Know Your Ordinances

That tree you want to remove may be protected

A lot of remodeling projects include adding on to an existing structure. Sometimes, a tree may need to be removed from a property. This is not something that should be rushed into, especially if the tree is located in a public space. Depending on the city in which the tree is located, there could be legal ramifications surrounding tree removal.

“Green communities” are common, especially in the Northeast. Since 1976 more than 3,400 communities have achieved Tree City USA status. This means the city formally declares who is legally responsible for the care of all trees on city- or town-based property, and they perform all necessary tree work.

These cities have protective tree ordinances enforced by the city or county via a council or local board—and enforced by laws when necessary. The ordinances provide guidance about planting, removing and maintaining trees located within public spaces, in addition to which activities are required or prohibited.

In order to stay in compliance within a green community, remodelers must understand and work within the parameters they established. Not following them may result in hefty fines, and it can damage a professional reputation.

Always check the regulations in the community in which you are working. Be sure you fully understand them before discussing tree removal with a client.


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