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The Lockean Project

The price of a dead tree

“The price of a dead tree”, Carmel Pine Cone – Oct. 20, 2023

Like many others, I do not always agree with the decisions of our local government. For example, the unconscionable treatment of landowner Patrice Pastor. But I tend to hold on for the surfacing of clearer minds. Funny how things suddenly become more urgent when rules and regulations affect one personally.

I have a large old oak tree in my yard that is dead, as confirmed by a qualified, licensed arborist. I would like to have it removed, despite the high cost of doing so. Then I learned that the City of Carmel, in addition to charging $195 to simply confirm what the arborist already concluded, will charge me $665 for permission to remove my own dead tree — something which has no effect whatever on our beloved canopy, on my neighbors, or nature in general.

I will not donate that amount of money to the city for absolutely no justifiable return, so I will keep the dead tree and I and my neighbors will look at it as a dying sculpture and hope that it will not cause damage in future storms

May I urge all concerned Carmel property owners to complete and submit to city hall the current Urban Forest Management survey by Nov. 2? The survey is available at the city’s website,

Karen Sonnergren, Carmel