A Guide for Your Community on HOA Tree Removal Policies
Homeowners love trees as they offer privacy and other benefits. Trees are an easy, natural way to enhance the landscape of your community. Yet, sometimes trees need to be taken down for a variety of reasons, leaving some homeowners and community members disappointed.
When a Tree Becomes an Issue
From time to time, trees become an issue in the common areas of HOAs and similar communities, resulting in landscaping professionals deeming tree removal necessary. HOA board members should consider the best course of action when deciding to remove a tree by asking the following questions.
- Is the tree damaging properties?
- Is the tree at risk of falling?
- Is there sufficient drainage around the tree?
- Does the tree, or its surrounding landscape receive adequate water and/or sun?
- Is there any budget constraint to removing or maintaining the tree?
If there is sufficient evidence provided when answering these questions, board members should take heed and follow the professionals’ advice.
Common HOA Tree Problems
HOAs should strive to maintain the appearance and curb appeal of the community. If an HOA notices trees are planted in the wrong areas or too many are present, they have the right to remove them. Let’s explore the common reasons why a tree is removed.
- Tree Size. The once small trees the builder put in to sell the home, or ones the nature-loving homeowner planted, become too big.
- Safety Hazards. When a tree is leaning, overgrown, or has falling limbs, safety hazards arise.
- Damage to Homes. If a tree is planted too close to a home, it poses a risk of damage to the structure.
- Landscape Damage. When grass is no longer growing under the tree, it may be because there’s insufficient sunlight under the branches.
- View/Privacy Issues. Trees create privacy and view issues when the tree planted blocks the neighbor’s view.
Who Decides if the Tree Should Stay or Go?
Some homeowners understand the reasons for a tree removal, while others have a hard time saying goodbye. Ultimately, if the tree is in the common area, the HOA is responsible for the decision regarding the tree removal and any future replacement. Once a tree is removed, it doesn’t always get replaced. Unfortunately, trees are not cheap, and budgetary restrictions may prevent a new tree from being planted. Sometimes it’s actually best for a tree not to be replaced. Communities who have multi-year landscaping plans with budgets dedicated to tree pruning, tree removal and tree planting are at an advantage in managing these challenges.
Better Community Living Starts Here
If your community is in need of tree removal guidance and policy management, contact the experts at AR Management. We assist in administration, management, and operation of community associations throughout Northern New Jersey, helping to ensure residents live the comfortable lifestyle they expect, while protecting their investments through property value appreciation. Reach out to us today!