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Old 05-16-2008, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,165,539 times
Reputation: 3392

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I have one house that is in a new neighborhood, developed about 6 years ago. I don't think my developer had any serious eye towards environmentalism beyond what was required by the city.

But from a cost perspective, it seemed to make sense to them to clear lot-by-lot as each homeowner chose their lot. So when I went to look at that development, all the remaining lots were woods and it was part of what attracted me to living there. In conjunction with the city requirements and some existing easements/buffers, there is conservation surrounding the entire development, so about 1/2 of the residents live on a conservation lot with a view (I chose one of these lots as well). I think all those trees helped to inspire many of the residents to request that older trees be kept on their lots when their homes were built, so some older trees are interspersed throughout the neighborhood (front yards, etc.).

There still seem to be 2 different schools of thought with developers in my area today though. Some are realizing that it improves their bottom line to leave plenty of trees intact - it's a selling point. Others are still clear-cutting in the old style...plenty of them are still doing this .

Most interestingly are the self-proclaimed "nature" developments . One in particular has clear-cut extensively right out to the main road . They've been fined more than once for environmental damage as well....and they dare to share my namesake "River"! Humph!

Going back some decades, like Paperhouse, I also have a home built in the '40's. Though it is now well-treed, my guess would be that it was clear-cut back then as well. Aside from the natural lakes and waterways to the river, I think most of the trees in the neighborhood were probably planted just 60 or so years ago. They are enormous now though and tower above the neighborhood.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Catonsville, MD
2,358 posts, read 5,458,685 times
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Our home was built in 1950 and I know they did not clear cut our neighborhood. Last month we had to have one of our 11 mature oak trees cut down (it had died ) and I counted the rings: 98 years old! These trees are HUGE. That tree was the third we've had to take down in the past 8 years. One of the others was well over 100 years old. I intensely dislike those neighborhoods that are virtually treeless (in the beginning.) Unless they were built on a former agricultural field, it's just a shame that they cut down all the trees. I understand the economics of it, but we're not the type of people that would chose to move into a new neighborhood with no mature trees. That probably means we'll never live in a brand new house, but that's ok .
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Old 05-20-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 9,452,035 times
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In our neighborhood they left a lot of weedy pine trees that run in rows. We had to cut ours down mainly due to their close proximity to the house. That being said I can count three large trees that the developers left alone. I actually posted a photo of one of them, an Elm.

The new houses here have to have two trees planted in the front yard within the first two years of occupancy, which is a good thing. We don't fall under that rule, but I have planted two in the front and am planning on three going in in the back.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,165,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tet tea View Post

The new houses here have to have two trees planted in the front yard within the first two years of occupancy, which is a good thing. We don't fall under that rule, but I have planted two in the front and am planning on three going in in the back.
I expect we'll see more requirements like that here in NEFL soon.

We have been under some loose watering restrictions and those are about to tighten up and become more strictly enforced. Along with the new restrictions is a ban on the use of fertilizer for the front 10 feet of your property. This will probably force builders to revamp their landscaping. As they do, xeriscaping and native plant use will probably get a closer look, as will the use of trees for stormwater control (trees slow down the runoff).

There are so many benefits to trees, I'd like to see developers have to do something more than the current rule of 1 tree.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:48 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 53,861,992 times
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Our neighborhood was built on an old stone quarry so no trees to start with. We have 15 trees in our yard that are about 12 years old so sort of big but nothing like the 30 year old ash trees that canopied the street in our old neighborhood .
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,892 posts, read 102,319,187 times
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Our neighborhood as well had no trees that I am aware of. There aren't a lot of native trees on the Front Range of Colorado, just a few willows and cottonwoods, which are not very long-lived, anyway.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,780 posts, read 1,311,318 times
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We do not have a lot of trees here in the desert but the developer of our neighborhood (built in 2007) did save some of the native trees, Palo Brea, Palo Verde, and re-plant them in some of the common areas around the streets. They are required to save the Saguaro cactus but it was nice to see them save the trees as well.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Here... for now
1,747 posts, read 2,682,204 times
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In the 1990s, we decided to take the plunge and build. We bought a fabulous heavily-wooded 3-acre lot in a new, rural subdivision. We realised some of the trees would have to be cut down to accommodate the septic system but assumed it would be a little circle, leaving everything else wooded.

As I said, this was our first experience with building.

Boy, were we surprised on the day we drove up to find more than an acre on one side of the lot had been clear cut. There was a thin strip of underbrush separating our lot from the next. We didn't even get that much coverage along the street-side . The builder said he *had* to do it because of the septic system but we suspect the real reason for clearing so much land was to make it easier to get the trucks on and off the lot.

For the record, we loved the house itself; builder did a wonderful job on it. We planted a bunch of trees out front in the 4 years we lived there. We've moved several times since then, but whenever we're back in that state, we drive by. The trees look great and now there is nice coverage from the street.

There's still nearly an acre to mow, however .

We learned a lot during the process of building that first house. And one lesson was: have the tree chat with the builder .
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,725,463 times
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In my neighborhood they did in fact the entire backyard was full of trees and it was up to the owner to decide what they would do.

Ten years later I still have a nice little grove of trees that the first owners kept.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:42 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 3,650,624 times
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I live in Oregon which is supposed to be so environmentally conscious. Unfortunately, the greenies have convinced government that density is appropriate. As a result, all trees are stripped on hillsides where homes are going in. Same for forests on flat land. In order to cram as many people as possible into a small area through their self-deluding attitude of "density", they are destroying the tree canopy and covering the area with more rooftops and asphalt than vegetation. Environmentally conscious indeed.
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