Friday, December 27, 2013

Trees in Toronto

If I was to point blame on the bulk of my house ownership woes over the years, trees would be the main culprit. If they're not clogging up downspouts with leaves and causing issues, they're attacking clay sewer pipes and blocking them with roots, and their latest trick is from a silver maple I have that is dropping 400lb boughs from 40ft up on to my deck roof because of the ice storm...

Frustratingly, the City of Toronto has a very rigid tree program that basically says that you can't touch or majorly alter a healthy tree, yet despite not allowing you to mitigate potential damage to your property, you're responsible for all cleanup costs when this ultimately goes the way you'd expect.  

Like any administration with a vein of corruption running through it, you can get around this rigidity if you talk to the right people, but when that happens you then get a 30 day take-down notice for the entire tree... 

I get that trees look pretty, and I get the role they play environmentally, but people don't think properly and then plant trees wherever they want - and then disregard that 30 years after they've moved out that maybe putting an oak tree 10ft from the house foundations was maybe not their brightest contribution to the future of mankind.

I'm not exactly hopeful that the City of Toronto will learn from this... after all, just look at the wide-sweeping changes that were announced after last summers flood (I'm being sarcastic there).

In short, what they need to do more than anything is this... The existing trees will continue to expire, but new trees should not be placed within a certain distance to: 
1) Houses and their foundations
2) Power lines.

If they do that, they'll at least mitigate some of the aggravation that Toronto residents have to put up with now.