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latest HOA stupidity - cut down the trees to save the grass

16 years ago

Here's the latest from my brilliant HOA (my townhouse neighbor is the Pres, who actually is a nice guy):

Y'know my nice woodlands behind my townhouse, which borders a farm & gives us a nice, secluded, non-dev-cookie-cutter feeling?

Well, my neighbor can't get grass to grow on his backyard lawn (it's about a 5' x 10' section off his deck) & so he's blaming the trees & the HOA is (tonight) considering a contract to cut down all trees going 10 feet back from the current grass line (running the whole length of the woodlands - not just the 10' section behind this guy's house). Now the wooded area is only about 30' deep as it is. Oh yeah, and he's sick & tired of all those deer walking through the woodland - they're eating all of the undergrowth.

What's with people? The deer (and the bear) are part of why I like NW NJ. And aren't our priorities a little backward when we're cutting down trees for the sake of a few blades of a plant that just is not a good fit for every yard for every house? Could we not, say,plant an appropriately-shade-tolerant ground cover, like pachysandra, or vinca?

And, why are we blaming the trees? Yes, they do create shade - but the reason they're cutting back 10' of trees (instead of just the 3 trees butting up on his prop) is that they think all of our lawns need more sun back there. Could the less than pristine lawn situation be due to:

1. the huge lawn tractors on that little speck of lawn having completely compacted that soil (which receives huge water run-off) - and them never aerating the soil?

2. the landscaping contractor never nourishing/feeding that soil?

3. the pitch of the land creates a huge soggy water runoff - and with the compacted land, with no nutrition (forget compost), it all creates a very anti-grass friendly environment

4. the fact that the sun doesn't clear the peak of the house until 2 pm?

AND BTW, that would also mean that dozens of HOA people will be in my backyard - and they'll see IT. [And btw a 600# black bear is roaming around, so making a nice discreet pile of veggies scraps under carboard & mulch isn't a good idea.]

AND THEN FOR THE KICKER - I ran into him on my way back from the garden store - buying perennials for the bed (created by a boulder wall, bed is about 3' deep - between the "lawn" and the "woodlands") that I transformed last summer/fall from a complete barren wasteland of a few sparse weeds and ugly dust to a beautiful, well cared for, mulched flower bed. Now, mind you, the original shrubs planted in that "bed" died many years ago - and the "landscaping contractor" never touched it - before or after the shrubs died.

SO HE SAYS - "hey you better watch out what you're doing back here (w/those plants) b/c the HOA will give you a hard time if those perennials aren't on the approved perennial list."

WHERE do these people come from? They're completely okay w/getting "off the hook" for 9 years of doing nothing for that ugly bed, and now, after I put time, energy, effort & $$ into it and it looks beautiful, they want to tell me that certain perennials aren't ok???!!!! What is it about American culture these days that is all about rewarding entitlement mentality (as in, if I had complained & moaned to them for the last 9 years about their lack of work, they would have probably done something), and penalizing productivity & personal responsibility (as in, the HOA has more important priorities than the small bed of former bushes, I'll just fix it and take care of it myself)????!!

I'm sending "PJ's neighbor" after them - and then we'll probably move to a non-HOA home in the same area in 1-2 years.

And then, the good "PJ" people of this HOA can have their overly-highly-valued GRASS (one of the most boring plants known to man) which will still not look the way they want it to for all sorts of reasons that the Soil Forum folk already know about!

All the Best,


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