Park Owner and Tree Removal

In CA, we first rented our MH, then purchased it. Lived here 10 years and when we first moved in, given permission to plant two trees in back yard. This was a very rural area, huge pasture behind us, now there are homes.

Put in two pine trees, that were about 2 feet tall, now are around 11 feet tall.

The park owner has something against trees, and has removed several from park.

Today he stopped my husband and told him the trees had to go because would mess up the side walks (there are none) or get into sewer. Trees are about a good 18 feet away from sewer line. Pine trees are tap roots and invading lines wont happen, please correct me if not.

Park owner was going to have someone come in and take them down.

Can he legally remove them?

We keep them trimmed and do not go over the fence out of park.

What should we do, those trees are the only privacy we have now that the new houses are so close and the up stairs looks right down into our yard

Thank you!

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What does your lease say?

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It says to get permission before planting, in the park rules, nothing in lease.

Home and Homesite Maintenance and Appearance
7. Prior to beginning or changing any landscaping, you must submit drawings and plans to Management for written approval. All landscaping projects must be completed within 30 days following Park approval. All extensions must be in writing. Before you decide to use another Homesite as a guide, be aware that there are homes in the Park which may no longer conform to current landscaping standards. a) General Requirements. Landscaping at front street edge of property must be lawn or other approved, well maintained drought resistant landscaping. Other than lawn required in front street edge of Homesite, all plantings must be drought resistant and require low water usage. Landscaping must be kept clean and attractive, and not interfere with any other Homesite, access to any utility or structure, or obscure views of streets and driveways. Evasive plants such as morning glory are discouraged. Watering shall not be allowed to excessively wet streets or flood gutters. You are responsible for any loss or damage caused by any landscaping related activities. Low growing vegetable gardens, not exceeding 100 square feet, are permitted in the rear portion of the Homesite, provided it is neat and well maintained. No tall plants, such as corn or sunflowers, are allowed. No trees or tall shrubs may be planted without prior approval of management. All forms of statuary must be approved by management prior to installation.

b) Tree Maintenance. Management may trim, thin or remove a tree as it deems necessary for the health and safety of all. The maintenance or removal of any tree shall be done without any reduction or other adjustment in Rent, or requirement to replace.

c) Decorative Rock. Small, decorative rock, may be acceptable as landscaping, so long as underlayment fabric to deter weeds and edging to maintain a border, are used. The use of rock may be limited, depending on the overall lot size. It will be the responsibility of Homeowner to assure that there is always sufficient quantities of rock to cover the underlayment fabric.

d) Maintenance. Homeowner shall maintain Homesite landscaping in a neat and attractive condition. This includes mowing, trimming, watering, fertilizing, weeding and trash cleanup. You must arrange for someone to maintain your landscaping while you are absent from the Park.

We had permission, 10 years ago, straight from the park owner.

We recently obtained permission to plant another tree in our front yard

Once a tree is planted (with the park owners permission) on park property it becomes the property of the park owner. 7b, as you posted, makes it clear that the park owner may remove any tree as they choose. You cannot prevent him from removing his tree.
This is a consequence of living on rented land.

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I was afraid of that. Thank you Greg.

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Hang on. This is California. We need to talk about this.

The tenant can make the argument that the pine trees contribute to CO2 + pollution reduction thereby creating an overall increase in the health of the tenants…which is basically as vague as an argument that the park owner needs to remove an 11 foot pine tree due to health and safety reasons - previously approved by the MHP owner might we remember…

If this was a “landlord friendly” state I would agree with you, but in the case of California - it depends. How much do you really want to fight this? You’ll be setting a precedent for the park so expect the park owner to fight back.

Do you have a local Greenpeace chapter or forest service that might be willing to guide you? I personally like trees, even though the cost to maintain the large ones is burdensome.

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Ok first, to keep the size down of the two trees, we have done trimming that makes the tree grow more shrub like in nature. When I got the trees, the person who had them seriously neglected them, in 1 gallon pots. He said they were 5 years old. They were slightly bigger than a sapling.

We have a property manager. The owner rides his bike or walks thru a couple times a day. I live in a very, very small central coast inland farming town. His family as well as the person I bought the MH from grew up here, and pardon me, but have deep roots. He has bought up as much as he could land and structure wise.

This park used to have some gorgeous trees. He has taken them out one at a time. Last one or two were taken out today. One was a palm that he had transformed into a bench, with not so nice results. The tree before that was two doors down, a beautiful quaking aspen. He cut the tree down, leaving a 6ft tall stump in her front yard. Needless to say she was not happy.

First he says because of the sewer lines and the concrete. We have no sidewalks and the sewer is not near the trees.
Then he says its because it will interfere with the sewer lines in back.

He is becoming inconsistent, and he is about 80 years old.

Ironically enough my husbands dad and step mom both work for the forest service, he is retired, she isnt. I will talk to them and see what they say.

Thank you for you viewpoint and ideas, I really appreciate you replying!

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Your flogging a dead horse unless you can change your park owners mind.
It does sound like he simply wants to get rid of what he considers nuisance trees. Unfortunately your fight will be after the fact unless you can convince him otherwise.
I doubt your tree hugging, granola munchers will be of much help.

2stones, unfortunately as Greg pointed out, your lease looks pretty black and white and there’s nothing you can do to stop the tree removal.

