Tag Archives: cedar tree

Ya don’t ask, ya don’t get

Remember that tree of mine that came down in the windstorm last December? The one that I really, really, really wanted to keep? The one that my strata council decided couldn’t be saved and so they sent a company in to cut it down and remove it, but they left the stump?

Yeah, that tree.

I was upset, so I emailed the strata council and told them so. I requested that they get someone in to remove the stump, because that’s just stupid and half-assed to take down a tree and leave the stump. Who wants a bloody stump in their garden, taking up space so nothing else can be planted there? I also asked them to pony up and replace the tree, since it was original to this place when it was built in 1998. I didn’t plant it nor did the previous owners, it was the original developers who had their landscapers put it in, so I reasoned that it was the responsibility of the council to replace it, not mine. In fact, I also asked them to replace another tree that they had removed from my garden a few years ago, a tree that was doing just fine till one day it was just gone and I never knew why. The stump was left in the dirt then, too, so I asked for that one to be taken out along with this latest one.

I finally got a response from the strata council:


Although this letter isn’t explicitly definitive (“arrangements will be made to have the tree stump removed” and “possible tree replacement”), it does look very much like I’m going to get what I want.

I’m okay with that for now. They’d just better follow through on this in the spring, because if they don’t, I will NOT be okay with THAT.


Gone, baby, gone

photo My tree couldn’t be saved, unfortunately. Apparently the root system was too shallow (this despite the tree’s great height) for it to be restaked and thrive. The guys who came today to take it down told me they could restake it, but because of that underdeveloped root system, it would never be terribly stable and would probably come down again.

I didn’t like what I was hearing, but I understood and let them get on with their business. In fifteen minutes, the tree was chopped and chipped, with only a stump left in the ground. A stump which, by the way, these guys were NOT authorized to remove. It seems that there is different machinery to take a stump out of the ground and even a different wood chipper. I was incredulous to hear this: “You mean to tell me that the strata manager only sent you out to do half a job?!? You weren’t told to take the stump out of the ground too?!?” I sputtered.

The guys were apologetic and advised me to contact the strata manager tomorrow and tell him that I also want the stump removed. How ridiculous, I thought. You can call someone to take down a two-storey tree but you don’t consider taking out its 15-centimetre diameter stump – the one with the shallow root system – part of the job?

Well, this isn’t over yet! I have some emails and phone calls to make this week – and I can’t guarantee that I will be polite.

And I also have a couple of new trees to purchase and plant next spring.

Tree’s company

We had a very powerful windstorm here two nights ago. We do get them in November or early December in this part of the world (I think it’s a trade-off for having such mild temperatures year-round and so little snow), but this one was by far the strongest one I’ve ever experienced.

I don’t like big winds at the best of times, and this was not the best of times. Many, many areas of Metro Vancouver lost their electricity for hours that night and into the morning, and I considered myself lucky that although my lights flickered a lot, my power didn’t go out. Before I went to bed, I stood at the window and nervously watched my two cedar trees swaying alarmingly with every gust of wind. I knew I wouldn’t sleep well that night.

In the morning, before I got out of bed, I listened. All was relatively quiet. I peeked between the slats of the blinds at my bedroom window. There was a tree pretty much in my face, a tree that is not supposed to be there:photo1

That wind had uprooted my tallest, healthiest cedar tree. It hadn’t quite hit my house when it was knocked over, so fortunately, there didn’t seem to be any damage … other than to the tree, I suppose.

It was still dark out, so when I went outside to investigate further, I couldn’t really see a whole lot, nor could I take photos at that time. I went back inside and fired off an email to my strata manager pleading for him to send out an arborist a.s.a.p. to replant and save that tree. At work later that morning, I called him to make sure he’d received my email and that he was on top of it. He assured me that he was, that he’d already contacted a couple of the members of the strata council, as they would have to authorize it before he could contact anybody to perform any work.

That was yesterday morning. I’m still waiting – and worrying about that poor tree. How long can a tree have its root ball exposed before real damage is done and the tree dies? I don’t want to lose it, as it’s the nicest looking tree I have and it shields my yard from the street and allows me some privacy.

Also, it looks lame leaning into the house like that. And it looks like I’m the dork who doesn’t care that there’s a cedar tree propped up on her house! photo2