Trees Illegally Butchered

Beautiful oak trees illegally butchered in fast food restaurant renovation: City tree lovers fighting mad

Beautiful oak trees illegally butchered in H-Town fast food renovation

Wendy's on Kirby with trees
The six 20-year-old live oaks facing Kirby Drive, as seen before the incident. Google Maps
trees chopped down at Wendy's on Kirby day November 2014
A half-dozen trees were illegally chopped down under the cover of darkness at the Wendy's on Kirby Drive. AnoushahKPRC/Twitter
tree stumps after trees chopping down at Wendy's on Kirby Drive November 2014
Stoppers-by caught the illegal activity and posted photos on social media. Photo by sabrinathebrain/Imgur
workers at Wendy's on Kirby removing trees November 201
Another shot from the scene of the crime. Photo by sabrinathebrain/Imgur
Wendy's on Kirby with trees
trees chopped down at Wendy's on Kirby day November 2014
tree stumps after trees chopping down at Wendy's on Kirby Drive November 2014
workers at Wendy's on Kirby removing trees November 201

The recent illegal chopping down of a half-dozen 20-year-old live oak trees under the cover of darkness at the Wendy's on Kirby Drive is getting serious attention from city officials.

In fact, the mayor's office is gathering the facts about the incident and is coordinating with Trees for Houston to seek damages for the act or replacement of the trees — or both.

 What's left: Six freshly cut stumps, as well as the continuing Wendy's renovation project. 

Trees for Houston planted the trees about two decades ago on the public right of way on behalf of the nearby Boulevard Oaks Civic Association. Area residents witnessed and protested as workers with chainsaws buzzed the trees down in the early morning hours and even turned the remains into mulch. Many of the thousands of drivers that pass through that busy thoroughfare at Kirby Drive and North Boulevard the next day also noted with alarm the missing trees.

What's left: Six freshly cut stumps, as well as the continuing Wendy's renovation project.

The franchise owner, Ali Dhanani of Austin-based Haza Foods LLC, leases the property and now claims the trees were removed because their roots were wreaking havoc on the pavement at the site. Property owner, local businessman and Forbes' notable Lias J. Steen, says the leasee did not ask permission from him or the city for the tree removal.

Permits are required as mandated in a 1999 city ordinance before cutting down certain types of trees on city rights of way. No such permits were even sought — let alone acquired — before the cover of darkness oaks removal.

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