Tree Appraisal Outlook

How much is a tree worth? In dollars, I’m not talking about the sentimental value (that’s impossible to calculate). Performing a tree appraisal to assign a dollar value to trees in some ways is straight forward; in other ways, it is very complex. I’ve been involved in a number of projects where I’m appraising the value of trees. Almost every time, somebody is trying to tell me how I should be valuing the tree. Continue reading Tree Appraisal Outlook

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

Assessing tree risk is one of the more complex functions certified arborists must perform. The simple fact is that tree failures are, in large part, unpredictable. To help our profession, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) has developed some standards to the process of evaluating tree risk and there is now a “qualification” for arborists to acquire. Being the inquisitive individual that I am, I’ve attended the class and passed the test to become TRAQ qualified. Continue reading ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

Kolkhorst Anti Tree Bill

Just today, one of my respected colleagues, Heather Brewer, a municipal forester in the City of Georgetown, turned me on to a bill that is being introduced by Republican house member Lois Kolkhorst. Kolkhorst is from Brenham, TX. Her proposal aims to put maximum limits on tree mitigation that a government entity can require. And, the proposal prevents a municipality from enforcing tree protection in extra-territorial jurisdictions. As much as we all hate complicated law, there is a need for it. Expecting us to all get along without rules is overly optimistic. So, I do think some variety of state regulation could be useful if the language is well written. However, this proposal raises an eyebrow on me for many reasons. Continue reading Kolkhorst Anti Tree Bill

Tree Removal Permit in Austin

Be careful before you remove a tree in your yard if you live in Austin. Many of the trees in Austin are protected. Possibly even some in your yard! The city’s tree protection ordinance is somewhat complicated. Here is some info to get you started.

  1. In residential settings, trees 19″ DBH (diameter at breast height, approx 4.5′) and larger are protected
  2. In commercial settings, trees 8″ DBH and larger are protected
  3. Trees 24″ and larger are classified with heritage status
  4. Removing or pruning out more than 25% of the canopy of a protected tree requires a permit

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City of Westlake Hills Tree Ordinance Information

westlakehillslogocrop.jpg On February 10, 2010 the City of Westlake Hills adopted a new tree ordinance. You can read the document in its entirety here. But, I’d like to offer you these important items in the ordinance.

  1. You must have a permit for any tree pruning if you hire a service. If you do the pruning yourself, there are some allowance, but you should contact Christy to keep yourself out of trouble.
  2. Trees up to 6″ diameter can be removed without permit.
  3. Trees 6″ and larger can be Continue reading City of Westlake Hills Tree Ordinance Information

Landscaper’s Guide for Construction Site – Tree Ordinance Mitigation

As a landscaper, your job might not be to manage tree ordinance compliance, but planting trees from this specific list will help your client (the contractor) keep their costs down. Planting trees from the list below will count toward the tree mitigation fines. Any plantings that are done as a requirement to the landscape plan do NOT count toward tree mitigation. But, if you happen to plant above and beyond the requirements then the extra will count.

city of austin_treeList_revised
city of austin_treeList_revised

75% of the trees planted must be from the class one list; 25% can be from the class two list.

pdf version of list
Continue reading Landscaper’s Guide for Construction Site – Tree Ordinance Mitigation

My Neighbor’s Tree Hangs Over My Property

…And I don’t like it. What is the deal here. It’s his tree but it’s hanging on my side and it’s bothering me. When a tree crosses property lines, that tree is considered shared property. Trees don’t really seem to be as concerned about property lines as we do. In fact, I’d say that on almost every property I visit, there is at least one tree that spans over a property line. Unfortunately, people don’t always have agreeable opinions about the trees. If you have a neighbor’s tree hanging over your property there are a few things you should know.
Continue reading My Neighbor’s Tree Hangs Over My Property