The city of Dover, Delaware, is dedicated to the growth of trees in its urban areas, but also allows private homeowners to remove trees when necessary. However, the municipal ordinance on trees also states that the Director of Forestry and the city have the right to enter private property and inspect or remove trees that they consider hazardous to the public, whether they are sick, have insect pests that can spread to public or private trees, or that are at such an angle as to pose a risk to streets, signs and public sidewalks. The memo highlights some of the dangers faced by workers involved in tree care and removal operations and the OSHA regulations that apply to those hazards. There are also specific trees that are listed as conservation types or champions that cannot be removed, so residents should make sure their trees don't fit that list by calling the department first.
According to their overhanging or invading tree code, the city police officer has the right to issue a notice to the landlord and, if not fixed after 30 days, proceed to prune or remove the tree. Otherwise, cities have no basis for felling or pruning trees on private property, which means those obligations fall on residents to maintain the trees. In most cases, there are no permit requirements before felling a tree. For example, in Dover and Milwaukee, the city has no special regulations that allow them to enter private property and cut down a tree. When it comes to environmental regulations for tree service equipment, it's important for homeowners to be aware of their local laws.
In New Mexico, for instance, there are no permit requirements for felling trees on private property since it has a lot of trees and there are no insects or diseases affecting one type of tree. Tree removal can be carried out without a permit in the city, and the city cannot enter and remove trees from private property. In Salem, Oregon, city officials can cut down trees if they are sick or pose a danger to other trees and pedestrians. In some cases, there may be special rules for felling trees on private property in the case of dying or endangered trees. For example, in Sacramento, California any hardwood tree species with a diameter of six inches or more must have a permit to be felled, and pine trees that are 12 inches or more in diameter must have a permit before tree service professionals root them out.
The Wyoming Forestry Division published a tree owner's manual to help its residents stay up-to-date with tree care regulations in private homes. Tree service regulations vary from state-to-state and even from city-to-city. It is important for homeowners to be aware of their local laws when it comes to tree service operations. It is also important for them to know what types of trees are protected by conservation laws so they can avoid any potential fines or penalties for removing them without permission. Lastly, it is important for homeowners to understand OSHA regulations related to tree care and removal operations so they can ensure their safety as well as that of their workers.