This is one Columbus Day that I will never forget. The Mrs. and I went out for about two hours and came home to find our neighbor had cut down a 25’ Live Oak tree in their back yard, along the property line between our homes. The tree was not diseased nor was it causing any foundation or other problems. In fact, the tree had been significantly pruned about a year ago. Just this week that home owner told me she enjoyed watching the songbirds and hummingbirds that came to my feeders. She said that she watched them regularly from her sun-room and was going to put out bird feeders next Spring.
The guy who cut down the tree saw me staring from my backyard when I got home, with a most incredible look of shock on my face. He sheepishly volunteered, “she thought it was going to get too big, so she told me to cut it down.”
Keep in mind that it cost about $1,800 to have a 7’ live oak tree delivered and planted in the Dallas Fort Worth area of north Texas. Any live oak 8’ or taller requires a crane and costs many thousands of dollars to purchase.
Here is a before photo the live oak tree was destroyed as seen from my pool deck. The Tree provided a lot of shade as it blocked the sun on the west during the hottest part of the day. This is the only live oak around and it was a favorite nesting place for the songbirds in the spring. Hummingbirds hung out here all summer, hiding and feeding on insects in that tree.
The neighbors don’t have a pool so that was not a factor in deciding to destroy it.
It is not uncommon for live oaks to live 500 years. Oaks in Texas naturally become dwarfs speies because of the dry conditions. Their height is much lowered compared to the ones in southeast like the 200 years of beauties in the Squares of my birth city of Savannah, Georgia. A 25’ live oak is a very nice and very old shade tree around these parts. You don’t plant a 7 foot live oak and have this tree in ten years. It’s going to take fifty plus years to grow this tall.
Live oaks usually produce acorns between age 20-50. This tree had been producing acorns for at least 11 years and I would estimate it’s age at a minimum of 60 years but it could be older. Oaks grow VERY slowly in the 110 degree Texas summers.
This is what it looks like from my patio, now that the live oak has been removed, never to return. Their house is over 3,500 sq feet which is about average for this area. The yard is meticulously kept. Both the front and the back professionally landscaped and are well manicured. It was obvious that the tree guy thought removing this tree was nuts. I won’t soon forget the look on his face.
Who in the their right mind would remove this tree? The owner later saw me in the yard. She told me she had to leave the house when it was being cut down. She couldn’t watch it being destroyed.
Then why did you have it cut down? “The tree guy told me that it could grow to 60’ and that is just too tall for a tree to get in Texas. We decided to cut it down and plant a smaller tree.”
That tree woudn’t get any where close to 60’ in two lifetimes. And it’s not like they couldn’t prune it regularly. I suspect, they don’t plan on ever selling their home. She is a retired school teacher with deep roots in the area. They have lowered their property value but must not care. But how can they like living with that hideous bare spot that has been left in their back yard? The birds they claim to have welcomed won’t be coming back and neither will a tree of any significant size. You don’t tear out a live oak to plant a fast growing weed tree, if you have a tall tree phobia.
Instead of looking at a beautiful healthy tree, they are now looking at the back of my house where all the windows are covered in 90% sun block, black window screens. The temperatures on that side of my house regularly exceed 120 degrees in the direct July and August, afternoon sun. The tree blocked most of their view of my house. The tree also provided shade to the plants in my back yard and about half my lawn during the hottest park of the day. It also shaded their back yard and keep the temperature in their sun room significantly lower.
The tree also blocked my view of their house, where lights burn upstairs and down 24/7/365/. They NEVER turn a light off upstairs and only the bedroom light goes out downstairs. Live oaks keep their leaves year round. New leaves push out the old ones every Spring.
What is wrong with these people? They seemed normal enough but nobody in their right mind, could have cut down that tree.
Drinking coffee on my patio by the pool in the morning will never be the same again. What a senseless act of lunacy…I will miss that tree until I move, which unfortunately can’t happen until 2020 when the Mrs. retires. I can assure you that I will be gone as soon as I can. I’ll never live this close to neighbors again. We’re surrounded by morons in the world we live today. See the Obamanation and that live dead oak for details.
This is what I woke up to this morning. I know that 25’ tree wasn’t much, especially if you live where trees routinely grow to 50’ or highter. But I think we can all agree only a moron or a lunatic would cut down that healthy live oak tree without any good reason.
Also note that their “tall tree” phobia only applies to the back yard. Here’s a photo of the front yard taken this am. All three of these live oaks are taller and closer to the house than the one they cut down for “being too tall”.