ugly, in the way, diseased, half dead or full of bugs and tree rats.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:17PM
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They should have called you as courtesy, I suppose, but it needed to be trimmed to do the work.

I don't know how the branches weren't touching anything unless they were trimmed somewhat already. We had a tree that close to our house, and I "knew" that I should trim it, but since it wasn't touching the roof (it was about 1' away) I left it be. Then, one blustery, windy day it broke several of my shingles that hung over the gable edge. I was mad at myself for not envisioning that. Still am, now that I think of it.

Generally-speaking, trees that close to the house always cause trouble eventually. I get calls to remedy all the time. Sometimes it's been the vents that were backdrafting, other times vermin in the attic, other times damaged gutters or shingles, and even moss on the roof....etc.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:45PM
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@ snookums2 - thank you!!!

@ homebound - I looked very carefully at the tree and roof only a few weeks prior - they were not touching. The spread of this evergreen was very narrow, with dense foilage.

If the roofer felt it needed to be trimmed to do the work - he should have told me when he quoted the job. Contractors bidding for the siding job said they would need to tie back some shrubs.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:19PM
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You have obviously never had a very bad ice storm in your area.
I would never have that tree that close to my house.
Sorry, but I think the tree should go altogether.
You may be singing a different tune if it ever falls on your house. Those trees are heavier than you think.
I just hope if it ever does fall, no one is hurt.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:54PM
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@butterfly4u - LOL at your comment. Am in the Chicago area, have had a LOT of really bad ice storms.

The issue is not if you think the tree should go; the issue is the roofers damaged my property - without my consent - in a way that can not be repaired.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:01AM
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In all fairness, the roofers didn't trim the tree maliciously, they've done it hundreds of times without complaint. They would no more not trim the tree than work with no pants. You don't consciously think about putting on your pants, you just do it as part of your job. Same with trimming the tree.

I had a neighbor who had his tree guy trim the branch of another neighbor's tree (which was on the other neighbor's property) when they weren't home because it blocked his lake view from his upper deck. Now that guy had a right to be pissed. You, not so much.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Sophie Wheeler

The additional pictures posted in the Trees forum help to clarify. There simply is no way that a proper job could be done on that roof with any lower branches on that tree. It's all about needed access and the damage that the tree is doing to the home, and would do to the new roof and facia. You can see the attempt to repair the rotten window trim. There is also some type of siding damage there as well, and probablysome type of moisture issue under that yet to be repaired.

Sorry, you've got your back up and can't admit that you're wrong on this issue. Even the Tree Forum people who love trees recommended that the tree be removed. Every single person with actual climb onto the roof roofing experience has told you that the tree is an issue. It was, and it is.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:04AM
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Maybe this is where there's a disconnect here. I know that there are companies that do both roofing and tree trimming and I guess the company that worked on mdln's roof was one of those, but if that's the case then the tree work should have been outlined in the estimate. My roofer does roofs and gutters. He doesn't do tree work. If there are branches in the way, he either ties them back or lets me know before he starts work that I'll need to have them trimmed. And even if he did offer to trim the trees, I wouldn't let him, because I have no idea what kind of training his people have on the proper way to trim trees. I'm looking at the new picture, and I'm seeing lots of long stubs left where branches were removed. This isn't the right way to prune a tree, and if this was the work of mdln's roofers, well, they didn't do it right.

There are standards for pruning trees (ANSI A300 is commonly used), which a knowledgeable arborist will apply to his or her work. Did the roofer apply these standards? Did mdln have a chance to ascertain whether the roofers were in anyway trained to trim trees? Seems not. There's a lot of good advice given on these boards about making sure to hire qualified contractors. Professional tree trimming is a lot more than being able to wield a chainsaw. Mdln had the work irreversibly imposed on her without having a chance to hire her own expert, and this is what I think she finds objectionable. It may well be true that an arborist would advise removing the tree, but he or she may also have been able to prune it in such a way to allow access to the roof and keep branches off the house. I still think mdln should hire an arborist to examine the tree and advise on the next best steps.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:51AM
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Are you sure it was even the roofers that trimmed the branches? You also mentioned a builder. Could he have done (or authorized) the branch cutting?

