There are few things more debated in communities than trees. Some folks absolutely love their beauty, color, and shade. However, others just can’t tolerate the dropped leaves, view-blocking canopies, and required maintenance. Frankly, it’s not surprising why the number of tree disputes in homeowners’ associations continues to grow. In this blog post, we will look at the laws associated with trees in HOAs to help you determine how to handle your situation.
WHEN A TREE BECOMES A NUISANCE
When a tree’s branches or roots encroach over or onto the land of another, it may constitute a nuisance. The owner of the land is legally allowed to take care of the problem by cutting off the overhanging branches or even going so far as to destroy the culpable roots. But it’s here where so many property owners make a mistake. Keep in mind that there is a duty to act reasonably, meaning the landowner has no right to sever tree root’s from a neighbor’s tree. Taking it a step further, he or she may not cut the tree down or its branches/roots beyond the extent to which they encroach upon the property. Our best piece of advice is to simply steer clear of cutting branches or roots on another’s property. Should you make a mistake and wind up causing additional damage, you could be held liable in court.
COMMON TREE PROBLEMS IN HOAS
Removing a tree that a homeowner wants to remain – For the most part, HOAs are responsible for maintaining what’s known as the common area. This includes general maintenance and preserving landscaping whenever possible. Remember that board members must make decisions regarding trees that are in the best interest of everybody. HOAs will consider a number of factors such as:
- Is the tree causing damage?
- Is it sick or diseased?
- Does the area around the tree have sufficient drainage?
- Does the tree get enough water?
- Are there budget constraints?
Removing a tree because it’s a liability – Unfortunately, there are situations where removal is the only solution. Don’t forget that falling limbs or a falling tree can cause significant injury to people and property.
View/privacy issues – Let’s say you live in a condo and plant a tree on your first-floor balcony. It sounds innocent enough, right? You failed to do your homework, though, and wind up with a tree that blocks the view of a neighbor on the third floor. It doesn’t matter that you were unaware of how tall the tree would be. In such a scenario, expect the HOA to have the tree removed.
Overplanting – HOAs are responsible for maintaining curb appeal. If too many trees are planted or some were planted in the wrong places, they have the right to remove them.
Reserve issues – It’s imperative to reserve for short and long-term landscape planning and maintenance.
STRESS-FREE TREE REMOVAL
At Pro Tree Service, we understand the challenges of HOA restrictions around trees. That’s why we strive to make things as easy as possible for the landowner. We routinely handle projects of all sizes, from removing small bushes to getting rid of large trees surrounded by hazards (power lines, neighboring houses, etc). Not to mention, our tree care company always provides our Best Price Guarantee. Just bring us any reasonable, written estimate and we will beat it by 10 percent.
Note that tree removal may be required for any of the following reasons:
- Natural splitting/cracking at critical parts of the tree
- Lightning strikes or wind gusts from previous storms
- Safety purposes
- Significant aging, bug infestation, or disease
Since 1989, we’ve been providing Chicago residents with unmatched tree services at the most affordable rates. Unlike other tree companies, you never have to worry about hidden fees or gimmicks. Pro Tree has been a no-nonsense operation for nearly three decades, offering customers the most bang for their buck. As an industry leader, we pass our savings directly to clients.
If you’re worried about a tree not being in compliance with the HOA, don’t hesitate to call. Whether your needs are commercial or residential, rest assured that you will be our top priority. Call Pro Tree Service now for a free estimate.