Letter: Forced tree removal is unfortunate


The current Belle Isle Homeowners Association Board is requiring us to cut down a small forest on a hillside on our property. We did not plant these trees, but nevertheless, they are requiring us to cut down all of them; even the ones that don’t block anyone’s view. It is a small forest of beauty and life.

It is true that the HOA has CCRs that disallow trees of more than 6 feet in height to be grown on some of the plats in our neighborhood that are in front of the plats closer to Wilkinson Road. (Six feet for a tree? Bushes of taller than six feet don’t count. Hmmm.) We agreed to these rules when we bought the land. Our HOA Board has said it is about “compliance” of these rules initiated in 1990 and there is nothing to be done but sue whoever does not comply with these rules. I don’t agree with always jumping to a litigious stance, but I get that and we don’t want to ruin anyone’s view and we’ve asked the one neighbor which trees might be able to remain as they are not all blocking their view. The neighbor says “all of them because you need to be compliant.” Sigh.

Remember, we never planted these trees; they grew there naturally as a small forest where we believe at least one owl is living. And a lot has happened to the Earth since 1990; climate change is an urgent issue now, and should be taken into consideration in my opinion. Trees, I argued, also provide beauty to a view, integrity to the hillside, privacy between neighbors, a home for birds and animals, and absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Could we not keep some of them that are not in the way, I asked, especially since a house will be built on the other side of the forest that will end up blocking a large part of the view anyway. No, was the answer.

We are very sad to have to fell these trees. That said, there is a post on Drewslist for anyone who wants to cut down a very tall Christmas tree for free or for anyone who has the ability to move a tree to another location and save it. That would be awesome.

Save the trees; save the earth.

Patricia Duff