if a tree is cut down in the yard…and it’s ugly…does anyone care?


i’d like to start off by saying that we are big fans of trees. really! this photo might make you think we are tree haters rather than tree huggers, but truly, we love us some trees and nature and the environment. i buy eco cleaning products! we compost our food waste! i pick up furniture off the side of the road and turn it into something we can love! but these trees just had to go.


first off, a few of them weren’t even real trees — but very aggressive flowering weeds that had been left unchecked for decades and were now doing inconvenient things like attaching themselves to our shed, climbing all up into power lines, being ugly, and making it so that we couldn’t grow anything in our yard that required sunshine. this particular tree, which had grown through a chain link fence (not pictured, as our neighbours already felled the fence), was right on the property line, right where our neighbours wanted to build a new shed. and since it was ugly and attacking our shed, we offered to help them take it down. they shovel our snow and return our garbage bins to the back of our house and a generally lovely people, so pierre figured the least he could do was handle a reciprocating saw on their behalf.


there are three trees to the left of our shed that also have to come out in order for us to fully realize our backyard vision. one of them we’ve decided to leave because it’s tangled in the power lines, really tall, and just generally a pain in the ass to remove. but the two we felt we could handle are now naked of branches, though the stumps are still (stubbornly) in the ground. it’s a little barren in the back corner now — but on the bright side we’ve met our neighbours to the south and they’re lovely, too. they now have a full view of our yard and kitchen (and we, of theirs), but haven’t complained. and speaking of bright side, we now get a lot more sun in the yard!

and before anyone says anything about their being bylaws against removing trees in toronto — we know. we have a gigantic (1m diametre) oak tree in another area of our yard that we were working on a protection permit with urban forestry for, back when we were thinking second storey addition. so we know all the rules and these trees were totally okay to remove.

however, if you’re into reporting people to urban forestry for being totally irresponsible, there’s a house on glebemount that just did a second storey and back addition to a bungalow and they definitely did not have a permit to build near the giant tree in their front yard — no tpz (“tree protection zone”) barricade and they pretty well just chopped the thing down. we’d love to sic urban forestry on them, but that would be tattling. and i’m not sure urban forestry has an anonymous tip line?

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