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Many homeowners are shocked to discover that they do not have the final say over their landscaping. They are instead bound by the rules of their homeowner’s association, which may dictate the size and even the types of trees a resident can plant in their yard.
Before you go shopping for new trees, plan any new landscapes, or even hire a tree service to remove a tree you don’t like, be sure to consult your HOA. If you unknowingly go against the guidelines, you could end up paying to remove trees that aren’t permitted.
Here’s what homeowners need to know about HOA guidelines and how to choose the right trees for strict neighborhoods. You should also learn your HOA guidelines in the event you want to fight to keep trees in your neighborhood that are slated for cut down.
Every community is different, but many HOAs restrict tree types and sizes for these common reasons.
In addition, varied trees affect the visual continuity of a community. Some HOAs are very specific about tree types. They may require you to plant a tree in your yard even if you do not really want to. The tree type and size is often determined by the HOA, and such requirements can increase your expenses.
For example, a community might require a tree that is three inches in caliper measurement to be planted within the first year of your moving into your home. Since tree and installation costs increase with the size of tree you get (a two-inch tree costs less than a three- or four-inch tree), it’s vital you choose the right size from the beginning. You’ll have to replace a tree that is too small.
These are just a few of the reasons HOAs make strict rules about what kinds of trees you can plant and even where you can plant them. Contact a tree service to discuss your options and to review your contract. You might have more options available to you than you think, even if you can’t plant the large maple or weeping willow you’ve always wanted.
Once you have your tree chosen and planted, you will still be responsible for the health and growth of the tree, especially if the tree lies within the area of your property not cared for by your HOA. You will need to make sure your tree:
Tree maintenance can be quite simple if you hire a service who is familiar with the guidelines of your HOA.
All this information may overwhelm you, but remember that as a member of your community, you have a voice to advocate for trees and variety. Don’t be afraid to fight against requirements that harm tree health. For example, an HOA may require topping or lion-tailing a tree for appearance purposes. These are damaging procedures that reduce the life of all trees.
Help to change policies that reduce tree variety in your neighborhood. A greater variety of trees makes communities more environmentally secure, especially if trees develop contagious diseases. For example, it would be expensive to replace hundreds of oak trees that all develop crown gall.
For more information on working with your HOA to find and care for your trees, contact us at Pete & Ron’s Tree Service, Inc.