Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be careful, iIt's windy out there

It's November - the beginning of the windy-rainy season in Western Oregon.  Time for fallen trees, power outages, and cozying up to a warm fire.

But wait!  About those fallen trees....

The November 2014 issue of Hello LO has a number of safety tips for dealing with extreme winter weather events, and there, among the warnings about gas leaks and emergency preparedness kits is, "Ready Your Trees For Winter," though I don't think the "Your" part was intended as irony.   

The city acts as if the                     Don't forget to take photos!

trees on private
 property are owned by the property owner, but in fact, they claim so many regulatory rights over them that individual ownership has been reduced to that of a caretaker of a community resource.  And if the trees on one's property aren't taken care of to the city's standards, they can fine the pretend owner for not doing their job.  See Chapter 55 of the Municipal Codes titled Trees for regulations pertaining to trees on private property.  Lake Oswego is probably the only city that has an entire chapter devoted to trees.  

From Hello LO:

Ready Your Trees For Winter

Large trees are an extremely valuable asset to both the individual property owner and the community.  An investment in pruning or inspection can help prevent damage from wind, snow or ice, and help preserve those irreplaceable older trees that add so much to the character and heritage of our city.  

Storm Clean-Up And The Tree Code   (Edited for brevity)
In order to protect Lake Oswego's natural setting, the City requires both homeowners and businesses to obtain a permit to remove a tree.  

Emergency Tree Permit -  for trees that present an immediate danger of collapse and present hazard to people or property.
Hazard Tree Permit - for trees that are cracked, split leaning or physically damaged to the degree that it is clear the tree is likely to 
Downed Trees -a permit is not required to remove downed trees.  
However, pictures are encouraged for documentation.

Do you want to know what Oregon City requires for tree removal?  Nothing - unless the tree is in the public right-of-way or on a slope or next to designated wetlands.  In OC, people own and control their own trees.  

There is no way the city can monitor every tree that is topped, pruned badly, is considered invasive or is in the wrong spot.  For that they need nosy neighbors to turn in people in. It's a bad situation for all. 

The city has laid claim to ownership by regulagory control of all trees in the city as community assets with no compensation to the landowners who must hire tree cutters and Arborists and get permits to satisfy city staff.  The landowner bears all the responsibility for trees, while "enforced" benefits flow to the 
community at large.  There is something seriously wrong with this

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