Church Cited For Excessive Pruning of Trees In Charlotte

Now this is a novel citation. The Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church has been fined for “excessive pruning” of its its crape myrtles. The city is demanding fines or replacement of the trees.

The church says that it prunes to keep branches of hanging too low. Now it is looking at a fine of $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning for a total of $4,000. That’s right. $4,000 for pruning your own trees.

I just happen to dislike excessive pruning of trees — a point of continual debate with my wife. Indeed, I do not like virtually any pruning of tree. Yet, property owners should retain some discretion over their own trees.

Tom Johnson, senior urban forester for city of Charlotte Land Development Division, says that the city has had a tree ordinance since 1978 and it will continue to be enforced. The article below notes “the state Division of Forestry recommends that anyone trimming trees should be certified by the National Horticulture Board.” Really? You are supposed to get an expert to trim your trees?

I admire the effort to preserve trees and the legendary beauty of Charlotte. Indeed, I understand that there may be reasonable limitations on cutting down trees. However, this strikes me as excessive regulations.

Source: Charlotte

19 thoughts on “Church Cited For Excessive Pruning of Trees In Charlotte”

  1. “Indeed, I do not like virtually any pruning of tree. [snip] Really? You are supposed to get an expert to trim your trees?”

    Shrubs and hedges are a different story (though they benefit from smart pruning, also), but when you’re talking about actual trees, yes, some pruning is needed and yes, it’s a good idea to have an “expert” do it.

    Most trees benefit from careful pruning (stronger, healthier, longer-lived). That pruning doesn’t have to be particularly noticeable – it doesn’t have to “whack back” the overall form of the tree, in many cases. I’m talking about cutting out crossing/rubbing limbs, dead branches/limbs, general periodic thinning and, when necessary, “balancing” the growth of a tree that’s getting lopsided.

    An “expert” (otherwise known as “a certified arborist”) will do a better job than some dolt with a chainsaw.

    Also, tree pruning is dangerous – limbs can fall on you, you can fall out of the tree, limbs can fall on other stuff (like other trees, buildings, parked cars, power/phone lines, etc) causing damage. Arborists need the proper safety gear and the knowledge of how to use it properly to do the job safely.

    Also, if you’re going to have somebody come onto your property with the express intent of climbing a tree with a running chainsaw in one hand, you really, really want that person to be properly insured….

  2. Ah…look at what the farmers almanac has to say….then…

  3. pardon me?,

    There has to be a club they all joined … or maybe it’s a man-cave thing …

  4. SwM,

    Sounds wonderful …


    Next time Tex and I go to New Orleans we’re just going to pick you up and take you with us.

  5. I had the special of the day. It was penne pasta with zucchini,shrimp and tomatoes. It was unique as it tasted more creole than Italian. Husband had the signature BBQ shrimp. It was very good and something different. Had po’boys at Johnny’s, fish and gumbo at Commander’s Palace, po’boys with fried green tomatoes at Mahoney’s, redfish with crab on top, grits, collard greens at Dante’s. I think Dante’s and Mahoney’s are newer places that emphasize local.

  6. Blouise, All is well with her, and I am trying to recover from the overindulgence in food. The blue velvet cake was amazing. It is so interesting there. Dallas is not. Did eat at the place Buddha recommended, Pascales Manale.

  7. SwM,

    Trust you had a great weekend and that all is well with your daughter

  8. Mr. pardon me? is in the dogwood house for excessive pruning, whacking, and mowing in general. Years ago, it started with the native plums. Later, some arugula… then some leeks, and cannas, and last winter, the crepe myrtles. Butchered, I say! I googled youtube for ‘crepe myrtle husband’ and the marriage counseling promo came up. Ha!

  9. Back from New Orleans, Blouise. No one cuts my crepe myrtles back.

  10. Johhny Depp would be well advised to stay away from Charlotte…


  11. The former owner of the Minneapolis StarTribune was fined for pruning a couple of trees on the lake shore across from his house. He trimmed them flush with the ground so he could have a better view of the lake. They were on public park land but you know how it is when you spend several million dollars on a home, you deserve anything else you want. Laws are for the little people.

  12. I thought Crepe Myrtles were bushes, not trees. They do grow very tall, especially if not pruned. I always trim my one deep red crepe myrtle back to the same spot every year. When it grows back all bushy-like, it gives me shade and privacy from neighbors. I don’t think I would be very happy if a law said I couldn’t trim it back.

  13. … the wrath of Thor would instantly fall on his head if he even looked at my rose bushes!

  14. SwM,

    Here also, Tex is the great pruner. He has wiped out lilac, pussy-willow, and forsythia bushes. The neighbors call one of the kids if I am not home and Tex is seen wondering the yard with hedge shears.

  15. My husband is the excessive tree and shrub pruner. One time I came home and found two Savannah Hollies scalped. One has never recovered. It has happened over and over again. I have now asked him to discuss any pruning before he does it. I prefer overgrown.

  16. I would find such a fine to be a reason to move out of Charlotte. How well would the trees be cared for, if the property were vacant?

    There was an even worse case in California a few years back. A property owner was informed that his unpruned trees posed a fire hazard; he would be hit with a substantial fine if he didn’t prune his trees within a given period of time, which I don’t remember.

    He hired a professional arborist to trim the trees. After doing so, he was informed, by another branch of the local government, that the trees were a protected species, which couldn’t be trimmed without a special permit. The fine for doing so was over $100K.

    He took the fine to court, and won.

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