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Is It Illegal To Cut Down Trees On Your Own Property?



Trees are the biggest blessing by nature and if they are situated on your own property then you are blessed with many advantages. But do you have legal rights on the trees which are on your own property? Every city has their own rules and regulations regarding the removal and cutting down of trees by a tree removal service which are based on the Tree Protection Ordinance. You will need to refer to your State’s ordinance regarding your rights on the tree on your property. You will need to search about your city or State’s Tree Protection Ordinance.

Can I Legally Remove A Tree On My Property?

All the trees in the city are owned by the community or city. You will need to check your city’s tree ordinance. After that you will need to seek permission stating your reasons for the tree removal. You can also consult a professional arborist in this case.

Why I Do Not Have Any Legal Rights Regarding Trees On My Property?

Trees provide benefits to the community and environment as a whole and not to only you or your family or house only just because it is on your property. It will not provide shade to your house and purify the air and atmosphere above your house only but will purify the air in the whole neighborhood and will also provide shade to the passersby. The tree will also provide food and shelter for the small animals and birds. It takes in carbon dioxide and gives out oxygen to breathe in. It reduces heat for the whole city. It also provides aesthetic appeal to the environment.

All the trees are mostly owned by the city and community government. Many states and cities have their own rules as well, because the nature, ecosystem and climate differs in each city and state, so you can check with your arborist to know the rights of your tree. The act owns the right for which trees can be pruned, trimmed or removed.

In What Instances Am I Allowed To Cut Down A Tree?

There are certain instances in which you are allowed to remove or cut down a tree without permission.

Dead Trees

If the tree is dead or nearly dying then it will pose a threat to the nearby areas and can fall anytime and anyplace. The falling of the tree can damage the neighborhood as well as the people and property nearby and can result in a loss of life as well. If you get your tree regularly checked by a professional arborist then you will know that the tree is near death. Fungal growth, falling leaves and branches, missing wood chunks from the main branch and a growth of pests on the trunk and roots or a leaning tree all are signs of a dying tree.

Dangerous Trees

Dangerous trees also pose a threat to the property and people. After a storm or severe weather calamities, sometimes the trees lean towards one side. The pressure of the storm caused this and this indicates that a tree may topple over.

Fallen Trees

If the tree has fallen due to whatever reason, it has already damaged the property so you can remove that tree as well.

In all these cases you can remove a tree without permission or permit and it is not illegal to remove a tree in such a case.

But still it is better if you consult an arborist initially and to save yourself from further issues you can submit a written letter to the community leader stating the reason for the tree removal and the condition of the tree before removal.

If there is a tree on your property then you are to maintain it and care for its growth and wellbeing. This includes removal of dangerous and hazardous trees. A dead tree poses a hazard to the environment.

To conclude, a tree is the property of the community irrespective of the place it is situated in. It is illegal to remove a healthy tree without permit but not illegal to remove a dangerous tree. For removal, you should find an arborist MD who is well-known in your area and has affordable price plans.

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