Friday, May 17, 2013

Too Big to Fall?



Recently I read an intriguing post by a blogger friend.  She wrote that old established suburban neighborhoods are often overplanted with out-of-scale trees, which were likely only a few feet tall when some excited new homeowner selected and planted them many years ago, unable to imagine a time when they would grow large enough to fill the space and then outgrow the space.

She advocates remedying the situation with chainsaws.  That got me thinking.  How big a tree is too big?  How close is too close?  Is there a point at which an unwisely placed tree has become so majestic that it merits a reprieve from the chainsaw?

Here are five houses in my neighborhood with big trees close to the house.  To make it simpler, I picked only Japanese maples, but to make it harder, Japanese maples are beautiful and notoriously slow-growing trees that might take half a century to attain a full size.  Which would you take down? All?  None?  Which?  Why?




25 comments:

Andy said...

What goes up must come down.

Doronette NF said...

I like green spaces and surly it's better to get some trees in the neighbourhood...

Tanya Breese said...

i'd leave them! can't imagine cutting down a tree just because it out grew my house.

Halcyon said...

I love big old trees, but I like to keep my house safe too. We had to cut a few down when I lived in Jackson.

Ed said...

As long as the trees are healthy and are maintained by some proper pruning and pose no threats of damage to the house, I say leave them alone. Lovely neighborhood.

Sue said...

Just for the record, none of the trees I've advocated for removal have been Japanese maples. None of the trees in your pictures (except for the one between the two homes in picture two) poses any significant risk to the home. Sub in an 80 foot double trunk diseased Hemlock or a 100 foot double trunk Sycamore in those same spots and you have lots of potential problems.

Clueless in Boston said...

I guess I would only take one down if the roots were causing problems to the house's foundation or the tree was in imminent danger of otherwise damaging the house.

Sharon said...

I don't see one here that I'd take down. I did have to take one down in my yard recently. My orchid tree kept getting more scraggly each year and this last winter we had a bad freeze and it didn't recover from it. It had to go but, it made me sad for days.

Sylvia K said...

Having been raised in west Texas where trees were rare, I wouldn't take a one of these down!! I love them and to me they are totally awesome!! Really beautiful and such great captures for the day, Jack!! Enjoy your weekend!!

LOLfromPasa said...

I would never take down any trees unless they were diseased or the roots were messing up the house foundations. These are all so beautiful.

Malyss said...

According to me , a tree is never too big or too near. Only houses can be too small or on the way of the roots.Use Chain saws to cut houses ! :o))

LONDONLULU said...

I'd have a hard time taking down a majestic tree (Hurricane Sandy wrought such havoc, maybe I'm still thinking of that), except if it threatened the stability of the nearby homes. These maples are beautiful - so interesting, I had no idea they took so long to grow!

RedPat said...

I wouldn't take any of these down either. If it was some large tree with roots growing into my foundation I might have to consider something but otherwise i'd let them live.

VP said...

None if possible, but I know large trees can be really dangerous near buildings. May be it's better to ask an expert...

William Kendall said...

It's a question of planting too close to a house that tree roots can do damage to foundations, so it takes some consideration and thought before planting. I'd only go for it if there was that threat to the house itself.

Terrific shots!

Karen said...

Looking at these shots, the trees have been positioned wrongly, perhaps too close to make a pretty picture, when I drive or walk along a street I look for trees and large foliage shrubs, a street with small bits of green stuff isn't particularly beautiful. So i'm againgst the lop.

Michelle said...

I would have a hard time cutting down a tree, just because it didn't, "look good". As long as it is healthy and not placing the home in danger, what's the problem?

Randy said...

Such beautiful trees. I hate when cities cut them down.

Cezar and Léia said...

The trees are wonderful, but they are very close of the houses. I hope everything is okay with the structure of the houses.
Beautiful pictures!
hugs
Léia

gardenbug said...

When I lived in Toronto, insurance companies insisted that trees be heavily pruned or removed or you could not have your policy renewed.

Just recently, after an ice storm, we had major tree pruning done on our property, including removal of an 80+ year old spruce. Frankly, we were concerned it would land in our bed one day soon! We knew the man who had planted it when he was a teenager too....

PerthDailyPhoto said...

You pose a tough question here Jack, I really do like them all..if any maybe the last one, it looks like it could make the rooms top and bottom on that side of the house quite dark..maybe a solution would be to remove some of the lower branches and still keep it in situ?

Kay said...

You've shown some beautiful specimen trees that for the most part have been pruned well and cared for (notice the open canopies). It's the big ones with thick trunks and heavy canopies (the kind that catch the wind) that can cause problems. The one between the houses in the second shot has been pruned, but it's the kind of tree that can cause damage if it isn't healthy. Close to a house a tree can give privacy but too close and it's time to inspect the foundation. I love trees, hate to lose them. But if they're planted people need to use some common sense in placement and know they need care.

jennyfreckles said...

"The authorities" here just felled four magnificent horse chestnuts in Saltaire- on the grounds that they were causing traffic accidents! Apparently they obscured the fact that drivers were approaching a road junction - even though there are white markings on the road surface and signs to indicate that. I'm rarely in favour of cutting trees down. If I did I would always plant a new one.

Kate said...

Take down a tree only if it's diseased or posing a threat to houses or people.

CaT said...

maybe trim some of the branches?
i think in the netherlands there is a law that you cannot just take trees down, even if you planted them yourself long ago (something to do with reducing greens in the neighborhood; not allowed). but i dont know the specifics...