Discussions

We had a similar issue but the trees weren’t providing privacy between us or the street.  Our neighbors had very tall pines that not only blocked light to our house but also killed a tree that had lost the fight for light in our yard (miss those grapefruits) and were leaning over their home to the extent that they slept on the other side during storms (really!).  The pines got bark beetle and we negotiated to split the cost of removal to prevent infestation of our remaining trees which also cleared our skies for solar.  In the end, we paid for most of it but our trees never got bark beetle, we have full light on our panels and don’t feel awkward talking with our neighbors who we know are cost averse to the point of risking a tree fall onto their house.  To answer your question – I think I’d trade some amount of privacy for solar especially if your area will permit you to use it with batteries to offset peak use time and help during emergencies.  That is a great prep that pays for itself eventually.  We don’t have that option quite yet – power must be out for battery use.    I’d say that solar company is not thinking outside the box much and agree that if she (or you) really want solar for all the other benefits besides power outages she can do other options for location.  If she has enough property to call it forested then she could pull down her own trees and erect panels out there – standalone or on a pergola or similar structure.  The easy thing is to put it on a roof, but it’s not the only option.   A different perspective:  In California at least, I believe light access is getting put into law/code for new installations which would prevent blocking light to an adjacent property/structure – like the very tall Italian cypress trees.  So once they’re down, they may not be able to go back in.  If you aren’t comfortable removing them, then don’t do it. When you tell her, you can share that you didn’t get solar yourself for the same reason – you wanted to keep the trees.  


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We had a similar issue but the trees weren’t providing privacy between us or the street.  Our neighbors had very tall pines that not only blocked light to our house but also killed a tree that had lost the fight for light in our yard (miss those grapefruits) and were leaning over their home to the extent that they slept on the other side during storms (really!).  The pines got bark beetle and we negotiated to split the cost of removal to prevent infestation of our remaining trees which also cleared our skies for solar.  In the end, we paid for most of it but our trees never got bark beetle, we have full light on our panels and don’t feel awkward talking with our neighbors who we know are cost averse to the point of risking a tree fall onto their house.  To answer your question – I think I’d trade some amount of privacy for solar especially if your area will permit you to use it with batteries to offset peak use time and help during emergencies.  That is a great prep that pays for itself eventually.  We don’t have that option quite yet – power must be out for battery use.    I’d say that solar company is not thinking outside the box much and agree that if she (or you) really want solar for all the other benefits besides power outages she can do other options for location.  If she has enough property to call it forested then she could pull down her own trees and erect panels out there – standalone or on a pergola or similar structure.  The easy thing is to put it on a roof, but it’s not the only option.   A different perspective:  In California at least, I believe light access is getting put into law/code for new installations which would prevent blocking light to an adjacent property/structure – like the very tall Italian cypress trees.  So once they’re down, they may not be able to go back in.  If you aren’t comfortable removing them, then don’t do it. When you tell her, you can share that you didn’t get solar yourself for the same reason – you wanted to keep the trees.  


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