News

Atherton resident says neighbor cut down tree without permission

 

Atherton police have sent the results of an investigation into the alleged cutting down of a neighbor's tree without permission to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution on charges of trespassing and grand theft, police say.

Sgt. Anthony Kockler said the incident occurred on Polhemus Avenue on July 17, when a resident reported someone had cut down a tree in her back yard without permission.

The woman said her neighbor had asked permission to remove a branch that was against a joint fence, but that she had said she would have her gardener inspect the tree or trim it. She told her neighbor she did not want anyone entering her property, police said.

The police report says the neighbor said he believed he had permission from the resident's gardener to cut down the tree, and that workers went over the fence from his yard to remove the tree, Sgt. Kockler said.

Sgt. Kockler said the town's arborist had been asked to look at the stump to try to determine the size of the downed tree, but the report did not contain the results of that investigation.

Comments

2 people like this
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 27, 2015 at 12:45 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

What right does the Gardner have to give permission? Time for a new gardner.


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Steve:

do you really believe the gardener gave permission. Smells like a big fat lie to me.


3 people like this
Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 27, 2015 at 2:24 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Was the tree completely cut down? Or just some branches removed?

You don't want to mess with some else's yard anywhere, but you *really* don't want to mess with a neighbor's yard in Atherton.

The sanitary district has been replacing a sewer pipe going through our back yard, and while, yes, they have an easement, they tore up some flower beds they *really* didn't need to. But that's OK, we're just in Belle Haven, go ahead and destroy. (In fairness, they said they would restore everything after we complained, but I wish they had been more careful in the first place. I don't think they would've been that careless in Atherton.)


8 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

AS someone who has had to live for decades under the shadow and toxicity of a large stand of eucalyptus trees just a foot or 2 from my fence, I tend to have sympathy for people who have finally had enough of a nuisance tree(s) negatively affecting property. When appeals to a neighbor fail to ease the problem of dangerous trees, I can understand why sheer frustration would drive someone to take an axe to the trees. I'm not condoning it, but I do think the tree owner's refusal to cooperate is partially responsible for this incident.


Like this comment
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 27, 2015 at 6:22 pm

From a comment n an old Almanac story re tree topping.

"Years ago when Joe Montana lived on Valpariso on the Atherton side his new neighbor to the east topped Joe's trees along the property so he could get more sunlight. Without Joe's permission of course."

There are a heck of a lot of folks in the area who consider themselves entitled to do whatever they want.

Correct action in the current situation should be felling the culprit neighbor's favorite tree. Teach 'em a lesson.


7 people like this
Posted by "Member"
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 28, 2015 at 9:17 am

I'm glad to see that people in Atherton are still insane.


8 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 28, 2015 at 11:54 am

> The police report says the neighbor
> said he believed he had permission
> from the resident's gardener to cut
> down the tree, and that workers went
> over the fence from his yard to
> remove the tree, Sgt. Kockler said.

The gardener gave permission ... riiight. Even if that's true, the gardener doesn't have the power to make that call.

Any branches over the property line are fair game for removing, provided it doesn't affect the overall health of the tree; no permission required. However, if the only easy access to the tree is by climbing the trunk (likely) and the trunk is only accessible by entering the neighbor's yard (likely), then the tree-chopping neighbor DOES need permission from the neighbor to access the tree. Which he/she clearly didn't do.

I'm not buying the tree-chopper's story at all, and I hope that they at a minimum fine him/her, then require him/her to plant a new tree...the same size at the same location.


2 people like this
Posted by Larry
a resident of Woodside High School
on Jul 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

The correct solution is to follow the law which this neighbor failed to do and let the court decide.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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