Tree Removal Legal Procedures

Tree Removal Legal Procedures

What if your landscape was turning your life into a Shakespearean tragedy?

Shakespeare’s Macbeth received a prophecy that he wouldn’t be defeated until a forest came right to his castle. He felt quite safe right until he looked outside and saw that the enemy had hidden behind trees and marched right to his gates!

You probably don’t have an enemy army coming for your head. But your home may be surrounded by a ton of trees. Do you know how to remove them without violating the tree laws of Venice, FL?

With our complete guide, you’ll be able to take those trees down to size and enjoy the view from your window. Forget the tragedy because your tree drama is going to have a happy ending!

Call City Hall

When you want to remove a tree, the first thing you should do is make a call. Why? Because it will save you a lot of time to go ahead and contact the city hall or, barring that, a professional landscaper.

The main reason to do this is that you are forbidden from cutting down protected trees. What, exactly, are the protected trees you need to worry about? Every county has its own rules and regulations, and the city hall can help you identify if it’s safe to remove the tree.

While a phone call to the local government doesn’t sound fun, it can help protect you from numerous liability issues that may come from removing the “wrong” tree.

Examples of Protected Trees

One of the biggest examples of protected trees in Florida are mangrove trees. Generally speaking, you may be allowed to trim such trees on your property. But removing them requires the help of someone with special licensing and training.

In Venice, one of the main trees you have to watch out for are palm trees. Long story short, you aren’t allowed to remove any palm trees without a permit. You similarly need a permit before removing Malalueca and Australian pine trees.

Sometimes, you need a permit because a tree is just so damn big. If the trunk is trunk has a diameter greater than 4.5 inches when measured at your chest level, you need a permit to remove it.

So what do you not need a permit to remove? Aside from mango trees, you can remove citrus trees without a permit.

Liability Concerns

It’s worth exploring a pretty simple question: why should you want to remove a tree? If it’s not getting in your way or blocking your view, you may be curious why it would ever be worth removing.

The main reason is liability. If a limb falls from one of your trees and damages your neighbor’s property, then you are likely to be held liable for the damage.

That’s because the state of Florida expects homeowners to regularly inspect their trees and trim them as needed. Even if you were unaware of the relevant tree laws, you can be held liable in the event of damage.

Don’t forget that Florida gets a fair amount of hurricanes and storms throughout the year. Living in this state means you have a greater risk of limbs and entire trees falling onto your neighbor’s property.

Mitigating Hurricane Risks

Speaking of hurricanes, the old wisdom still holds true: an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. In this case, that means you should be worrying about what hurricanes will do to the trees long before the actual hurricanes arrive.

If a neighbor’s tree has branches hanging onto your property, you can legally trim those branches. This makes things more convenient around your home and also helps to mitigate the risks of falling limbs.

If you think a neighbor’s tree is in serious danger of falling onto your property, you should let the neighbor know. You can’t force them to take the tree down, but you can remind them that they will be legally responsible for the inevitable damages.

Tree Laws: Know Your Rights

When it comes to trimming a neighbor’s tree, the laws are very specific. And you need to obey these laws or risk being liable for your own set of fees and charges.

Generally speaking, you have the right to trim trees up to your property line. “Up to” is the key phrase here: you are not allowed to trim any of a tree past your own property line.

Furthermore, you need to stay on your own property for the entire trimming process. You may be able to get a better trimming angle over in your neighbor’s yard, but you cannot set foot over there without their permission.

Who Owns What Tree?

Many aspects of tree law can be very confusing. Fortunately, one element of these laws remains nice and clear: which tree belongs to which person.

Regardless of where the branches are hanging, a tree belongs to specific yards. So if it’s growing in your yard, it belongs to you. If it’s growing in a neighbor’s yard, it belongs to them.

Keep that in mind as you determine who is responsible for what in the world of tree trimming.

Can You Remove A Tree On Your Own?

A very common question about tree removal has to do with permission. Here it is: do you have to bring in a professional, or can you remove trees on your own?

To remove most trees in Venice, you need to have the right permit. All you have to do to apply for a permit is fill out this form in its entirety.

After you get approved, you’ll get special ribbons to mark any trees you plan to remove. These ribbons help to give your neighbors fair warning and also let the city inspect the trees and make sure they are not protected.

Know When to Call A Professional

Now you have the full breakdown of tree laws in Venice, FL. But do you know who can help you actually take down the trees?

We offer a full range of landscaping services. No job is too big, and no tree is too big. To see how we can cut your problems down to size, contact us today.

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