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Subject: HOA tree policy
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AnneW1
(California)

Posts:9


02/09/2009 10:58 AM  
I am new to our HOA We moved here during a time of stress due to a large number of mature trees being voted on to be removed. Our HOA has no tree removal policy, no policy regarding notification to homeowners regarding trees considered for removal,no policy for homeowners who would like certain trees removed, no written objective regarding whether we maintain our large trees, etc. Can anyone share with me their tree removal policies? Thanks
MaryA1


Posts:0


02/09/2009 11:01 AM  
Anne,

In my assn, this would be up to the board to decide. We have a landscaping committee that inspects the property on a regular basis. If trees need to be removed or replaced it's up to them to inform the board who, in turn, will make the decision. This is why we have a BOD. If the members were charged with making decisions on the operation of the assn, a BOD wouldn't be required.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/09/2009 11:06 AM  

Anne,
Most HOAs have landscape committees who are given the duty of maintaining the health and welfare of the landscape. They along with the landscape care people will pretty much make reccomendations to the Board on what needs to be done with the trees. I am sure that if a member needs some type of maintenance of a tree, there should be a request process that the member can send to the Board for review. Homeowners are NOT nescessarily notified because the trees, unless are on your private lot, are on common property and that is Board responsibility to make those decisions.
AnneW1
(California)

Posts:9


02/09/2009 11:27 AM  
Thanks for the input.
I am aware that the removal of trees can be a difficult topic for an HOA. While trees are in common areas, their location , and therefore their removal, may effect the property value of specific homes. It would seem that best practice would be to have a policy that provide notification to homeowners and a process to inform homeowners of the rationale for removal,i.e. access to arborist reports, etc. Such a policy would be helpful, I would think, to a Board needing to make a tree removal decision.
I also would think that such a policy would be helpful for home values as potential buyers would be able to see what the community's intentions are regarding the trees. So again, looking for anyone with a tree removal policy. Thanks.
AnneW1
(California)

Posts:9


02/09/2009 11:27 AM  
Thanks for the input.
I am aware that the removal of trees can be a difficult topic for an HOA. While trees are in common areas, their location , and therefore their removal, may effect the property value of specific homes. It would seem that best practice would be to have a policy that provide notification to homeowners and a process to inform homeowners of the rationale for removal,i.e. access to arborist reports, etc. Such a policy would be helpful, I would think, to a Board needing to make a tree removal decision.
I also would think that such a policy would be helpful for home values as potential buyers would be able to see what the community's intentions are regarding the trees. So again, looking for anyone with a tree removal policy. Thanks.
DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/09/2009 11:35 AM  

AnneW,

What was the reason for the trees being removed. The expense of removing large trees is not something the board would order just on a whim. Having been a Board member in an association that had some major tree troubles, I can guarantee you that those trees needed to come down, with or without a neighboring owners approval. There are just some decisions that the Board must make and sometimes they are not what we want to accept but it is part of being under a HOA system.

Next time, if you want to put up a good arguement on landscape issues, call your local State University and go to their "MASTER GARDENER site. Ask an expert to come out and give an opinion. It is a free service from your State.
AnneW1
(California)

Posts:9


02/09/2009 11:50 AM  
Thanks again for the response. I think we moved into our HOA during a time when a master landscape plan had been propsed by the landscape committee. THe board did not act on the proposal. The proposal had a very big number of mature trees slated for removal. So there has been concern among some homeowners that some of the trees, not all of them, were not coming down for safety or hardscape reasons but for design choices. I appreciate the idea of calling our state university.
A second question I have for any input then is,"Does your HOA have a master landscape plan?" We do not and therefore design choices are coming out of the landscape committee with little input from homeowners. Again, maybe this is how things usually work? Thanks.

DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


02/09/2009 11:59 AM  

AnneW,
Everyday, there are new regulations on safety and you are California. Are there fire concerns or other nature related issues that may require control of the vegetation?

How old is your association? With large old trees, I am guessing that you are not a new developement. Trees age and become a hazard to structures and diseases are so hidden that many do not show up until the tree becomes part of the interior design of your living room.

. Without a plan, then the design will change from Board to Board but a true landscape plan can be costly so there might not be a true plan. Do some research, this might be a project that you can volunteer for.
MaryA1


Posts:0


02/09/2009 12:00 PM  
Anne,

The policy of my BOD is to notify the affected h/o's any time a change in the landscaping near their home is contemplated. We recently had such a project that caused a number of h/o's to contact the board voicing their disapproval. It turned out they were confused about what was going to take place. The landscape comm. chm met with the h/o's on site and explained in detail exactly what the board was considering. In the end the h/o's were agreeable to the plan and everyone ended up being happy.
AnneW1
(California)

Posts:9


02/09/2009 12:33 PM  
Sounds like good communication and trust would help alot.
So goals there too.
MikeS1
(Virginia)

Posts:464


02/09/2009 1:36 PM  
Recent case law changes in Virginia holds a property owner possibly liable or responsible for damages caused by trees that are knowingly encroaching another property - IE overhanging limbs, branches, or encroaching roots.
EllenS1
(Florida)

Posts:1148


02/09/2009 4:22 PM  
Donna,

Not all boards are as good as yours. We have 3 board members who wanted large 100 year old live oak trees removed on their properties so they could get better grass and have the association pay for it. They claimed they were "sick"..they weren't. It would have cost $15,000 about six years ago and I said that they had to tag the trees that were to be removed prior to our special assessment meeting. The trees were tagged and some were pretty silly. To avoid it looking like it didn't only apply to the oaks little spindly crepe myrtles, etc. were tagged.

These folks went door to door to get owners to vote for removal before attending the meeting and that did it. I printed out a flier with the real facts and posted it door to door and the trees are still here. It wasn't only the cost but it would have affected the ambience of the whole neighborhood.

We are lucky because our docs are very specific on what trees can be removed. I always wonder if a person buys property with huge oaks..why, if they want lush green grass. They made their choice.
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