Regardless, as others said, that tree is way too close to the house and needs to come down. Maybe the branches shouldn't have been trimmed without your consent, but it really doesn't matter since you have to chop the tree down.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:01PM
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@ greg_2010 - Spoke with builder - not him.

BTW - I do NOT "have to chop the tree down." In fact, I am going to probably plant another tree right in front of it. :-)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:10PM
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The person bidding/quoting the roof job had the obligation to notice the tree's proximity to the house and anticipate whether it would affect either the roofers or the warranty of the roof.
And any objectionable aspects of the tree should have been discussed with the homeowner BEFORE the agreement (contract) was signed to enable work to commence.
It was the responsibility of the individual working up the estimate to mention any reasons that may have required trimming of the tree in any way. The homeowner hired a firm to do a roofing job. All aspects and details of how the job would be done should have been spelled out in writing and verbally before signing.
If there was no mention of the tree in the original contract, the homeowner is right in believing that the tree was not going to be altered permanently.
Had the roofing contractor spelled out explicitly that the tree was a cause for concern, either in getting the roof work done, or that it would have a detrimental effect on the roof or the warranty.....then let the homeowner decide what to do about the tree, it would have been handled properly.
Even if that had not been done, the roofers themselves should have told the homeowner that the tree was obstructing their work and offered some solutions for the homeowner to choose from.

Whether the tree needed to be cut or tied back or cut down is not the issue now.
The issue now is that a part of the property has been altered permanently without any directive given by the homeowner.
The court rules in favor of the plaintiff.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:22PM
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Do you have the pics from the listing when you bought your home? I'm having a hard time imagining how the tree looked originally.

Also, has your insurance company actually come out and done the initial inspection for coverage? This was touched on above, but many, if not most, insurance companies would require that the tree come down or decline coverage. I don't think planting another tree so close to the home is such a good idea either. I'm someone who had foundation problems from a tree planted 15' from a structure, and I'm also someone whose insurance company required such extensive trimming of a tree planted 10' from a structure that it was just better to cut it down. So we did. And I'm glad we did because this winter's ice storm would surely have meant a caved in roof! As it was, we lost 3 more trees on the property. I'm just glad they weren't near any power lines or structures.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 12:38PM
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We took out a 15 year old, 5' tall fir tree last week. The roots were incredibly thick and had traveled at least 10 feet, close to our neighbors' foundation. I'm sure it would have caused damage eventually. That looks like an unsafe tree to me.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 8:35PM
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I agree with mownie. I agree with you. You stated the tree was 50 to 75 years old. Is the house that old? If not, the reason you don't have root troubles might be that they were moved when home was built. Interpret how you like, "moved". I don't understand posters who don't see your point. I'd have been screaming loud enought to be heard miles away, and flames coming out my ears! Trees that size, are a thing to be treasured. You get with the builder, mownie is right, it's closeness to the house and addressing it should have been brought up in contract. You probably don't want to have to sue. I wholeheartedly agree with wanting redress and wanting to keep the tree. You even said they cut branches off the side of the tree not overhanging the roof. Why would they do that? I sincerely hope you are able to come to some kind of agreement on this and ultimately keep your tree. Have you had an arborist check it out? Might me a good thing to do. See if the damage is fatal. Make the roofer pay his fee. Good luck to you and your tree.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Cercis and Mownie get it.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 10:52PM
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Thank you carolssis!!!

The house was built in 1920 (94 years old), it is probably a Sears house as the layout is identical to one of their plans.

While I would have never planted the tree there, it was there when I bought the house 13 yrs ago. It is VERY SLOW growing - in the 13 yrs, it has maybe grown 4 feet. It is very dense, with a thick trunk and branches that barely move, even when it is really windy.

Interestingly, the basement wall next to this tree is in the best shape of all the basement walls (least # of cracks).

Meeting with GC later this week, am going to let him talk to the roofer first.

