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

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. relocation services singapore

There's no doubt about that. You're correct, the post is in deed amazing and informative. I never thought that you need additional guidelines and should know the rules and laws when planting a tree on your yard. Thanks for sharing and please check this business book entitled Fix this Next. This might help you improve and figure out what needs to be fix in your small business. 

I need to seek destinations with important data on given point and give them to educator our feeling and the article. 온라인카지노

We have over 10 years experience in all types of heating and plumbing. Customer satisfaction is my main priority. We feel this can only be done with good workmanship while being as cost effective as possible and providing only good quality parts. Gas fitters Chichester

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates.
Plano TX tree service

I really enjoyed reading this post, big fan. Keep up the good work and please tell me when can you publish more articles or where can I read more on the subject?
kiếm tiền với sàn Wefinex

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
mua máy triệt lông

I found Hubwit as a direct s ite, a social focus point which is a total of Buyers and Sellers who are set up to offer online propelled consultancy at superior to anything normal cost. https://cripplebastards.com

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.
HANDYMAN SAN FRANCISCO

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.
Natural Ingredients

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
freelancers for social media website design digital marketing

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..
exchange rate widget

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.
Wet Umbrella Wrapper

I should need to thank you for the undertakings you have made in making this article. I am believing a comparable best work from you later on as well. Frankly your trial composing limits has impelled me to start my own specific Blog Engine blog now. Greatly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your survey is a fine instance of it. rencontre gratuite

smartwatches under 50 We reviewed the best cheap smartwatches available on the market for under $50 in 2020. Includes Pebble and Martian brands.

Visit our site to find more about wedding photographer Northern Virginia. We offer engagement and proposal photography in Va. ipl hair removal treatment

For small organizations that lack of security expertise, deploying small business network security appliance is a must to protect with good Security Company.

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. Custom Iron On Patches

best mechanical keyboard under 100 If you're in need of the best gaming keyboard for under $100, this will cover our top picks. We feature awesome mechanical keyboards and ...

Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!
Cedar Lutheran church

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.
Offshore law center

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.
voyance gratuite en direct sans attente

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.
tarot card readings

Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this. event photography rates

They skipped by our camera, but the 8k top finishers were Jordan Anderson of Kirkland for the male group with 28:25 and Tay Ffitch of Seattle for the females with 31:47. cricket live

Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place..
mdma purity test kit

Endeavoring to express profound gratitude won't just be satisfactory, for the fantasti c clearness in your piece. I will in a glimmer get your rss channel to stay instructed of any updates. healthy eating

Solar panel policy was discussed at a recent HOA meeting.  It is my understanding legal counsel must provide the language which is incorporated into the CC&Rs.  Is this true?  I have been advised that there is "boiler plate" language which can be used without going through an attorney.  Is this true & if so where can it be found?
 
 

lawn mowing glendale www.glendalelawnpros.com interesting for gardeners indeed

I truly awed after read this in light of some quality work and educational contemplations . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the essayist and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming!. voyance-amour-eternel.com

I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks.
VRF HVAC Control

I should need to thank you for the undertakings you have made in making this article. I am believing a comparable best work from you later on as well. Frankly your trial composing limits has impelled me to start my own specific Blog Engine blog now. Greatly the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your survey is a fine instance of it. $100K Blueprint 4

They may experience other physical symptoms like weight gain, breast development, urinary problems, hair loss or hot flashes. Or, they may simply feel like they have not gotten a good night’s sleep in years and miss the energy they felt a few years ago to tackle their day to day life. online trt clinic

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

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.
bitcoin trading

Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, meilleure voyance par telephone

Visit our site to find more about wedding photographer Northern Virginia. How far is Phoenix from Las Vegas We offer engagement and proposal photography in Va.

Is it okay to post part of this on my website basically post a hyperlink to this webpage?
t shirt design maker site

Thanks for your insight for your fantastic posting. I’m glad I have taken the time to see this.
imprints-tshirt custom t-shirts

I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight.
hair porosity

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.
Herbal potpourri

Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
Business coach

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free.
Buy Morphine

The information you have posted is very useful. The sites you have referred was good. Thanks for sharing..

Was ist meine Immobilie wert

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..
Onlinekurse Heilpraktiker

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates.
Onlinekurse Heilpraktiker

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
Praxisgründung Heilpraktiker

Pages