Tree damage

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Lorna, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Lorna

    Lorna Member

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    My backyard involuntarily became a construction site so they could access sewer pipes and some of my trees got damaged. They bulldozed one 13 year old blue spruce, while leaving it's twin with a curve in its trunk. They also stripped the bark off of two of my 20' firs; one of them quite extensively. I don't know how strong the trees are or should I get them to replace the damaged ones because they will eventually die from the damage?
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  2. Lorna

    Lorna Member

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    Now I'll definitely be talking to the construction workers, because their construction has opened up an underground stream so that it's coming up through our backyard. We've always known about it, but they've redirected it and made it come up several places, but one place close to my fir it's flowing like a tap.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Your trees were also property that was damaged by the operation. Find out who or what was in charge of this project and approach them.
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    YES! These maniacs should replace your trees and make all repairs necessitated by their actions. I agree with Ron. If you get nowhere with whoever is there, call your local TV station and/or newspaper. Does this situation affect any of your neighbors? Were you notified that this devastation was going to occur? Is this company legally on your property? ---Let us know what happens!
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Hey, Lorna! Just wondering how things are going---hope that your back yard has not become a lake!
     
  6. Lorna

    Lorna Member

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    My backyard hasn't quite become a lake, but it's pretty mucky. The underground stream is close to the surface, but is trying to reroute itself. They asked me to keep them informed, but they'd rather not bring the excavator back down. They've since smoothed out the dirt around the area above our yard and sprayed for grass. They informed me that the front of the trees look very healthy. I've at least got the business cards for the foreman and supervisor. They're a very reputable company, but I'm keeping a close eye on everything. My fir tree is producing quite a few cones on it. It does look healthy from the front, but I think I'm going to get someone out to look at it closer. I don't know enough about trees to simply take their word that it'll be fine. The sap at the damaged part is trying to fix itself. Does bark ever repair itself? In answer to an earlier question they arrived on a Friday in June and informed me that they needed access to the sewer lines at the end of our property. When they showed up on the Monday after that with a huge excavator I was more than a little nervous. It's now October and my yard still isn't back to normal. I'm hoping they're simply waiting until the spring to plant most of the plants they've damaged. I'll let you know. They came in with their workers and smoothed everything out, but I'm guessing they no nothing of gardening and I've gone out to fix everything. They left huge rocks in my retaining wall, but I digress.
     
  7. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    What a mess. Of course these people are going to tell you that your trees are fine! Get a certified arborist to have a look and give an opinion---in writing would be good. ---Trees can do amazing things to heal themselves, but there is a limit! Here in Ohio the electric co. goes through every so often and "trims" the trees impinging on wires. OK, fine: obviously this has to be done. But why oh why can't the electric co. hire a few arborists to at least supervise the cutting? Trees can do amazing things to heal themselves, but not when half their limbs have been hacked off in the name of expediency.
    You have my heartfelt sympathy in your situation---not knowing if your trees will live or die, not knowing what these huge machines are going to do, or what will be the aftermath. For the past year or so the big field behind my house has been "developed" by Habitat for Humanity---9 houses crammed in where there used to be trees and animals living. (Bats no more!) I know how the constant uproar and uncertainty made me feel, and the lingering resentment at having NO CHOICE in the matter. Makes you feel helpless and victimized.
    So---get ahold of an arborist and call those numbers on the business card if you need to. I daresay your yard will never be the same as it was, but these people must make at least an attempt to restore what they have taken from you.
    GOOD LUCK! Keep us posted on developments.
     
  8. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    Lorna

    I'm curious about what happened. Why was the work on the sewer pipes performed. You said that the work on your property. Sometime municipalities have right-of-ways on title when underground services are located private property. The City of Delta probably has some information the website or you should call the Planning/Building/Engineering Departments. Rights of ways typically have restrictions on what can be planted and the limit on responsibility for damage.

