Do I Need Permission To Cut Down A Tree On My Property?

Will the city cut down a tree on my property? Can I cut down a tree on my own?

There are certain conditions that warrant cutting down trees without permission. Also, we’ve discussed the different permissions necessary for tree felling.

As you read through this article, you’ll learn a lot about the different scenarios where cutting down a tree requires permission and when it doesn’t.

Cutting Down Trees Without Permission

Due to the many benefits of trees, legislations exist that protects against indiscriminate felling. Trees are considered the lungs of the earth.

As such, they need all the protection possible to help save the planet. Cutting trees without permission sounds quite crazy as this goes against existing protective legislation.

When it’s Okay to Cut a Tree Without Permission

Is it illegal to cut down trees on your own property?

Not all tree removal procedures require permissions. Certain situations make it justifiable to cut these trees without seeking clearance from anyone.

Examples of such situations include cutting trees that aren’t considered of much importance, removing dead trees, and cutting pest-infested trees.

Other times you may remove a tree without permission are when trees are considered dangerous and also when such trees are fallen.

To provide you with more background on each of these points, let’s discuss them as follows.

  • Cutting Trees of Less Importance

When are trees considered as being of less importance than others? When they aren’t included in your local tree ordinance! Insignificant trees tend to be smaller in size.

The classification of such trees may vary from one city to the next. In most situations, a tree whose trunk isn’t up to a certain circumference in feet can be cut without permission.

So, if your targeted tree is larger, you may have to seek other reasons that may support cutting such a tree. It’s best to seek professional help when making such a decision.

An arborist will have a better idea of what trees require permissions for cutting and which don’t.

  • Removing Dead Trees

Do you know what trees can be cut down without permission?

Dead ones. Dead trees definitely won’t require obtaining permission for their removal.

They’re already dead and of no use to the environment. There might be very few exceptions to this rule. When such a tree serves as a nesting ground for wildlife, restrictions might be placed on its removal.

Trees having historic value will also be protected by legislation. Sometimes, the location of such trees might not be disclosed to guard against vandalism. Most dead trees have no permit requirements.

The safety risk posed by them makes it less likely for permissions to apply.

  • Cutting Pest Species

Just like there are endangered tree species, there are those classified as pest species.

These may be known for their invasive growth habits which may affect other trees within your surroundings. You’ll have to find out what trees are classified under pest species to have them cut.

A ready resource for such knowledge will be your local tree ordinance. Also, you can consult an arborist to find out whether your tree qualifies as a pest species or not.

  • Dangerous Trees

The term “dangerous tree” gives different impressions about the nature of the problem.

Here, we’re simply making reference to a condition that occurs after a storm. Most times, the ground around trees softens, thus making the tree lean precariously.

When this happens, it’s necessary to call for urgent help to assess the tree’s condition. Is there a need for an alarm? There should be if the tree is found to take a new position than its previous.

An arborist helps inspect the current state of the tree and whether it should be cut down or not.

  • Fallen Trees

There are different reasons why trees get toppled over. This may be due to a heavy storm or soft soil or other causes. For these types of trees, there’s usually no permission required to have them removed.

To be extra sure, you can have an arborist come over to assess the situation and give their advice.

Luckily, it costs less to remove fallen trees than it does for a standing tree. The reason is simple; less work is required to have the tree cut up to sizeable pieces and hauled off your property.

Discuss what your options are and find out how much cost it will incur.

  • Pest-Infested Trees

Pest-infested trees present a unique situation.

Here, pest activity such as termite destruction and burrowing action of a wide range of insect pests could cause irreversible damage. There’s also the likelihood of such infestation being at the earliest stage.

When significant or irreversible damage has been caused to the tree, it may be removed without permission. Early infestations, such can be reversed through treatment.

You’ll need to consult with a pro to determine what actions to take.

What happens if you cut down a tree without a permit?

Penalty for Cutting Tree Without Permit

If you’ve wondered whether penalties apply for cutting down certain trees, they do!

Such penalties will vary from state to state. Some of these penalties may be stiff with applicable fines of as much as $20,000 charged by authorities.

After paying such fines, you may be required to grow another in its place.

Applying for a Permits For Cutting Down Trees

If the tree(s) you wish to cut down doesn’t qualify for permit-free removal, you’ll have to apply for such at the appropriate quarters.

The guidelines for obtaining such tree cutting permits vary from one state to the next. Your best bet to find such information is through an internet search.

Another way you can find information on how to carry out a permit application is through the help of an arborist. Arborists handle such jobs frequently and know just what’s needed and where to obtain certain requirements.

Through such inquiries, you get all the help you need to kick-start the process.

Avoid Going Against Legislations

Permits are formulated for a reason; they serve to protect a country’s non-renewable resources.

Ultimately, they help protect the environment and offer a wide range of benefits. If they must be cut down, then existing circumstances need to be made clear during the permit application.

Tree cutting permits aren’t automatically granted. A permit may be denied when the reason for cutting down a tree isn’t too sound.

Now you know the different scenarios where cutting down a tree requires no permit. We’ve discussed these and more to enable you to take certain measures towards fixing the problem.

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