In my city and I think most, the city is responsible for city trees (on or
abutting your property) and trims them once a year or so but you say there
is still a lot of hurricane damage around indicating they may still be
overwhelmed by other priorities. If you live in the county (unincorporated
land), the services provided may be quite a bit less than those available in
Also in my city a permit is not needed if less than X% of the canopy is
pruned. You may get off cheaper by pruning two years in a row rather than
all at once. As for the removal, they may waive the fee if you can show the
tree is irrevocably damaged by the hurricane and that it is a city tree.
My horribly politically incorrect advice is to tie it to your bumper in the
middle of the night and pull it down to the middle of the street then go to
bed and wait for chainsaws to wake you in the morning.
No go. Talked to the county's tree section and they don't come out. They
will only come out if you apply for a tree removal permit, and you pay $150
per tree for the permit then they will come out and look at it to decide.
If a permit is issued then you need to pay someone else to remove it.
A couple of points. First, the responsibility *may* be yours. Is it really
on the County property, or only in the right-of-way (which means it's really
your property that the county gets to use for public thorofare)? In the
case of public sidewalks, for example, many municipalities require the
homeowner to maintain the public sidewalk in front of their residence. Your
trees may be falling into that same situation.
Secondly, if the trees are a safety hazard, depending on whose
responsibility they actually are, that can be good or bad for you. If they
fall and cause damage or injury, now we're talking negligence because you
(or they) are aware of the problem and failed to rectify it. If you
determine that it's the county's problem, you might want to stress that
point in your conversations with them. If they're your trees after all, I'd
do one of two things. Either bite the bullet & take them down or two, wait
for a good hurricane to knock them down. If the latter, the insurance
company will pay for the removal.
Insurance companies will not pay for tree removal. At least not in south
Florida. I had two trees down in another property after Wilma and if they
fell on some structure then it will be paid by windstorm but the actual tree
cutting and removal is not reimbursable. The only aspect of tree removal
that is reimbursable is FEMA will pay for a chainsaw for you to cut down the
tree if your income level is low.
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