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                     Jim Rediker - Nurseryman -  Arborist  - TDA Certified
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TREE OWNERSHIP   --  Good News and Bad News


  "Who is responsible for taking care of trees?"

  This depends on where the tree is, and on what needs to be done.


The easiest case is a tree on PRIVATE PROPERTY. This belongs to the landowner, who is responsible for its health, safety, and eventual removal. In some cases, the City or the state Extension Service can provide helpful information. If a privately-owned tree threatens public property, the City may point out the problem and remind the owner of the possible consequences of neglecting responsibility.


Platted RIGHTS-OF-WAY are City property, so in general the trees on them are City property. The City should prune right-of-way trees for safety, for clearance above streets (14') and sidewalks (8'), visibility around signs and signals, and at intersections. Residents should notify the Urban Forestry Division about special problems that come up between regular prunings.


An EASEMENT is not a piece of property. It is the right of someone (such as the City) to use a specific part of someone else's property (yours, for example) for certain limited purposes, such as drainage or utility service.


There are three general situations:

  • The City may need to remove or prune trees in order to fulfill its responsibilities involving the easement.

  • If the City's use of an easement causes a tree problem, the City should deal with the problem.

  • However, when easement trees have other problems not related to the city's use of the easement -- (wind or lightning damage, for example) -- it is the property owner's responsibility to handle them.


In return for the many benefits of trees, each citizen has some obligations.



Your most important responsibility is to notify the City about hazardous conditions, and to take care of your own trees:

  • Call Urban Forestry or Public Works about hazards related to dead or defective trees on rights-of-way or other public land.

  • Call the Transportation Department about visibility problems near streets.

  • Call Utilities about tree problems involving power lines.


Anyone, other than a City department or public utility, who desires to remove a right-of-way tree may be required to get a permit.



With a little study and good tools, practically anyone can do excellent pruning work near ground level. If you do this work, you will be better prepared to shop for and supervise the aerial work that requires special training and equipment.

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Contact: cell: 830.257.8871
                     Jim Rediker - Nurseryman -  Arborist  - TDA Certified

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