Tree Removal Rules To Remember for Fairfax, VA

Tree Trimming
Cutting down a tree isn’t something to do lightly. No matter where you are in the country, states tend to take their natural landscapes seriously, and a homeowner can face severe fines when a tree is cut down without following the proper procedures. However, removing a tree from private property is often a matter of safety or comfort; it’s not unreasonable to cut one down if it gets big enough to block out natural light or the tree poses a threat after being partially uprooted by a bad storm. So, to ensure that the removal process happens without any problems, it’s essential to first familiarize yourself with what is and isn’t allowed according to Fairfax, VA, tree law.  Below, we’ve provided several important tree removal rules that you should consider when deciding whether or not to chop down trees on private property.

Tree Removal Rules in Fairfax, VA

While Virginia usually doesn’t have any specific rules restricting single-family homeowners from removing troublesome trees on their lawn, certain tree species and other criteria determine if other tree-cutting restrictions apply. If you’re on a tight schedule, it’d be best to let a professional handle your tree removal task.  Below we’ve listed several things that may complicate or extend the tree cutting procedure.

Homeowners Associations

A Homeowners Association (HOA) is an organization within a community that regulates the changes a resident is allowed to make to their homes. Typically, this is so the HOA can have finer control over the property values of the community. The rules an association lays out are strictly enforced, including any that have to do with a property’s trees.  If you live within an HOA, make sure to contact the leaders and find out if there are restrictions to tampering with a tree, or you could suffer a hefty fine.

Property Size

The city requires a permit before you can disturb private land that measures over 2,500 square feet. Applying for a permit involves a comprehensive inspection of the area to ensure that alterations won’t lead to soil erosion or sediment shifting. The precaution protects vulnerable waterways from being contaminated by earthen materials.

Resource Protection Area (RPA)

An RPA is a protected piece of land in Fairfax, VA, that helps defend the water quality of nearby streams or lakes. Designating an area as an RPA helps prevent erosion and harmful runoff from contaminating critical ecological zones, keeping them healthy for humans and wildlife alike.  The land in these areas can be sensitive to change, and any alterations made to it could harm its natural ability to filter out pollutants. If you need to remove a tree from an RPA, fill out the Land Development Service’s application form and wait for them to approve your request. Failing to do so can result in a hefty fine.

Conservation Easement

Easements are similar to RPA’s in that they protect vulnerable land from uncontrolled development. The difference is that a conservation easement protects resources on private property, preventing the present and future owners from altering specific parts of their land.  A conservation easement area can include a troublesome tree; however, you can call the Urban Forest Management Division to request a waiver for tree work or see about the option of replacement trees.

Professional Tree Removal

If your property doesn’t meet any of the tree removal rules listed above, then you’re free and clear to remove it without applying for a permit. However, performing an in-depth survey of your land for protected areas is a time-consuming process, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re not well-versed in the topic.  Thankfully, the expert arborists at Woods Tree and Landscaping are ready to help. We provide expert tree service in Fairfax, VA, that ensures that all tree removal rules and regulations are followed to the letter so that you don’t incur any penalties.  If a tree is in the way or threatening your property, then call Woods Tree and Landscaping at (703) 478-4704 and schedule an appointment today!

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