    Was it City work for improvements for the muncipal system? Was it for a neighbours sewer system? Is there a new development that requires the sewer pipes? Do you have photos or documentation on the trees before they were damaged? Consider contacting a certified arborist to assess the trees now. Have you written notes with dates and times and put those phone numbers and contact names in a safe place to refer to? The City of Delta might have a tree protection bylaw - you should check.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Apart from that you need to make sure a drainage problem for your house etc. has not been created. Visualize the current drainage situation subjected to a record dousing of rainfall some future winter. Some years back we had a pond in the front yard for awhile. I don't remember ever seeing that before, and we've been here since 1965. The house across the street had a waterfall cascading into the downstairs.

    If you have water running into the yard where it's not supposed to be right now, after the summer drought, what's going to be the situation come spring (even without an unusually wet winter)?
     
  10. Lorna

    Lorna Member

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    I'm in the process of finding an Arborist to look at the tree. I have taken pictures before and after. We're still hoping that the contractors will put everything right, but I want to be ready with everything. I've made notes on everything. There is a right-of-way going through our backyard and I'm going to find out all the legalities of everything. I'm hoping it won't have to come to that. We still have the option of going over their head with the Developer. After last weeks rain the underground stream has resurfaced again which worries me considerably. To stand in front of my retaining wall is like jello. Will let you know what happens with the Arborist.
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Whether or not you end up in court, have legal representation at the ready. My thoughts are with you! I am angry on your behalf: wish there was something I could do to help!
     
  12. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    The right-of-way and any applicable restrictions may limit the compensation for the trees. The diverted underground stream is a totally different matter. Good Luck! If it is a storm drainage easment, I wouldn't expect that the redirection of an underground stream!
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Lorna! How's the situation? Hope it has been resolved to your satisfaction. What did the arborist tell you? Is your retaining wall still, in fact, retaining? Let us know!
     
  14. Lorna

    Lorna Member

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    I've been super busy with Construction guys, Geo-Tech guys, and City Engineers I've never gotten around to an Arborist. We've since found out that in my haste thirteen years ago I planted the tree one and a half feet onto the city property so we may not get it replaced. It's still frustrating. We have a concrete wall within 10 feet from our property line so there wouldn't be any chance of a house being built and it's on such a slope they wouldn't put anything else back there, but who knew they were going to drive an excavator back there. We are constantly monitoring the underground stream going through our backyard. The Geo-Tech guy keeps hinting that wooden retaining walls don't hold much back, but a concrete wall would A concrete one wouldn't hold water back either. What can't go through the wall is going underneath it and coming up in our yard. Through the excavating they plugged up the drainage we'd installed when we built the wall. We've built a trench through our yard that funnels everything away from our house. I've got the city involved in this now and they said they will inspect it throughout everything and it will have to be up to their standards. I'm sad about the tree, but will still fight for them to replace the blue spruce they bulldozed. That was completely on our property. The Fir may have to be taken down, but we'll have to see. I'm still looking into getting an Arborist out, but I'll wait and find out what's going to happen first. Thanks to everyone for your interest. I'll try to let you know how it all turns out.
     
  15. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Any arborist will be limited in applying value to the tree, the 9th edition of the guide to tree appraisal has a few methods of valuation, none include emotional value. The dollar value of your trees, if I may surmise, would be done using the cost of replacement method. The cost to remove and dispose of the existing tree(s), the cost to procure and install new trees, based on the species rating (a % value of 100%) times the condition of the trees prior to damage (again a % value from 100%) times the cost of new trees... Usually its not a lot of money, especially for 'small' trees like a 20' douglas fir.
     
  16. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Sounds as if the tree problems are secondary to the drainage/water ones. Unless you build Hoover Dam II in your back yard, I'm not thinking that concrete will do much to hold back a stream, at least for any more than a short time. Whoever initiated this whole mess should pay for a water-management person/company to come in and deal with the stream situation.
     

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