Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Horseradish tree is no more

I received a notice from our HOA in October to remove the horseradish tree from my front yard, apparently it wasn't planted far enough from the road easement.

I sent a request to extend the 30 days notice to after Christmas. At least we had a beautiful tree in the front yard decorated with lights.

Shortly after the new year, I received another letter from the HOA with an architectural approval form.

That's when I decided I had enough and chopped it down. As a final blow, I received another letter from our HOA last week to "remove the tree stump from your front garden". So this past weekend was spent digging up and removing the stump and re-planting emerald St. Augustine grass (see dark rectangle in the front of the picture). So, almost one year after planting the tree, seeing it grow to 20 feet tall and eternally covered in beautiful orchid-like blossoms, I had to chop it down.

So along with it goes our dream of a shady front yard with a bench. I guess we'll have to grunt and bear the 100F afternoon sun or wait till after sunset to venture outside.

I also grew another horseradish tree in the backyard. It too is stunningly beautiful, and it even bore a number of "drumsticks" seed pods. I tried to acquire a taste for it, but no matter how I tried it, I just couldn't stomach the taste of it.

So I had to make a touch decision, keep it for its beauty/ornamental value or plant a fruit tree I really like in its place - after much deliberation, I brought out my chainsaw attachment and before I could get second thoughts, I chopped it down too. I used the main leader as a support for the passion fruit vines and saved the other major limbs for other support duties, i.e. for planting pole beans etc.

In its place, I planted a mango I grew from a seed that I got from a friend. The mango is unlike any mango I've even tried, I suspect it may itself have been a seed-grown mango.


  1. This is ridiculous!! This is exactly why we moved into a neighborhood without an HOA...unbelievable! I'm so sorry you had to chop down your tree. I'm sure you'll enjoy your mango. I planted one 2 years ago...it's looking very healthy this year and flowering!

  2. If I had known HOA's are such a pain, trust me we probably would have bought elsewhere. Now, I have too much sweat invested here, plus we're so upside down on our mortgage we couldn't move even if we wanted.

    Nice, what kind of mango did you plant ? Hope you get tons of delicious mangos and won't have to loose any to raccoons. Last year they stole two of my four valencia pride mangos and scratched the lancetilla mangos while they were still rock hard green, so I had to pick them prematurely and although they were good, they weren't great.

  3. Well that was a surprise ending! Long live the mango tree.

    It's a surprising story for me though. I can't imagine why a government agency would ask you to take down a tree to the stump. Strange law.

  4. Its not a goverment agency, its the Home Owner's Association.

    They have strict and rigid rules. Apparently you have to submit an architectural approval form for any modification outside your home, this includes landscaping, planting trees etc.

    One morning, I caught the guy doing his rounds inspecting each house and writing up every single thing he saw wrong, i.e. dirty drive way or roof, invalid window treatments etc...

    So I asked him about landscaping my front yard and he said, "go ahead, as long as its neat and fits in with the neighbourhood". So I landscaped it and later planted the horseradish tree. Apparently there is an easement rule, you may not plant or landscape within 10 feet from the curb. I planted it about 4 feet from the curb, so I had to remove it.