Know Your Rights Before Removing a Tree in Your Yard
There’s a tree in your yard that you want to remove. Maybe it’s growing too large, or you’re concerned about the safety risks it imposes.
Before you remove a tree in your yard, you need to consider whether or not you have legal permissions to do so. Even though it’s on your property, you’re technically not always allowed to simply cut down a tree. In most cases, you will have to seek permission from your local council – this will ultimately depend on where you live.
Keep reading to learn more about instances where you may or may not need to obtain permission to cut down a tree, and how to go about retrieving permission.
You Won’t Need Permission in These Cases
You should be allowed to remove a tree without any problems in the following circumstances. However, if you are not sure, you should always research your local tree protection laws.
Once a tree is dead, you should be able to remove it. In fact, dead trees should be removed right away – they become harder to remove over time and can create safety risks if left outside too long.
Since dead trees are only standing due to the roots keeping them in the ground, they tend to fall over. For your safety, remove dead trees as soon as possible.
If a tree is not particularly tall or wide, or it doesn’t have many branches, you may be able to cut it without permission. The specific height and diameter you are allowed to cut within are determined by your local laws.
Trees That Pose Danger
If a tree is alive, but still could harm you, your property, or surrounding wildlife, you may be able to cut it down without a permit. Here are a few examples of scenarios in which a tree could be dangerous:
- Tree is leaning or wobbly
- Falling branches pose a hazard
- Tree’s roots are close to a property
- Tree is diseased or infested with a dangerous form of wildlife
Understand Your Area’s Specific Laws
As we’ve mentioned, the rules regarding civilian tree removal depend on the region in which the tree is being removed. In most cases, these rules will be ordered through a by-law.
Townships and similar areas like Russell also typically include this information in by-laws.
If you are still not sure about your next step after learning of your area’s laws, it’s not a bad idea to speak to a professional arborist or tree service. They can tell you all about the legality of your specific case, and what options you have moving forward.
READ MORE: Tree Removal Prep
Why Do I Need a City of Ottawa Tree Removal Permit?
You may need a permit from your local authorities before cutting down a tree. This may be confusing – the tree is on your personal property, after all. Despite that, cutting down the tree is not fully your decision to make. That’s because the tree is still part of the ecosystem, and therefore plays an important role in the surrounding environment. Even though the tree may be irritating you, it still serves a purpose for other wildlife, like plants, animals, and insects.
Risks of Cutting Down a Tree Without Permission
By-law infractions can have more serious consequences than you realize. Punishments for cutting down trees without permission vary based on the specific laws of your region, but these can often be in the form of thousand-dollar fines.
According to Ottawa’s Tree Protection By-law, for example, cutting down a tree without a permit can lead to a fine that falls between $500 and $100,000. When you consider that some people cut down multiple trees at once, that adds up to a pretty hefty bill.
Why You Should Use a Professional Tree Removal Service
If you need a tree removed, or you’re looking for expert advice, a professional tree service company can help. A certified arborist has the right level of experience and expertise to assist you with any tree-related issue. They have top-quality tools and can remove your tree safely and effectively.
READ MORE: How to Manage Encroaching Tree Roots
Ultimately, you need to take special precautions before removing a tree in your yard. Make sure that you know your region’s tree regulations, and obtain a permit if you have to. When you get the green light, you may choose to cut down the tree yourself – but to ensure that the tree is cut down correctly and in a timely manner, you may choose to seek assistance from a professional arborist or contact us to know more about city of Ottawa tree removal permits.
We take pride in offering our professional Tree Care services in Ottawa. Feel free to reach out to Green Thumb Tree Specialist for any of the following Tree Services: