Tree thinning is the process of selectively removing branches within the tree canopy to allow light to penetrate to the ground. Arborists recommend thinning of certain trees to protect the overall health of the canopy, which also protects the wildlife that uses the trees as habitats.
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No. The city is responsible for the trees along certain roadways, ditches, and highway frontage roads within the city as seen on this map. Trees along other major thoroughfares are owned and maintained by adjacent homeowner’s association (HOA) or property owner’s association (POA). Trees located adjacent to a private business or residential property, are the responsibility of the owner.
The owner of the tree is responsible for the maintenance of the tree. In some communities, the HOA will maintain the tree in front of a residential property. If you do not know, it would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any maintenance on your tree.
The City prunes its trees on a 3-5 year rotation. Residents are encouraged to prune their trees on a similar rotation. All trees along roadways are inspected every three years for compliance with the City Ordinance. The City Ordinance requires that residential trees are pruned 12’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk; and all non-residential trees be pruned 14’ above the roadway and 8’ above the sidewalk.
Even if the city does not own the tree, city crews will come out 24/7 to respond to a concern. If it is a city-owned tree, even if it is a small branch, the city will remove the hazard. If it is a privately owned tree, the city will safely remove the tree from the roadway and place it in the yard or ROW of the owner of the tree. It is the responsibility of the owner of the tree to remove the debris.
Please contact Public Works by dialing 311 or 281-275-2450.
The City does not have an ordinance for the removal of trees on private property, but certain HOAs have deed restriction regarding trees. It would be best to contact your HOA prior to completing any work.
In certain areas of the community, trees were originally planted too close together. As these trees have grown over time, the canopies of the trees have grown together to create very dense shade in numerous areas. The shade has caused turf to die back and decline in many areas. This causes unsightly conditions and dirt to runoff into the storm sewers during rain events.
There are multiple benefits of tree removal. Removing trees will allow sunlight to penetrate to the turf below allowing turf to thrive and prevent soil runoff during rain events. This, in turn, improves the effectiveness of the storm sewers, creeks and stream, which can contribute to lower oxygen levels that are harmful to aquatic life. Tree removal will also allow streetlight to penetrate to the street to allow for safer roadways. Reducing the number of trees also allows for more growing space for remaining trees and allows them to increase their canopy. This will improve the appearance and value of the remaining trees. Since trees planted too close together can have root grafting, the spread of disease is also more prevalent.
The owner of the tree is responsible for making the decision of any tree removal.
Trees are often initially planted closer together in order to create an aesthetically pleasing look from the beginning. Unfortunately, the trees eventually mature and cause other issues.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. Otherwise, if trees are removed from private property and the removal of those trees takes the property out of compliance with the Development Code landscaping regulations in Chapter 2, then the City would have recourse to require replanting to comply with the landscaping requirements in Chapter 2.
Regarding trees within the right-of-way, the City does not have a policy regarding the replacement of trees. In most cases, trees located in the right-of-way are owned and maintained by the adjacent property owner. They have the sole discretion on choosing to replace a tree that is removed from the right-of-way. Trees along State-owned ROW’s are maintained by the City and are replaced, budget dependent, if they are removed.
The Development Code requires trees to be replaced when removed IF they qualify as a Protected Tree under the definition in the Development Code. Protected Tree means a hardwood tree having a minimum caliper size of 8 inches or greater, as measured 4½ feet above ground level. This determination is made during the building permit process and review of a landscaping plan, if required. The landscaping requirements in Article XV (Landscaping and Screening Regulations) apply to any premise on which construction occurs for which a building permits is required. There are a few exceptions – restoration of a building with a historic designation, remodeling of the interior of a building or the façade of building that does not alter the location of exterior walls, or the expansion of a Single-family or Two-Family Dwelling.