Will let you know when there is progress.

Again, thank you!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:02PM
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@ hollysprings - it is NOT repair of rotten trim & siding damage, there are new windows & siding being installed, and an opening from an old wall AC is being closed off. Rather than accusing me of being wrong, have you considered the possibility that you may be wrong???

@ trebruchet - agree, doubt it was malicious; think it was just laziness or ignorance that evergreen branches don't grow back.

Cercis & Mownie - Thank you!!!

@LWO - yes, insurance agent carefully inspected house within past 3 months. The only repair required was taking down an old, unused chimney (went to high eff furnace a few years ago).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:22PM
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They also put up the wrong brands & colors of shingles (they both used CertainTeed & Owens Corning vs the GAF shingles I selected).

There is one color (darker) on one side of the house, and another (lighter color) on the other side of the house.

Because they left so much trash, the wrappers & shingle pieces (of the 2 different colors) were laying next to the house.

Their website says nothing about tree trimming services. It also says they clean up after themselves.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:38PM
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I think the roofers are at fault, AND you sound like you are overreacting. Given that cutting the tree was extra work for them, why do you think they did it?

I'd cut that tree down myself. But it's your tree, and you should have been asked first.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:40AM
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@BlakelyProperties - I think they did it because it was probably easier than working around it.

As to my reaction, we all value different things - differently. To me, I place a very high value on my trees. For others, it may be their cars, guns, wealth, or other property. When I bought my house the 2 things I most liked were the beautiful wood floors and mature trees on the property.

Thus, what may seem like an "overreaction" to you, is just different personal values between us.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 10:52AM
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we can't say who is at fault..with such a bad pic
of the tree/roof.
of course posting a better pic would likely be a double
edged sword.

if the trees were so treasured they would have
lead the discussion about the roof, not been
an afterthought.
I'd have done the prep work myself & been there
when job started & throughout the time frame
to protect my tree.

if you didn't want us to comment on either the
tree/roof or if you were over-reacting you should
have titled the thread differently.

and IMO...over-reacting to the nth.

why 'work around' branches on a roof?
it is a dangerous enough job, it isn't like
a cup of coffee spilled on a tile floor.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:30AM
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Is it an arborvitae? That's what it looks like from here. They are commonly planted near houses, because they grow tall and upright.

But they are supposed to have foliage down to the ground - they are often used as windbreaks and privacy screens.

I love trees - we've planted 30 or more in our yard on an average-sized city lot - when the house was new, we planted trees before we planted grass. It pains me to watch a healthy tree cut down.

I think either the roofer or contractor should have talked to you before doing anything to the tree. I also think it should come down - and do some research before planting another tree too close to the house, or too close to other trees. I've definitely planted some of mine too close together, and where they block sunlight from each other, they suffer.

Here is a link that might be useful: arborvitae

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 2:33PM
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The fork down the middle makes it look likely to split apart in snow, it should probably be cabled together if you don't want a total loss later.

And definitely saw off the branch stubs. But do not make flush cuts, leave intact branch collars.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 2:37PM
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Not over reacting at all and who would foresee someone would hack away at a tree like that?

I'd probably take it down at this point. Let them foot the bill for the damage and expense they have caused to have it removed.

Idiots plain and simple. Maybe the cheapest your GC could find. Who knows what else they did or didn't do. I might be looking for a new GC. I think you said there have been other problems. You might need to get them away from your house before something worse happens. The warning bells have rung.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 2:57PM
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@ annkh - many of my neighbors have aborvitae (yes, some also planted them too close together). The foilage my tree is much denser and closer to the trunk.

Unfortunately, due to a huge pine tree, the area does not get much light, so fear a new tree planted esp. further from the house will not do well.

The pine tree has a somewhat flat top - it was struck by lightening and the top fell off. Fortunately it is so large, you don't really notice.

Realize I need to get expert consultation/hire an aborist.

The tree thing is probably genetic; apparently my grandfather was a well known "tree surgeon" in the area, I used to get calls "wanting to know if I carried on the family business."

