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Tenant seeks advice over disheartening prospect of losing half-century-old tree: 'Check your city or county ordinances'

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Photo Credit: iStock

One tenant was desperate for a solution when their property fell under new ownership and drastic landscaping decisions were made.

The Redditor posted their frustrations in the r/treelaw community, a place where, according to the subreddit's definition, stories about tree law are discussed but no legal advice is given.

The original poster said that they had lived in the rental property for nearly 27 years, but the new owners decided that the tree in front of their home must go to make more space for parking.

"The tree has been here much longer than we have. I predict maybe the tree is between 50-60 years old," the Redditor explained.

The post goes on to say that not only is there an emotional attachment to the tree, but that it also has provided much-needed shade for the house, keeping it cooler during hot summer days.

Trees are vital to life on Earth and are some of the oldest living organisms on our planet. They encourage biodiversity by preserving soil while improving air and water quality.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, providing oxygen for all of us. National Geographic reported that the livelihoods of more than 1.5 billion people — roughly 20% of the global population — rely on trees.

Landscaping tends to drum up conflict between tenants and landlords. The latter is infamous for preventing renters from adopting money-saving, eco-friendly lifestyle changes such as solar panels, gardening, and water collecting.

Landlords tend to look at properties much differently than climate-conscious renters, more concerned with aesthetics, codes, and maximizing the value of their property. 

That being said, a simple conversation might be the perfect place to start with your landlord or homeowners association. Gently explain your point of view and be sure to emphasize shared financial benefits. It's also good to be prepared to compromise.

For those who find themselves in this dilemma, there are ways to navigate around lease agreements and reshape restrictions if you know where to start.

The post was met with empathy, understanding, and advice.

"Check your city or country ordinances," suggested one Redditor. "Some places have laws that prevent the cutting of trees over a certain size."

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot," another user wrote, quoting Joni Mitchell. 

Another comment advised, "If you haven't yet, don't rule out making a plea to your landlord, explaining the benefits of the tree and the attachment."

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