You would think that a row of 10-year old Sequoia or "redwood" trees, with prospects of living hundreds of years, would hardly be able to grow fast enough to shade a nearby residential solar panel array, which has a design life of only 30 years. But, in California, legal precedent is being tested over just such a struggle. At the 'root' of the debate - and at the root of the law - is contention over which entities, trees or SPV's, have the greatest potential for climate mitigation.
In a case with statewide significance, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is pursuing a Sunnyvale couple under a little-known California law because redwood trees in their backyard cast a shadow over their neighbor's solar panels...
Wasn't it Robert Frost who poetically challenged the idea that 'good fences make good neighbors?' Apparently this 19'th Century platitude is getting another challenge where trees make the fence and solar panels are involved. Surpassing the stone fence age, in the Age Of Climate Change, we must find new ways of Mending Wall.
Via::San Jose Mercury News, "Sunnyvale homeowners told to cut redwoods that block solar panels" Image credit::Mercury News.