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:02PM
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Thanks snookums2! A new GC right now would cost me more $$$ than I can afford.

However, I have learned a hard lesson. Will know schedule of activities and will be at the house at least 2-3 times a day to oversee work.

GC is being sympathetic; asked what can be done to compensate me. I countered with, "What is the cost of a new 50 foot tree?"

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 3:11PM
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I have done a little bit of roofing and I am impressed that they were able to get shingles on that roof with the tree in the way - even after it was trimmed. That was a difficult and probably dangerous task for them. My concern would be whether they cut any corners on the roof in that area given the limited access they had.

Yes, they should have talked to you before they trimmed it. And yes, that tree is endangering your home. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 6, 2014 at 9:01PM
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You are Absolutely NOT being unreasonable! I would be mad as h*ll!!! I TOTALLY agree with you, mownie and carolssis!! They had no right to do that at all no matter what kind of tree it was, and because of the slow growing nature of your particular tree, it quite literally adds insult to injury!!

In my opinion, there would be no excuse for that type of blatent disregard for the owner's personal property. The tree size, position, condition or the type of tree is not the point. The actions of the roofers to cut the tree limbs at all without the owner's permission or knowledge IS the point.

And going beyond their skill set not only created a permanent unsightly condition, but because of their inexperience they may have caused irreparable harm to the health of the mature tree itself. This problem was totally preventable and the roofers were very unprofessional and irresponsible. After all, trees are a significant percentage of the value of a home and neighborhood and why neighborhoods with trees are coveted and more valuable than the same size or equal lot and house without mature trees.

And yes, if you can't already tell, I really love trees. I have no idea what can be done in your situation but I really feel your pain. And I hope the people who caused the damage step up and give you some satisfaction. How possible would it be to replace that 50 year old tree??? Or SOMETHING to your satisfaction or some sort of compensation.

At any rate, seems like there is not enough supervision going on so I hope that can improve and I hope your remodel gets better from here.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 4:17AM
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@ cindallas, Thank you!!! I very much appeciate your comments.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 7:44AM
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I almost forgot about the roof shingles being two different types and colors! What is being done about that?? Did they just go over the original shingles or take off and prep the area? Do you have gutters? If so do you have any leaf prevention added to the gutters? I'd check them out.

Why am I asking? Just before I bought my own house, the roof had been replaced and I did not know it at the time, but there were several downspouts that were clogged that had caused water backups in the yard and water leaks in the house. When we got around to sleuthing what was really happening, (after repeated gutter "solutions" with various degrees of success) we discovered what the REAL problem was ....wait, you guessed it...old shingles were stuffed in the center of the downspouts!!! Don't let something like that happen to you!

For yours, since there was apparently not supervision for them to put the correct shingles on your house, and for them not to notice, and to throw trash off your roof or at least pile up the trash all over and not clean up like their website states, find out what else might have been overlooked or rushed.

They obviously need to redo the roof to all be one color and the actual color and type of shingle you specify. You need to have some serious meetings with your GC and this company and even see if they will be the ones to redo the work or not. Or maybe they would be fine with proper supervision, as is so often the case. And of course all of that correction, and supervision, will be on someones else's dime and not yours. The tree is still another matter and will need some very serious compensation or someone might be buying a new mature tree for you.

I also had a devastating loss regarding a mature tree that was the pride of my backyard that unfortunately I had not realized the twisted branches that covered 1/3 of my park like backyard, was coming from the sister tree across the fence and on my neighbor's property and not my own. So when they unceremoniously chopped down their side of the sister 40 year old healthy Live Oak (the two tallest in the neighborhood), I was absolutely devastated. The branches were so intertwined I had no idea the tree I loved was half from the neighbors. I lost so much shade and privacy. So at least yours is clearly on your own property so I would fight that as strongly as you can.

As you stated, these are lessons learned for going forward and I hope you get a good plan together for correcting these mishaps and prevention of others with the proper meetings and supervision, for the more detailed interior of your remodel.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 10:28AM
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