From the Treetops

You are here

Every person, from homeowner to lawyer, represents a unique perspective. As a board member, each perspective demands unique attention and can push you in different directions. In this series, we will examine some common issues facing HOAs, identify a variety of important perspectives, and use information from industry experts to offer a comprehensive view.


“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” - William Blake

“Seriously, did that squirrel just jump on my roof again from my neighbor's tree that needs to be pruned? I'll be pulling out my shears tomrw" - Somebody on Twitter

What is a tree to you? To your neighbors? Trees can represent beauty and shade, increased property values, maintenance expense, nuisance, and liability. Where you see beauty, your neighbor may see only a mess in the yard, a raised sidewalk, or a damaged roof. How do you respond to the challenge to see problems through all eyes: to recognize different needs, and to respond objectively?

California has (mercifully) dodged the polar vortex engulfing the East Coast, but the winter season can still cause difficult times for associations with large trees. While trees provide aesthetic value to a landscape, they can also cause disputes between neighbors, and demand a great deal of planning, maintenance, and care. Issues of legality and liability seem to arise most often during the winter – a time when storms and natural disasters can cause trees to fall over and injure residents or destroy property. Here we summarize the most common tree-related issues faced by HOA boards: tree planning, maintenance and liability.

Treescape Planning

Elizabeth Lanham, Certified Arborist for Serpico Landscaping, believes that deliberate and organized tree planning is the key to producing an attractive and safe landscape. Indeed, planting trees in the wrong place can lead to unanticipated consequences. A tree planted near concrete, for example, can create safety hazards and maintenance issues if its roots displace the sidewalk or street. The key to tree planning is to research and understand different types of trees before embarking on landscape renovation. In her article, “Happy Trees, Happy Homeowners,” Lanham has outlined a few things to consider when planning your treescape:

  1. What is the potential size of the tree and its roots once it is full grown?
  2. Is the tree fruit-bearing? If so, will it be planted in an area that will not create a nuisance when fruit drops?
  3. Are trees planted a safe distance from power lines and underground utilities?
  4. Are the trees native and/or appropriate for the type of climate in which you live?
  5. It may be helpful to hire an ISA-Certified Arborist to help select the right trees and inspect the trees before installation to ensure that you are planting good quality nursery stock.

Maintenance

Trees provide beauty and shade during the summer, but can become a liability when natural disasters strike. Having a landscape maintenance strategy is especially important for the winter season, given the possibility of stormy weather and safety issues. Robert Booty, Principal Consultant for Arborist OnSite, answers frequently asked questions regarding tree failure and discusses maintenance tips in his article, “Can You Sleep on a Stormy Night?

Some of his suggestions include:

  1. Have trees inspected by a qualified and knowledgeable professional, such as an ISA-Certified Arborist.
  2. Ensure that all trees are properly pruned and/or thinned.
  3. Check for cavities and fungal growth on tree trunks, which may indicate decay.

Legal Issues

In order to avoid liability and damage, HOA attorney Tom Fier advises that boards become familiar with local and state laws regarding tree planting. Further, Fier recommends that the board assigns responsibility for maintenance of trees and landscaping. As it relates to trees, the California Civil Code Section 3346 outlines ownership and damages for injury, and describes what factors constitute a nuisance. In his article "Trees," Fier outlines the most common legal issues among HOAs regarding trees: removal, view and/or privacy issues, overplanting, and cost as it relates to maintenance and planning. As a means of preventing further liability, Fier recommends hiring a tree expert prior to making any changes to pre-existing landscaping.

Whether you are dealing with current tree problems or just planning ahead, try to keep each of the perspectives above in mind. These tips above can enhance property values, and help your HOA reduce the risk of tree-related injuries and potential lawsuits.  

Blog Category: 

Comments

As a board member, I would love to be able to ask vendors questions about "proposed" or "planned" work that I as a board member need knowledge about to determine if the work can be done, should be done and if so how the work should be done.  The Property Manager tells me that I can not talk to vendors (those without a contract with the Association) for informational purpose.  Board members being treated like mushrooms (kept in the dark, and feed one side views of the PM) and then asked to vote on a contract at at regular Board meeting is so against what I feel a board member should be doing.
Advise me how I can go about gathering information on future projects.  I know not to offer contracts, even mention there might be one, so what is the problem here.
 
Earl Maple, Board Member, Greystone Landing, Huntington Beach, CA

I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. acne scar removal cost

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly that love and read more on this topic. If possible, such as gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with additional information? It is very useful for me.
Bridal Shoes

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
musk.vn

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..
sleeping beauty

it was a wonderful chance to visit this kind of site and I am happy to know. thank you so much for giving us a chance to have this opportunity..
Genuine Experience Certificate Provider

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people..
Mama Dolores

This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog..
InventHelp

I can set up my new idea from this post. It gives in depth information. Thanks for this valuable information for all,..
Gun Forest

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
kệ siêu thị giá rẻ

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene.
kệ hàng siêu thị

Thank you so much for the post you do. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.
seo consultant

I am very happy to discover your post as it will become on top in my collection of favorite blogs to visit.
Zscape Games

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.!
Travel Influencers LYX

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up..
online tutoring assignment help

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene.
Sell home fast for cash

This is just the information I am finding everywhere. Thanks for your blog, I just subscribe your blog. This is a nice blog..
upholstery cleaning

Interesting post. I Have Been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It 's really very nice and Useful post.Thanks
click here to read

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..
Spectrum Cleaning Services

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly that love and read more on this topic. If possible, such as gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with additional information? It is very useful for me.
vy & tea

I am no expert, but I believe you just made an excellent point. You certainly fully understand what you are speaking about, and I can truly get behind that.
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
Website

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..
free employment law

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene.
maid service

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
San Ramon escape room

I got what you mean , thanks for posting .Woh I am happy to find this website through google.
Dich vu seo

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
funny cards

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up..
beginning woodworking tools

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
injury lawyer

Thanks you very much for sharing these links. Will definitely check this out..
Labradoodle dog breeders

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web!..
ของกินพังงา

This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content, so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post.
painters leicester

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..
best essay writing service

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
The Answer

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.
profit times

Your roof is your home's primary defense against the components. Here ate Roofing Contractors Waterloo,let us walk you through the most excellent options to fit your needs and once you're feeling comfortable together with your choice, we'll handle the total establishment. On the off chance that you're looking to overhaul or update your material and canals, we've got you secured. Book a free interview to examine our six distinctive sorts of material composition and ecologically inviting choices! There are numerous material temporary workers to select from. Be beyond any doubt to chose neighborhood. Age and natural variables can wreak destruction on your roof. Overlooking issues for as well long can cause migraines down the street. Begin with a free review nowadays! There are numerous material companies to select from. Select a material company with a long standing notoriety for fabulousness.

An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers
domain for sale

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
tilers in Leeds

I have bookmarked your blog, the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog!
ฉีดปลวกขอนแก่น

Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.
PVC Gloves

Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.
photo booth sale

I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot!
printing derby

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
mobile mechanic Reading

This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself..
pest control Wakefield

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
3d printing Manchester

Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.
Step Daughter Gifts

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
aluminium walkway systems

I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us.
maison intelligente

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic.
Ab workouts from home

Pages