Can I Take Down a Tree Without a Permit?
- The Goods
- Published on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 17:20
The storm damaged many local trees and was a bonanza for tree removal services. If you are thinking about taking down trees on your own property, you may need a permit from the Village to do so. If you don’t follow Village Code and remove trees unlawfully, you could be fined.
Here are instances where you DO need a permit from Village Hall to remove a tree:
- If you wish to remove three or more trees with trunks exceeding 6 inches in diameter during a 12 month period.
- For removal of trees of the following species: American Elm, American Beech Tree or Heritage Trees (a tree designated by the Board of Architectural Review to be unique and of importance of the community)
- Any tree in a wetland or wetland buffer area
- Trees that have been protected by the Land Use Board or were planted as a result of a Land Use Board determination.
- Trees determined to be preserved by a Land Use Board for at least two growing seasons after the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy or Land Use Board approval.
In the following instances you CAN remove a tree without a permit:
- Trees with a trunk diameter of less than six inches.
- Up to two trees with trunks exceeding six inches in a twelve month period. However, if you taken down a tree with a trunk diameter greater than 36 inches, you are required to plant a tree to replace it.
- A tree may be removed under an actual or ongoing emergency for the protection of life or property. If a tree is determined by a Tree Expert to be dead, dying, hazardous or diseased, a report from the Tree Expert must be submitted to the Village Engineer. A tree may also be removed if considered an invasive species (a non-native species that adversely affects the habitats they invade economically, environmentally or ecologically and are listed in the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England.
And what happens if you violate these provisions? Here is the Village code on that score, “Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined not less than $250 or more than $1,000 for the first two trees. Thereafter, not less than $500 or more than $2,500 for each additional tree.”