A large old tree was last week felled in the garden of a house on Laugarásvegur in Reykjavík—without the permission of the homeowners.
MMA fighter Gunnar Nelson, along with the owners of other apartments in the neighboring building on Kleifarvegur, are said to be responsible for the tree cutting, which has been reported to the police.
Vísir did not manage to interview any residents of the Kleifarvegur building, but Gunnar’s dad and manager, Haraldur Nelson, told reporters the whole issue came about because of new sewerage pipes.
Gunnar and his neighbors bought their flats last year and had new sewerage pipes installed in the garden, partly because the roots of the poplar tree on the property line with the neighboring house had damaged the old pipes, according to Haraldur. He says they offered to have their neighbors’ tree cut down, free of charge, at the same time as a tree in their own garden was removed. Haraldur claims the neighbors had reacted favorably to the offer at the time, Vísir reports.
“They were going to get in touch if it was not to be allowed. Many months have gone by since then and they (Gunnar and Kleifarvegur neighbors) thought therefore that it would be okay to take the tree down,” Haraldur explains. “It’s just a misunderstanding between them. He thought he was doing them a favor by removing it completely at his own cost.”
Sigurður Ásgeir Ólafsson and Richard Kristinsson, the owners of the tree, claim that they had absolutely not given permission to cut the tree in their garden down. They say they cannot remember exactly which type of tree it was, but that it was certainly not a poplar, as claimed.
“They did not have permission, that much is totally clear,” Sigurður says—adding that he remembers the permission being sought last year, but that neither he nor Richard had given permission and that both even doubted that it would be legal to do so; given the tree’s age.
They say it was a nasty shock to come home last Thursday and find their tree gone. They say they do not remember any talk of new sewerage pipes from their neighbors last year—only that getting rid of the tree would provide better views.
Sigurður and Richard, on the other hand, say the tree used to provide good shelter from south-easterly winds and was a favorite with birds, as well as just a generally attractive tree. “It’s just criminal to do it this way,” Sigurður adds.