Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Final (?) Word on Trees, for now

The decision has been made -- with many thanks to those who both posted comments and emailed your input privately. The maple tree will go. BUT, it will be replaced with another maple tree, and a multitude of other new trees on the lot. One friend, who always offers sage advice, suggested:

"if you cut it down, can you somehow take the seeds from it to plant elsewhere? That way, the tree wouldn't technically be "gone," just moved and given a second chance."

We'll give that a try and see how it works. We'll also work hard to ensure the tree is not turned into mulch, but cared for appropriately so it can be made into beautiful furniture that will live for many years to come in someone's home. Who said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression?!?!

In order to provide adequate canopy coverage in accordance with the City of Falls Church guidelines, we were informed today by Care of Trees (the consultants we hired for the tree preservation plan) that we needed to coverage on 900 sq.ft. of the lot, based on a 10 year sq.ft. coverage projection. We've selected the following trees:

Tree Location Points
Red Maple Front yard/west side of lot (replaces maple to be cut down) 145
Red Bud NorthEast side of courtyard wall 96
Paw Paw In courtyard area - to the East of the Red Bud 75
Canada Service Berry Back yard behind house - 1st tree at North side of lot 96
Tulip Poplar Back yard behind house - 2nd tree at North side of lot - very NorthEast corner 202
Fringe Tree Back yard behind house - Slightly SouthWest of Tulip Poplar 65
Yellow Wood Back yard behind house - very SouthEast corner of lot 145

Including a diversity of trees, rather than repetition, should give us bonus points of 10%, which puts us just over 900 sq.ft. coverage -- the threshold we have to meet. We'll see if the tree experts agree that this is a good plan, or if it's a disaster waiting to happen. When building a house, I never imagined we'd spend this much time on "trees", but they're important and add so much value. The return on the investment will be immeasurable.


  1. I would never have guessed that the City of Falls Church would have guidelines for canapy coverage!

    How would they enforce this, especially since the requirement has to be fulfilled ten years from now? Would they fine you, or force you to plant more trees?

  2. Jazzfanatic: they actually make you post a bond for each required tree (somewhere around $350 per tree). If you don't plant the tree, you don't get the bond back.