Keeping Your Trees Healthy
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Keeping Your Trees Healthy

When I first bought a new house, I realized that the front trees were a little overgrown. I was worried about a branch breaking in the wind and smashing into a window or the roof, and so I decided to invest in professional tree service. When the arborist came, he had more concerns than just a few overgrown branches. Apparently, a few of my trees had also developed serious pest infestations, and I was worried about what it might mean for their health. He carefully trimmed each tree to ward off disease, and within a few weeks, they were looking a lot better. This blog explains how a professional tree trimmer could help you, so that you aren't left with dying trees.


Keeping Your Trees Healthy

5 Legalities To Consider When Removing A Tree

Joshua Mercier

Cutting down a tree isn't always something you can just do. In some cases, there may be legal concerns that you and your tree removal service must navigate.

1. Is the tree on your property?

In most cases, the tree must be on your property in order for you to legally remove it. You can usually have overhanging branches from a neighbor's tree pruned back to the property line, but it can only be removed if the trunk is on your property. One exception may be trees on public right-of-ways, such as those growing on publicly owned grass strips that border your yard. In some areas, you may not need permission to remove these.

2. Are permits or permissions required?

Permitting requirements vary greatly from place to place. Some areas require no permits for removing trees on your property, others only require permits for trees of a certain size, and yet others may require permits for any tree. For those living in communities controlled by a homeowner's association or similar, there may also be requirements to get permission for removal from the HOA before removing a tree.

3. Is the tree protected in any way?

In some states or municipalities, there are certain species of trees that are protected. These are often listed under a program name, such as a heritage tree protection program. Removal of these trees may require special permission, even if they are located on your property. For example, you may need to show that the tree is endangering your home, poses a fall risk, or has irrecoverable damages that necessitate its removal.  

4. Can removal impact local utilities?

If the tree can cause damage to local utilities, then you or the tree service must take proper precautions before proceeding in order to avoid liability for any damages. Overhead lines that are near the tree or in a potential path of fall are the most obvious. Less obvious is the location of underground lines, like water lines or gas lines, that can be impacted by the root system during tree and stump removal. All underground lines must be marked before removal begins. 

5. What environmental concerns are in place?

In some cases, tree removal can have an environmental impact, primarily on local wildlife. It may not be legal to cut down trees in spring and summer when nesting songbirds or other protected wildlife are a concern unless permission is granted for a dangerous tree. It may also be illegal to cut down trees near waterways or wetlands, even if they are on your property, without an environmental impact survey first being done.

Contact a tree removal service in your area if you have further questions.