Recently, FCCSA staff has been receiving a high volume of questions and requests regarding tree trimming. FCCSA has two separate specifications for tree trimming: Common Area Maintenance and the Residential Street Tree Trimming Program. Common area tree trimming is done on all trees in FCCSA landscape reserves and in right-of-way areas through boulevard (non-residential) streets. This trimming includes removing branches to ensure city ordinances for clearance over streets and sidewalks are met, and to remove dead wood over two inches in diameter. Any additional trimming on these trees would be outside of the contract specifications and would have to have funding approved by the board of directors or done as a neighborhood project. The Residential Street Tree Trimming Program is for ensuring FCCSA residential members not on the opt-out list have their street trees trimmed to ensure they meet the city’s ordinance for clearance over the streets and sidewalks. Because these trees belong to each homeowner, any additional trimming is the responsibility of the individual homeowner. This includes trimming around streetlights.
Additionally, if a tree on an adjacent piece of property crosses your property line, the tree can be trimmed by you to the property line. In many instances, the property owner trimming the tree from the trunk on their property could result in dropping the branch onto the adjacent property and could cause damage. Due to these potential trespassing and liability issues, it is always best for the owner of the property that the tree is growing over to trim back to the property line. In some cases, this may not be possible due to the height of the branches or some other issues. In this case, reaching out to the adjacent property owner to find a solution that works for both sides will be the best solution. All of this information is regarding healthy trees and not hazard trees. If a tree is deemed to be a hazard tree by a professional, it should be removed as soon as possible by the property owner. More information about trees and property lines can be found here: https://wphk-law.com/neighbors-trees/