$15,000 mistake....Not mine...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MarcSmith, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157


    To D.C. Agency and SE Residents, Tree's Killing Is a Most Unkind Cut
    Developer Fined After Tall Old Oak Is Sheared in Half

    By Paul Schwartzman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, October 22, 2007; Page B01

    In the category of the egregious no-no, cutting down a single oak tree might not seem like a big deal.

    But in Washington, sometimes called the City of Trees, oaks, maples and their kin hold an almost exalted status.

    A worker on a Macy Development condominium project was supposed to saw off one limb of an oak but removed almost all of the branches.

    Certainly more exalted, at least for the moment, than Macy Development, which has acknowledged killing a 65-foot-tall oak on 15th Street SE this month.

    The penalty: a $15,000 fine, the largest the District has ever handed out for the killing of a tree on public property.

    "This is an offense that the District Department of Transportation takes very seriously," said Erik Linden, a spokesman for the agency, which issued the summons last week.

    The city's arborists, he said, described the tree as a "beautiful pin oak," with a 40-foot canopy. It was planted 50 to 60 years ago, and its sheared remains -- all of 35 feet -- stand outside the site where Macy is building a four-story condominium complex.

    A neighbor saw a construction worker cutting the tree's branches Oct. 8 and alerted the District. A Transportation Department arborist arrived soon after and found the worker turning the oak into something resembling a totem pole.

    "A pole with raw circles where the branches used to be," said Jim Myers, who moderates a neighborhood Internet site where residents have groused about the lost tree.

    "Condos vs. Trees" was the headline Myers chose for his comments.

    A $15,000 fine might seem sizable at first blush, but Myers considers it the equivalent of a "parking ticket" for a real estate developer. "Given the damage to the environment of the street and the character, $150,000 wouldn't be enough," he said.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    I Know In Coastal Areas Around The Carolinas, You Have To Get Permision From The County To Take Down An Oak Tree And Most Of The Time It Is Denied Unless The Tree Is Ailing Severely
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    on campus we have a large oak that is growing through a wrought Iron fence. its 18" caliper but they city arborist(same in the article) won't let us take it down...
  4. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    I'm sure you already know...
    If it's on G'town property under 55" circumference (17.5" DBH) measured at 4.5' above ground level you don't need the permit. Measure twice pulling it tight might make a difference if it's a real problem.
    DC tree all bets are off; they are under an initiative to make all trees remain as long as they have some green left.
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    this tree is about 1 foot on the stree side of the fence and the rest is on mine making it a "street" tree.

    Ive never pulled apermit for any tree I cut at GU, even if its questionable size wise, but in any given year I plant about 6-10 trees to make up for the ones I cut. and I only cut in extreme cases (dead, dying, or severly damaged.

    this tree is going through an early leaf drop so maybe its finaly reached is point of decline.

    I whish when DC plants street they at least let us know and put some gator bags on em.... but no just plant and go....what a waste of money...
  6. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    As a turf professor at VT told me:

    'If you've got that one golf green that is covered in shade during the afternoon promoting all kinds of problems for you, yet the tree is favored by the members, here is what you do. Take a chainsaw and name it lightning. When they ask what happened to the tree, tell them lightning got it.'

    He was a fun professor.
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157


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