Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cutting Down The Grand Oak Trees Of Coto De Caza


 I was jolted to a run by the sound of a saw out back, this morning and stood slack jawed at the scene of a 200 year old oak tree being sawed down.  My husband and I started to yell.  This is a mistake!

Please this tree is not dead.  There is no arboretum report, no nothing stating this tree needs to be cut.  Help!  I tried talking with the men who had already started the job.  I asked, “Do you have a permit”?  A mute stare was all I got in return.  

 The guy with the chainsaw finally said they were not going to cut it down right now and proceeded to put on some boot-leg strapping that had a spike in it, I assume to better hold him on the tree.  I didn’t feel assured by his telling me they were not going to cut it right now.

I went to my house, got some water, my cell phone and a ladder and climbed in the tree.  I have to admit I felt a bit awkward up there, at 59 years old, surely too old to be climbing trees.  

y husband proceeded to call the Sheriff’s department and plead that they come out and put a stop to this.   Meanwhile one of the neighbors came out and spoke with the workers.  I heard her say she had called the Sheriff’s.  As she walked by below me I said hello.  She said hello, back at me.  I told her my husband had also called the Sheriff’s department.  She told me the tree was dead and that I should find a good cause to go after.  She said there are starving people in this world.  She also managed some potty mouth words starting with the letter F.  Ouch!  Why?  I am starting to feel like I am in a Steven King novel and the neighbors with turn deadly any minute.

This is standing next to the tree.  There is so much growth on it.  I will agree there are some dead branches that need to be cut but to say this tree is dead is not believable to me.  I know it is a port for many a bird every day, woodpecker, hummingbird, western blue bird, house finches, crow, just to name a few.  I know because I take pictures of them 

This is just one of the branches cut down today and they mostly all look like this, covered with beautiful green leaves. 

 And so I took my place up on that Mighty Oak Tree.  I actually thought for a brief moment what the heck am I doing but then I settled in knowing my love of nature and the preservation of it had placed me here.  I just knew it was the right thing to do

They told us today that they would share the aboretum report that declares the tree dead.  Hopefully they will do this.  We were told they do not have to get a permit because the land is owned by the Coto Club and they can do what they want.  I always thought because this used to be a hunt club and the surrounding area is a nature preserve that the trees were protected but I do not know the laws surrounding it.  I also thought it was somewhere in the CC&R’S, preservation of the oaks but do not have them to look.

All of the photographs above were taken today, October 22, 2012.  

I am not here to make my neighbors angry.  I will not stoop to speaking unkindly as was the case today, one stating she had lived here for 25 years and we had only been here for a year.  I asked her, “So what, what does that have to do with anything”?  New or old, we are your neighbors.  Today all the natural foliage was taken back so far.  I am sure the hummingbirds will not be visiting soon.  I hope that the lower branches will be trimmed if need be and the tree can be saved.

I have four children and cannot risk being arrested which is what I was threatened with today.  

 Same Oak Tree 


Same Oak Tree 

Update Today            October 23, 2012

The tree is still standing.  We found out that the fire department did not order the tree cut down.  Also Fish and Game came out and said the only reason they are trying to cut it down now is because it is not nesting season.  The tree does need care, something we have said for 6 months now.  It seems they would rather spend the money on
chopping down a 200 year old oak than trying to preserve it, give it some much needed TLC.

My neighbor two doors down has told us that he has been trying to get this tree cut down for ten years.  The only reason I can think of him doing that is for a better view since his home is not sitting on the golf course.  Why then not just have the branches trimmed, which is what the tree needs anyway.  Today he yelled at me that I should be out saving embryo’s and fetuses instead of this tree.  I am feeling really bullied here.

If an arborist declares there is no hope for this tree and it is indeed dead or soon to be dead then I absolutely agree it should be cut down.  I certainly do not want a fire hazard for any of our neighbors or ourselves.  On the other hand, if it just needs some trimming to cut a few dead branches then why on earth would you cut down the whole tree?  This is a 200 year old oak tree!!

 Linda Ward

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