Kirby Dr. Fast-Food Joints at North and South Blvds. Show Off Their Street Oak Buzzcuts

Reopened Wendy's Restaurant at 5003 Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston

Burger King and Diminished Oak Tree at 5115 Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston

A regular Kirby Dr. street-tree watcher sends in this pair of recent images showing the Wendy’s drive-thru at 5003 Kirby Dr. (at the far western end of oak-tree-bedecked North Blvd.), which reopened after renovations the week before Christmas, and its neighbor a few driveways down, the Burger King at 5115 Kirby Dr. (at the far western end of similarly shaded South Blvd). The photos show the aftermath of a series of chainsaw incidents that took place last year.

The daring but probably not death-inducing trimming of the lone surviving Kirby Dr. street tree in front of Wendy’s (shown at top) took place after the franchise’s owner, Ali Dhanani of Haza Foods, paid the city a $300,000 settlement for the nighttime removal of 6 other oaks on city property surrounding the restaurant shortly before Halloween. A report in November indicated that the city’s legal team was investigating the more aggressive paring of oak limbs in front of the neighboring Burger King, as well as another Burger King owned by Houston Foods, the second-largest Burger King franchisee in the country, which is run by Dhanani’s brother, Shoukat Dhanani.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

The Giving Trees

22 Comment

  • Has anyone noticed on the northwest side that SOME of the oak trees in front of the Target shopping center at 290 and Hollister have been sawed off about two feet or so above the ground? The Target sign by the street looks new and the stumps are just south of the new sign as you head outbound on 290.

  • Looks like garbage…..figures cause that’s what they serve at these places

  • Less is more?

  • I still won’t be eating there…

  • There’s not any particular way to ensure that these crooks can’t operate in Houston, is there? Could the franchise pull their license? Could the city ban them?

    I get that it’s not the most economical thing to do, but…hypothetically?

  • Unfortunately, there’s not a lot the City can do but to keep fining these guys, over and over and over again, every time they molest or kill a tree. Sue them again if it’s particularly egregious.
    I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to get even harder to handle crooks like this in the near future: with some of the things Greg Abbott has said about local regulations. *face palm*

  • @ brian, Wendy’s head office did neither replied nor acknowledged my complaint at the time of the North Blvd vandalism. They don’t seem to care.

  • What the hell is it with people who do this? I have two new neighbors who moved into my ‘hood and the first thing they did was butcher their oaks. It’ like, “OK, WE’RE HERE NOW…SEE US?…SEE OUR HOUSE?!” When will people get it that trees are more beautiful than any man-made structure?!

  • As a local resident, my family will not patronize either establishment. It pleases me to drive past both places (since Kirby traffic is often at a crawl) and note how few vehicles are in the parking lots compared to the golden arches competition across the street. Low sales numbers get the attention of the head offices.

  • Yep…Gregg Abbott’s Texas will not allow regulations on tree cutting, plastic bag (litter) bans, etc.. While he has spent all his time suing to keep the feds out of “his” business, he’s indicating that the state will be getting more and more into cities’ business.

  • I will no longer purchase anything from a Wendy’s or a Burger King —anywhere!
    If our new governor has his way, cities will no longer be able to have local ordinances to prevent such abominations.
    Such hypocrisy!

  • Native Houstonian, in my mind at least, if there were no city ordinance, this guy would be looking at some serious charges rather than a fine.
    if I go into my neighbors yard and cut down a tree on his property, that is criminal mischief. criminal mischief starts carrying jail time if the damages are over $50. it starts getting serious after that. I assume it would cost over $20k to replace those trees, that carries a minimum of 2 years in state prison.
    if I hire someone to do it, it adds conspiracy. that’s more jail time.
    thanks to this city ordinance, this guy ends up getting off with paying fines when he should be looking at prison.

  • I wish our city would put that much effort into fixing our streets.

  • Zzzzzzzzz

  • You people must have life figured out to a tee, must have a paid off house, no debts, income for life, fully funded retirement, health of a teenager that will last for the rest of your life, and relationships without a singe fault… Because that’s the only way anyone could care this much about a couple of FUC*ING TREES!

  • I have an honest question: who in their right mind is a street tree watcher? I’m genuinely confused as to where people that do that kind of stuff actually come from. What a non-story.

  • He’s right. We should not pay any interest in anything but ourselves until we’ve perfected our own lives. Everyone: this is not time to look around you! Back to work!

  • We don’t need any more trees in the city, they are taking up too much valuable dirt. If you want trees move to the suburbs. At least some of these business owners are taking the initiative to maintain the city look and minimize oak pollen pollution which I don’t see any of you in the streets cleaning up.

  • You know…I don’t think I could care less about those trees. But…I’m also glad there was someone who was able to see the trees for the forest, or whatever it is. There’s value in people fighting these little fights over the years.

  • commonsense, if someone were to cut down all the trees in your front yard are you going to turn the other cheek? I mean, presumably, unless you are debt free, have the health of a teenager, and whatever else you said, it’s just a couple of f*****g trees, right?
    like as not, it’s public land those trees were on, they were donated to the city, basically, that means these trees belonged to everyone in the city. for people who live in the area, it’s a blight to have them removed, I know how I would feel if some of the city owned trees in my area were just cut down, it is through that empathy that I can stand beside those who don’t take such a tolerant attitude at the destruction of property.

  • Swamplot: Houston’s Oak Tree Blog

  • @ commonsense: Well, the “no teenager” part pretty much guarantees all the others….