Can Governments Tell You to Remove a Tree From Your Property?

Tree removal Many trees have been here long before us and will remain long after we’re gone. Indeed, trees are an important part of any community as they help give a place history, beauty, and shade from the sun.

When you have a tree on your property that you think needs removing, are there any rules against it? Typically, tree removal professionals come to the site and use their tools and machinery to remove trees without any issues. However, some states have set up rules and regulations regarding tree removal. This could be for preservation reasons, for example.

In New Jersey, depending on what town you live in, there may be ordinances governing removal of trees. You or your tree removal company should check with the local town government before removing a tree on your property to see if it’s permissible by law. In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit from the town to remove a tree. Once in a while a township might reject the permit because it’s in the best interest of the town for the tree on your property to stay there for whatever reason.

Other times townships might have rules that allow them to remove trees on private property if those trees are considered a hazard to area residents. The town should, of course, first notify the property owner and ask that they remove it themselves.

Utility companies also have a say in trees on your property– if you have a tall tree that’s interfering with the power lines, they (or the town/city) will typically trim it or remove it, depending on their judgment. If you’re thinking of planting new hedges, bushes or trees, it’s best to keep them more than 20 feet from power lines, ideally.