Palo Brea - HOA says I need to butcher it
Hi - I have a mature (6 yrs old) Palo Brea tree in the front yard. It has grown into a large tree (above the roof of our 1 story house) with a very short trunk. The short trunk has caused it to have many long branches and the canopy comes about 2 feet above the ground. We trim the tree to keep it out of the sidewalk, traffic sign and away from the house.
We have been told by our Homeowners Association manager that the tree looks like a "bush" and needs to be trimmed so that it has a high canopy. I disagree and believe that the tree grew in this shape naturally and to trim it back would mean to lose the entire shape of the tree. I've looked at pictures of Palo Brea on the web, and there are examples that look much like our tree with many large branches coming out from the base trunk.
I asked the HOA manager if she needed to pull out into the intersection to see oncoming traffic (we live on the corner of a cul-de-sac) and she said that she did not have to. She just doesn't "like" the way it looks.
Is the HOA manager's demand appropriate here? We have gotten compliments on the tree from our neighbors in the past. We have a meeting with the HOA board next month to discuss. Thanks for any suggestions!