Getting A City To Remove A Hazardous Tree: Dos And Don’ts For Homeowners

If a tree on city-owned property is posing a risk to your own property, then you'll want to contact your local municipality to see about getting it removed. Perhaps the tree's roots are causing damage to your driveway, or maybe low-hanging limbs are at risk of falling on your home. Either way, there are some important dos and don'ts you'll want to keep in mind as you get into contact with city officials and begin the process of requesting city tree removal.

DO Know Your Property Line

First and foremost, be absolutely sure that the tree in question is in fact on city-owned property. Obtain a copy of your neighborhood's zoning maps so you can see exactly where your property line ends. If a substantial portion of the root structure is on your property, you may actually be the one responsible for the tree, but this varies from city to city, so you'll want to check with your municipality offices.

DON'T Forget Documentation

The best way to put in your request to have a tree removed is to contact your city offices via telephone and either speak directly with a city service member or leave a message. However, you'll also want to have documentation of your correspondence with the city, so it's recommended that you submit a written letter, along with photos of all angles of the tree in question, to your city council offices. Keep copies of these for your records as well.

DO Follow Up Weekly

Even if you don't hear back about the tree immediately, it's important that you continue calling your city offices to inquire about the status of your request. Bureaucracy can move slowly, so you will probably have to be persistent if you want the situation taken care of. Be sure to write down the times and dates of your calls along with the names of the people you speak to.

DON'T Expect It to Be Free

Finally, even if your city agrees to remove a hazardous tree, understand that you may still be responsible for covering some of the costs. Your city officials should make their policies regarding tree removal costs clear to you from the outset, but rules and regulations regarding this can vary greatly from one city to the next. For that reason, it's best to go into it assuming that you will be responsible for paying at least some of the costs.

Contact a professional removal service, like Kansas City Tree Care, LLC, to get an estimate of what the job might cost, so you will know how the costs might be divided.