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Dances With Snails

dangerous yet? Question from the Czech Republic


Hello all, where to start? I'm looking for advice as to whether a tree in my garden is a present danger.

I'm English, living in the Czech Republic, in a rural area where very few people speak English. I don't yet speak enough Czech to have a complex conversation. Such as one about tree safety pluls local beaurocracy.

OK, we have a big birch in our garden, that started to lean over. It's leaning towards our neighbours house. My own feeling about it is that it has to come down now. But I don't know and accept I could be wrong. I'll insert some pictures and then write the rest.



here he is, leaning.











IMG_20190407_130909.thumb.jpg.7d03ba16acb0b357174c61018ebf2abf.jpgAnd there's our neighbours house that it's leaning towards.








IMG_20190407_134240.thumb.jpg.7835182056abf3fda6b6914c2c3dd3b1.jpgThe garden was relandscaped maybe a year or two before I moved in. (I've been here about 4 years myself now). I'm told that the base of the tree grew from the level of the lower lawn here. Then the retaining wall was built around it and the trunk was encased with soil up to about 4 feet - which is the situation that you see here in the photo. 











IMG_20190407_134309.thumb.jpg.5805380cf21f0b6816271e9f5b7b1871.jpgthe trunk looks ok at the base.













IMG_20190407_134331.thumb.jpg.32d88c1590528661bca1346b90cc30d4.jpgbut higher up we have this wound













IMG_20190407_134256.thumb.jpg.502c318235ba847af71521fa943fab86.jpgand this old broken limb in the middle here













IMG_20190407_130802.thumb.jpg.3cee633a1fde3363aa65edc8019997a4.jpgand recent winds blew some small branches down that look a bit rotten - as this one for example.













Overall I can see no fruiting bodies anywhere on the tree.


OK, back to the situation...

I need the agreement of the local council to get this tree cut down - that's the law here about trees of more than a certain size. But in order to ask them I need first the agreement of the other flat owners in the block. One of these owners doesn't communicate. And of course, I need to do all this in Czech, which is fair enough, unless the tree falls on someone while I'm working on my Czech skills.

If the tree is dangerous NOW then the situation changes. I could simply have it cut down without any one's permission.

I had a tree surgeon come and have a look at it maybe six months ago. He said it would become dangerous but wasn't yet. The problem is that I won't know when it does become dangerous. I would have pointed this out to the tree surgeon, but that was beyond my language skills at the time. So I'm posting this to ask for general advice - for people's views - 

is this tree already dangerous?

If you feel that it is, please post to let me know. If I get a clear message from a few people about this then I'll feel justified in pressing for an immediate felling.

Many thanks in advance.

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Not yet but the Czech's in the post.



Sorry sorry, sorry....

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On 11/07/2019 at 19:42, Stubby said:

Do you have all the above in writing ?

A good question. I didn't have the verbal agreement that we would wait till autumn and that the council would then give felling permission. But then the council emailed to say that on closer inspection they would not be able to agree to the felling in the autumn unless our co-owner - the mostly unresponsive limited company - agreed and signed it off too. Funny thing was, the guy who owns the limited company turned a day or three afterwards, cutting the grass downstairs (I don't think he did it at all last year). I went down and greeted him and got a bit of an earful that I could only guess the meaning of. Exit me and my dog for short walk. A bit later I went back to talk to him about the tree. I managed to understand from him that he will not sign the agreement to felling the tree. That he tried to have it felled himself ten years ago but was unable to, and now he wants nothing to do with it. That it's not dangerous, and that the neighbours do not mind it being there. (I'm not sure if that's true, they seemed to me quite keen to have it removed). I said that of course I could not take his signature. But that as it may be dangerous I would simply continue to try to have it removed. End of conversation. I have posted a registered letter to the local council requesting that they advise me on the appropriate course of action in this situation, and that they state their own point of view on the matter. Maybe they'll write something useful. That's all for now. I must say I felt very good for managing a conversation with a company director in Czech. If it falls, I'll try to post a photograph.

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I've found that Czeck people are generally trustworthy. If they've made a promise then they stick to it. 


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