Don't Cut Down My Tree! Chopping Rights Fight Heads to Court
tree removal fight maryland
Ready to cut down that tree you think is on your property? You may not have a legal right.
Worse, perhaps, you may not have a legal right to save trees on your own property from the ax.
That issue is at the heart of a showdown in Montgomery County, Maryland, where a judge is expected to rule soon on a request from Potomac residents to stop a utility company from cutting down trees on their property.
Eight residents filed the case to stop Pepco from moving forward with a plan to cut down about 50 trees on their properties, reports Maryland’s Gazette newspaper.
The utility company claims it can cut down the trees under a 1950s document that gives them the right to remove trees at its discretion that are within 75 feet of its property line.
All this comes just in time for the fall foliage season in the Washington area.
However the Montgomery County case turns out, it’s always a smart idea to research who has jurisdiction over your trees before consulting a local tree removal company.
Falling trees and branches are a serious concern because they lead to serious injury or death.
So, you probably don't want to hire just anyone with a chainsaw and a pickup truck.
Here are some tips to follow once you know what to expect and who is responsible for your trees in questions.
Decide What You Need
Figure out what type of work you need done — trimming service only or do you have dead trees that need to be removed? The most important thing to look for is low hanging or dead limbs that can fall under the weight of severe storms.
Low-hanging limbs also can provide easy access to your attic for squirrels and other pests.
If you have old trees or low-hanging limbs, don't wait until bad weather hits or you're going to wait for service. Taking care of the issue immediately can also save you from further costs.
Consider a Certified Arborist
If you have trees that are aged or diseased, an arborist can help determine what special care you might need to keep the trees and your yard in good shape.
Ask for Proof of Insurance
Make sure the company's policy adequately covers property damage and injuries that could occur on your property.
Find out how the debris will be handled. Will the company remove it or are you responsible for removing it? Do you want the firewood and/or mulch?
Put it in writing
Agree to the terms and details of the project, outlined in a contract, before any work is done.