I hope that I will never see, a MacMansion stopped because of trees

Alas, poor Yorick...

The NYT reports that Greenwich tree huggers are back at work, trying to regulate homeowners’ unregulated right to whack down trees.

“In the past, you would hear people talking about losing their rights as homeowners, but with all the clear-cutting we’ve had in recent years, and with people caring more about the environment, I think they realize that trees are a precious resource,” Ms. [JoAnn]  Messina said. “I keep telling people, ‘You have to get a permit to build, a permit for your dog, so it’s just a way to establish a sensible procedure.’ ”

I say, give it a break. The Fountain boys were all taught how to fell trees on our property by our father – sure, we hung a few up in other trees’ branches, where they created a wonderfully fearsome danger until the next windstorm brought them down, but we learned from all that, and as the result we’re ready to stop by your neighbor’s house at midnight and drop that tree that’s been blocking your view – call us.

On a slightly more serious note, I think this is a solution in search of a problem. While there are indeed a few builders who knock down trees with abandon, anyone who has any knowledge of the value mature trees add to a property and what they cost to replace usually takes great care to preserve what’s there. Furthermore, Ms. Mesina’s concern about clear-cutting overlooks the fact that the stuff being removed is fourth-growth scrub – Greenwich was cleared pasture land no so long ago and if it returns to that look again, no harm – it would help the deer tick problem, too. As a reminder, next time you are walking with Ms. Masina through virgin forest and encounter the stone walls littering our Greenwich woods, reflect on the idea that farmers didn’t build walls in woods.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “I hope that I will never see, a MacMansion stopped because of trees

  1. cos cobber

    Move to westchester if you want to live in a tree regulation state.

  2. XYount

    Something there is that doesn’t love a tree … or a wall, I guess, cuz there were lots of old ones that were going missing during the building boom not so long ago. Sort of like stripping the Coliseum of marble for that new palazzo uptown. Not so easy to do with a 30-foot maple.

    Anyway, I miss the days when deer ticks were a non-starter. All we worried about was kooties.

  3. In my town in Westchester the only restriction on tree cutting is that you need a permit if it’s in a wetlands area. For your average home owner trees on their own property are fair game.

  4. The permit requirement and fines the article discusses are just being proposed in Yorktown by a tree hugger group. They’re not the law and I think the chances of them becoming law are very slim. Of course, those people in Yorktown are stone crazy, so you never know.

  5. wipeout

    drive along riverside ave before and after the 1947 cape gets torn down. all the 60 year old trees go in the trash bin too.