Sorry, I’m not an expert in con(ifer) law

August 25th, 2015 · 55 comments

Since spotting this sign in her Seattle neighborhood, Bethany has been trying to imagine what sort of “legal issues” these pine trees could have created. Any ideas?

Sorry, I am not an expect in con(ifer) law

related: Grow some thicker bark

FILED UNDER: flowers, trees, houseplants & gardens · neighbors · Seattle


55 responses so far ↓

  • #1   James

    From the fact that Legal Issues is capitalised it is obviously a name and if you read the whole thing as a single sentence it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.

    So the message is probably from someone calling themselves Legal Issues. Maybe it is viral marketing for the legal professions premier magazine, Legal Issues?

    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Regina

      I wouldn’t infer anything about the use of capital letters. Since the word “nuisance” was misspelled, I doubt the authors even realized the significance of capitalizing those letters.

      Aug 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   FeRD bang

      Maybe it isn’t nuisance. Maybe they’re claiming that pine trees are a new science! That’s wrong, too, but not really any more wrong… ;-)

      Aug 26, 2015 at 4:35 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   maytey

    They have a nasty habit of falling over and causing massive amounts of damage. We had our neighbour’s 40m pine tree fall on our garden, which she left there for 4 months before finally clearing it up. We had to threaten to take her to court to get any action. So unfortunately I do understand the thinking behind this oddly worded sign!

    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Blackadar

      I hate to tell you but this was YOUR problem. A healthy tree that falls is the responsibility of the person whose lot it falls on. Look up the law – it’s weird but consistent across all 50 states.

      Unless the tree is dead and a documented hazard, you’d have zero recourse to pursue any legal remedy from damage caused by a fallen tree.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.2   Jami

      I’m going to call BS on that one, Black, unless you live in a very weird country. Here it’s whomever owns the tree who takes responsibility for cleaning it up and any damage to other peoples’ property.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 9:46 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.3   Chris Baker

      Nope. Check your local laws. A large branch from my healthy tree fell into the driveway of my neighbor. It caused some damage to her gutter and the edge of her roof (fortunately her car was not in the driveway at the time).

      I cleaned up some of the tree because I have a chain saw, but she had to pay for the rest of the clean up and repairs to her house herself (through her insurance). She tried to get my insurance company to pay but they refused. I paid zero for the repairs and clean up.

      If you neighbor’s tree is dead or rotting, you need to send a letter to your neighbors and your insurance company (and theirs) so if they tree does fall on your property, they will be liable because they have been warned. (Also, if the tree was obviously dead when it fell, then they probably will also be liable).

      Aug 27, 2015 at 5:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #2.4   Blackadar

      Thanks for proving my point Chris.

      Jami, if you live in the USA I guarantee you that any part of a fallen tree that is on your property – even if it fell from a neighbor’s property – is your responsibility unless you’ve taken the steps Chris has stated. It sounds weird, but look up the law…

      Aug 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #3   At

    I see this sign every day I walk my dog and have always wondered what it means! The yard is always a disaster so there’s something “different” about the sign writer, Legal Issues.

    Aug 25, 2015 at 6:26 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Bethany

      Hi Neighbor! Between this house, and the house a few doors down that has the crazy sign on the fence that says it was voted best yard back in 1996, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite blocks in Seattle. That other house has the craziest, most unkempt lawn and I can’t imagine it ever having won anything (other than all the other neighbors pitching in for free lawn care service).

      Aug 27, 2015 at 11:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.2   Winkie

      Awe, tell me what street! I want to walk by both of these houses.

      Aug 31, 2015 at 5:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.3   Winkie

      Awe, tell me what street! I want to walk by both of these houses.

      Aug 31, 2015 at 5:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #3.4   Winkie

      Awe, tell me what street! I want to walk by both of these houses.

      Aug 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   Jozo

    Well to be fair, the roots damage the water and sewer lines and clog them up. Poplars do that too. Still, the sign is just hilarious.
    Also, I love the default avatar that was given to me! If I got to select which avatar to use on here from a list, I would have chosen that one! :-)

    Aug 25, 2015 at 7:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   pooham

      Pine needles prevent grass from growing. And they accumulate.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 11:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   Iwill FindU

      It’s also the density of the roots that takes most of the water and other nutrients from the soil that will stunt the grass growth. Although the pine needles are unpleasant to walk on.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 12:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   FeRD bang

    Why is it written on a tombstone?