Your best bet is to use persuasion and be nice. I would approach the owner when he isn’t too busy, and ask if he has a few minutes. I’d explain why you care so much about the trees, and how much they mean to you. I’d also ask him if there’s potentially any compromise (ex maybe you promise in writing to repair any sewer damage that were to happen on your lot?). I’m emphasize how much you appreciate living in the community, and how it feels like home, and how much you’d appreciate any accommodations or consideration he can lend.

The above might not work, but it’s probably your best shot.

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Appreciate you taking time to reply. Your comment regarding tree hugging and granola is not. I seriously do not care to have my relatives called such. As well as this extremely rude.

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Seriously…trees and granola is far more complimentary than California’s other reputation.

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You need to take your own advice here.

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So true, we got off topic talking about Californians.

The main reason we remove trees in parks is because the roots clog the sewers. This is a big problem. Pine trees are some of the worst offenders. I don’t know the details about their tap roots, etc, but I can tell you I’ve personally seen pine roots travel 30’ or more and form a ball of roots that completely obstructs the sewer line.

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Welcome. I am with you on contacting every single environmental group you can to save those trees. Trees add economic and aesthetic value to property. They add privacy, and oxygen. They stop soil erosion, and mitigate flooding. They suck up Co2. It’s disturbing to remove all the trees, especially when they are maintained, not near concrete, buildings, nor sewer lines, and are healthy. What purpose is there to destroy such a good benefit?

If you want to message me with your county, we can work on who to contact. I am a multi decades long environmentalist. I agree, the disparaging cracks and name calling are unacceptable, and non welcoming.

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All of the benefits of trees can easily be achieved by planting them somewhere that they do not pose a risk to a communities infrastructure. A large tree is a definite risk in a small yard and in this situation, regrettably, was probably a bad decision in the first place.

I understand where you are coming from as a long term tenant in a park and planted trees that you enjoy. But as a park owner, trees near mobile homes or utility lines or anywhere on the tenant’s lot are a problem. This creates a problem because legally we need to treat all tenants pretty much the same and usually have the same lease and rules for everyone. You might have pine trees, someone else might have oak trees. In Texas, the landowner owns the trees and needs to maintain the trees and keep them from touching tenant’s homes. I have tenants that planted trees near their homes and away from their homes that do not maintain them. I have tenants that planted trees and have lived there so long that they think they have landowner rights to those trees they planted and do not want me touching “their” trees regardless of where it is located. Nor do they want to hire professionals to maintain “their” trees and haul out those branches at their expense instead of randomly overflowing “my” garbage dumpster preventing the city from being able to empty it until I hire someone to remove the large limbs and dispose of them myself. Nor do they want to pay for an additional liability policy to cover any injuries that may result from them trimming trees on my property. I have tenants that will hire professionals but believe it is actually my responsibility to maintain the trees on my property and I must reimburse them for the costs and they have a fair point. I have tenants that might circumvent the rule to hire professionals and covertly attempt to maintain the trees they did or did not plant and could get hurt in the process which is a liability issue for me either way. I have tenants that complain that the trees in the lot next to them are interrupting their satellite service or they are allergic to them. I have tenants that believe I am responsible for removal of the leaves that fall from MY trees onto their lot or into their gutters. I have tenants that did not plant the trees but the trees were planted too close to the house by the person that they bought the home from that failed to maintain “their” trees and now those trees grow over the homes and can not be affordably trimmed without removing the mobile home, yet they want it done anyway. I’ve had trees on one lot fall onto the home in the next lot due to a storm and the tenant is upset that I allowed them to have a large tree close to their home when they have no trees and were not allowed to plant any new trees. It is hard to have a consistent tree policy in the park rules applied fairly to all lots that keeps everyone happy, safe, and my liability and costs under control.

So, In my lease, I have language that states that tenants take the lot “as is” and agree to hire professional tree services at their expense to maintain, or remove if they want, all trees on their lot at any time before I do. I view it similar to they need to maintain the pipes and wires going from the main line into their homes by hiring licensed professionals at their expense. I also hire a landscaper to go in and trim all trees as much as possible regardless of who planted it or where it is or how much someone loves it, which costs me a lot of money and is a week of hell every year as half the park complains I trimmed their trees and the other half is glad I finally trimmed their trees and a few are upset that there are still trees. Whenever a home moves out, I go in and remove all trees before moving a new one in. No new trees may be planted. Sad I know, but in the end its liability and expense that the neither the landowner or the tenant(s) actually want to pay for.

So if you want to hire a professional tree service or buy a liability policy and maintain the trees yourself and be responsible for removal of all debris either way, you might convince him to let you keep the trees on your lot. If you don’t feel like paying $500 - $1000 a year directly for the growing trees on your lot or a similar amount of increased lot rent resulting from getting your landlord engaged in an environmental dispute that will be passed along to you as well as the cost of tree maintenance, then I suggest you let the trees go peacefully or look into the joys of landownership with ever increasing regulation, taxation, and insurance costs in a litigious society. I completely understand where the Park owner is coming from and I hope you do now as well, but it is still always sad to see mature trees of all types be removed.

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Texas MHP You have written an excellent post about why trees are a problem for mobile home park landowners. I can’t thank you enough for clearly posting all the issues.

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I truly appreciate your response! It came down to either my husband remove them or he was having a tree service come in and do it today. So right now my husband is cutting them down.

I would also like to mention when we got the two pines, they were 4 yrs old and been living in a one gallon pot and severely stunted. They have grown, but not like they should of.

Sad day here, almost like loosing a family member.
Thank you Shamrock

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