How to Ask a City to Remove a Dangerous Tree

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Asking city officials to remove a dangerous tree requires immediate action to avoid injury to passers-by and eliminate the threat of possible electrocution if the tree, or part of the tree, falls on overhead power lines, which could endanger both property and the general public. Winter weather conditions, such as ice storms and high winds, pose additional hazards to trees that are already dangerous.

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Call the city in which the dangerous tree is located. Explain to city officials exactly where the tree is and why you believe the tree is a threat to people, property or overhead power lines.

Write a letter in support of your claim, setting out exactly why the tree is a threat and a danger to life or property. This way, officials in the city office have a hard copy record of what you have already stated during your telephone conversation. Keep a copy of your letter for your records.

Take photographs from different angles to allow city officials to see for themselves how dangerous the tree is and as an exhibit for their records. Make copies of the photographs both for the city and for your records.

Follow up your complaint if you see no action on the part of city officials within a week. It is the city's responsibility to ensure city property is safe and to prevent injury to persons due to neglect.

Call city officials twice daily until action is taken on the dangerous tree. Reiterate your original complaint and tell city officials that if the tree is not removed you will take your complaint one step further. If there is still no action taken, tell your local newspaper of your diligent efforts to get city officials to remove the dangerous tree, and explain that you are getting no cooperation from the city.

Tips & Warnings

  • Squeaky wheels get greased--call city officials often to remind them of your complaint. Warn local people to stay away from the dangerous tree.
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