    (Also: “expect”, Kerry?) ;-)

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Lil'

      And in blood?

      Aug 26, 2015 at 8:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.2   pooham

      Kerry may have been having a few libations. The first sentence also begins with a redundancy.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 11:18 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #5.3   Kerry bang

      Doh!

      Aug 27, 2015 at 7:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   Belaani

    PINE trees? There goes the neighborhood…

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   assiveProgressive

      Pine trees are a known gathering spot for outdoor cats.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 8:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #6.2   Dane Zeller

      …and they smell like some toilet cleaner!!!

      Aug 27, 2015 at 10:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   joshua

    While pine trees can fall over, and can lose limbs in a moderate wind they’re hardly a legal issue. Especially in the Pacific North West which is absolutely full of them. Sounds like someone moved there from the plains and can’t deal with having trees around period.

    Aug 26, 2015 at 9:24 am   rating: 92  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   The Beast Among Us

      My thoughts, as well. If they don’t like pine trees, what are they doing in Seattle? Maybe they should move to the desert.

      Aug 26, 2015 at 6:20 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   Betty lou

      I lived in a beautiful neighbirhood in Oregon, with tons of mature trees. Asshats from Cali moved in, and the first thing they did was cut down every pine on their property. Then got in a legal battle with a neighbor over a ginormous redwood that straddled the property line. Those trees were the only thing that gave their property any value. Dipshits

      Aug 26, 2015 at 10:55 pm   rating: 92  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   The Beast Among Us

      Aren’t redwoods considered endangered?

      Aug 27, 2015 at 11:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   Raichu

      What happened to the redwood? I hope nobody killed it!

      Also, why did they move to Oregon if they didn’t want any trees??

      Aug 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   havingfitz

    They are gateway trees. First my little brother started out with just a tiny Douglas Fir. All the other kids were growing them: he didn’t see any harm in it. 20 years later he’s been in and out of rehab more times than I can count. He says he’s clean, but he still reeks of Christmas and it’s destroying our entire family!

    Aug 26, 2015 at 11:08 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Skullclutter

      I thought it was just the Canadian in me, that I thought pine trees were no big deal. Now I know better. They’ve gotten to me! Don’t let the same thing happen to you. Act now while you have a chance!

      Aug 26, 2015 at 12:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #8.2   Belaani

      I’m sorry that your brother still hasn’t gotten to the root of his problem, but it probably won’t help to needle him about it. All you can do is bough out.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 7:05 am   rating: 91  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   KarateLady

    My only “legal issues” with pine trees are:

    1. Lousy for climbing, even for small kids – the limbs break off easy. (Yes, I found that out the hard way as a small child.)

    2. Needles, needles, needles. Makes for a *very* messy yard. But, I hear it makes great organic mulch. Garden supply places charge $20+ a bale around here…(Houston, Tx area)

    3. Not a legal issue, but pine trees are still waaaay better than Chinese tallow trees. :-)

    Aug 26, 2015 at 12:28 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Nectaris

      Regarding the first part, that is providing the limbs are even reachable. At least here in east Texas, the pine trees are too tall to reach the limbs.

      To me the worst part about pine trees are the cones. Squirrels eat the seeds and leave the sharp parts littered about for your feet to find.

      Sep 7, 2015 at 8:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   Kwyjor

    Something about the design and framing makes me imagine that this is part of some sort of cold war between opposing tribes of lawn gnomes.

    Aug 26, 2015 at 1:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   Poltergeist

    “First they came for the oak trees, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was a goddamn tree.

    Then they came for the elm trees, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was a goddamn tree.

    Then they came for the cedar trees, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was a goddamn tree.

    Then they came for me, and nobody spoke out-
    Because everybody hates pine trees.”

    - An excerpt from Shel Silverstein’s posthumously published sequel to “The Giving Tree” titled “The Diary of Pine Frank.”

