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Yes you can. You are within your right as the property owner to remove any portion of the tree that grows over the property line. However, this is not always what is best for the tree. We encourage you to work with your neighbor to come to a solution that is acceptable to you and your neighbor while keeping in mind what is best for the health of the tree. Please weigh this option carefully; as you could be held liable if the work you do prompts the failure of the tree.
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Maybe. In most cases, you do not need a permit to remove a tree on your property at this time. However, if the tree is located within a critical area, you may need a Critical Areas Permit in order to remove the tree. There are exemptions to this requirement for hazard trees and documentation must be submitted demonstrating that the exemption applies. The Community Development department will review your documentation and process the exemption.
If the tree is located in the right-of-way or is a street tree, you will need a right-of-way permit. One rule of thumb in determining where the right-of-way is located is to look for city owned items such as water meter boxes and utility poles. Anything between those objects and the curb is most often located within the right-of-way.
If you plan to plant within the right-of-way you will need a permit. If you're planting upon any other area of your property, you do not need a permit. No matter where you intend to plant, be sure to call ahead for utility locates before you begin digging. You can call 811 or 800-424-5555. Locates are typically performed within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays.
The property owner is responsible for the maintenance of street trees. All trees with adjacent pedestrian usage shall maintain 7 feet of clearance to the lowest branches. When adjacent to a roadway, no limbs or other vegetation shall extend beyond the curb line or edge of the asphalt for a distance of 7 ½ feet above the road surface.
Call us and we will help you determine ownership of the tree and whether or not the tree meets the definition of a 'hazard' tree. If the tree is located on the property of another, we can help you resolve the issue with the other property owner. If the tree is hanging over your property line, please see question number 3.
No, at this time the City does not have an urban forest ordinance; however, a tree may still be protected.
Windowing is the act of removing a select branch or two higher up in a large tree to allow for a view of a scenic area. Skirting up a tree means removing some of the lower branches to allow for a view of a scenic area or to allow for passage under the tree. Both of these are presently accepted practices. We recommend you consult with your homeowners association (HOA) prior to performing this kind of work. More often the not, there are guidelines in place requiring that only non-mechanized machinery be used in conservation areas, steep slopes, wetlands, and buffers. We encourage you to use a certified arborist.
The International Society of Arboriculture maintains a list of certified arborists and tree care professionals. You can search their database by location, postal code, certification number or last name.
Tree topping is the process of removing large branches from the canopy of a tree. This is frequently done in an effort to make the tree smaller, safer, and more manageable. The opposite is often true, however.
Tree topping is not an accepted pruning practice. Topping is detrimental to the health of the tree. It drastically reduces or removes the tree's ability to feed itself through the process of photosynthesis due to the lack of or reduction of its leaves. The large wounds left on a tree after topping are more susceptible to disease, decay and eventual failure. A topped tree will put all of its energy into regaining its height by sending out numerous small and bushy branches that are weakly attached at the removal site. Topping may then need to be repeated regularly, costing the homeowner more money in the long run.