Rooting out the problem


For some reason, the only “altercations” I have had with my homeowner’s association over the 16+ years living here have been around trees and landscaping.

I pay my fees on time, do the repainting, cleaning and fixing without complaint.  But come green stuff, welp we just don’t see leaf to leaf.

Previous posts have detailed my association adventures. First, my landscaping out front and next, with the terrible tree that loomed over my driveway.  Curious readers can probably find the posts in the “Home” category of the blog.

Our newest dance related to a beautiful and large tree out back of my house.  The tree is old, a survivor of hurricane and development alike.  It’s branches spread across a good 15 feet, roughly half across my home and my neighbor’s. Multiple birds nests can be seen and no less than a half-dozen squirrels ramble across the many limbs.

The problem with the tree was two-fold.  Its branches extended wide across the grassy area in back, but they also reached over and across my roof.  Not a good thing during hurricane season.  The other issue was the tree’s roots were swiftly encroaching upon my patio.  Perhaps not this year, but soon, those roots would start cracking and lifting the concrete.

Trees are the responsibility of the development.  Substantial amount of the budget is assigned to landscaping.  Each year, crews come in before the season gets in full swing (but not before the start of the season…what’s up with that?) and cut back the trees.  I was hopeful that I could catch the workers and point out my dangers.

In fact, I was home the day they were here.  They made some acknowledgement of my requests and assured me they would get to it before they left.  Sadly, what they ended up doing was trimming the tree from side to side.  No protection was afforded me for my roof, nor were the roots cut back.

I began a series of emails with the association (none of this is ever done in a single request).  Unfortunately, it coincided with my Dad’s stay in the hospital, so I went a few weeks without following up.

Near the end of his stay, I managed to get a reply from the association and got solid confirmation the tree and root issues would be looked at and, if needed, cut back.  That’s as far as an association will go via email.  They can’t just believe the resident.  If I am to be charitable, I’ll say that must be due to some residents “crying wolf” and wasting the association’s time.

On the day I brought Dad home from the hospital, I arrived back at my house tired, but upbeat.  There was a lot of noise going on and it seemed to be coming from around my home.  Dared I to hope?

Indeed yes.  They were out back dropping branches like raindrops, if raindrops fell to the ground with heavy thuds and indented the grass.  In chatting with the man on the “cherry picker”, he informed me that they would have to come back to cut out the root, because they needed to dig it up and ensure they didn’t destabilize the tree.

The tree was now well back from my roof (and my neighbor’s) and the root was cut back a few days later.  I was happy to have a few more worries removed from my life and pleased that the overall conversation with the association went so well.

I think that I’m good now on trees.  The ones out front don’t cause any problems and it will be sometime before the big guy out back hangs over my roof again.

Just a couple of days away from my “Out on a Limb” installment, I found it amusing to have been visited by so literal an example of the phrase “the root of the problem”!

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