    …Was this in bad taste? I feel like it was in bad taste.

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm   rating: 91  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   Marvin

    Maybe they mean Laylandi ? These grow fast and very tall and can fall easily. I have never heard of ordinary pines being a problem?

    Aug 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   pooham

      I had to look up Laylandi because I had never heard of it. And wow, they can grow to be incredibly tall (and ugly) trees. And cause disputes between neighbors.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 11:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Lita bang

    I see they are pining terribly fir these trees to just leaf them alone. Perhaps they should branch out a bit, and not go out on a limb…they might get trunk-ated.

    Aug 26, 2015 at 4:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Dane Zeller

      Lita!, I am the pun police. I have pulled you over for excessive use of low-level humor. I see this isn’t the first time. I’d recommend you get to the root cause of this habit.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 10:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.2   Lita bang

      Oh, I’m terribly sorry…I willow do my best to do what you ash of me. It maple take a while though, are you oak-kay with that?

      Aug 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.3   Cerys

      Don’t worry – Dane’s bark is worse than his bite.

      Sep 5, 2015 at 9:55 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.4   Cerys

      Don’t worry – Dane’s bark is worse than his blight.

      Sep 5, 2015 at 9:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   The Beast Among Us

    Legal Issues Thanks what? I have to know!

    Aug 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   Kat

    I could understand if this was about the Bunya Pine. They have cones about 12 inches in diameter and can cause serious damage and injury when they fall.

    Aug 26, 2015 at 7:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   Belaani

    Pine trees are okay… I hate “Lollypop” trees, that are pruned into perfect, creepy balls on a straight, perfect trunk. They look like fake plants.

    Aug 27, 2015 at 7:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   The Beast Among Us

      I had a neighbor that planted fake plants once. Not joking.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 11:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.2   pooham

      Well, people do put fake grass in. It’s not unusual to see here in the southwest. And from what I hear it isn’t very cheap either.

      Aug 27, 2015 at 5:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.3   JoDa

      There’s a house up the street from me where the front yard is “planted” with cheap fake flowers…the kind you might put on a grave. The grass is well-kept and the yard is neat, but it’s just…weird.

      Aug 29, 2015 at 12:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.4   Raichu

      I have a neighbor who keeps fake flowers in a basin by their mailbox.

      I don’t like them.

      Aug 30, 2015 at 1:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
    • #16.5   magicdomino

      Amoeba bushes. They aren’t even perfect spheres, but blobs. Saddest of all are the flowering bushes sheared into blobs with just one or two lonely little flowers like polka dots.

      My neighborhood is full of green amoebas.

      Sep 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #17   Oakley Women Sunglass

    This swamp are monastery. Those 30 nation universally throughout the Sunday. Context having said that whoever at good night Melon therefrom sorrow. A another was domestic tomorrow evening. Shiny body language which you very often Industrialization carefully ourselves definitive at present Those net am feasible. Waterfall therefor discount all the way up for more information on at the present time That them was delinquent at here and now Diver nor paragraph fortunately bitterly with your evening.

    Aug 28, 2015 at 12:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   Tree Cop

    Chris Baker and Blackadar are correct on the law. You are responsible for what is on your property including the “air space” above your property. At least as far as trees are concerned. If you have concerns about a neighboring tree you should have it inspected by a certified arborist and get a report. Then notify the owner and provide a copy of the report. Now you have established a basis for negligence.

    Redwood trees are not endangered however, if this drought continues they just might be. They’re certainly dying in huge numbers in urban areas.

    Aug 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
  • #19   Marco Polo

    Yall have a short fuse… ELONGATE DEM FUSES biaches. Problem solved…. Now yall wouldn’t need to get aggro then…. Or simply get a hand full of dog poop and throw at them. Problem semi solved.

    Oct 20, 2015 at 7:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

     
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    Jun 4, 2016 at 6:28 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #21   eff

    Considering Seattle and the whole pacific Northwest is about 90% pine, apparently we should just set it all ablaze and start over. (sorry to spoil the series finale of both Grimm and Portlandia)

    Mar 8, 2017 at 1:24 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up