Tree Removal - Criteria

A Property Owner may request a tree removal from the Parks Department by submitting a “Tree Removal Request Form”. The homeowner must indicate which of the tree removal criteria they feel their tree meets. 
  1. Dead or Infected
    The tree is dead or infected with an epidemic insect or disease that could cause the demise of the tree and where no known control is available and removal is the recommended practice to prevent transmission.
  2. Severe Safety Hazard
    The tree poses a severe safety hazard, including a visual traffic hazard, or is causing structural damage to public or private property that cannot be corrected by pruning, hardscape grinding, transplanting or other hazard removal treatments.
  3. Growth Inhibitor
    The tree severely interferes with the growth and development of a more desirable tree.
  4. Low Aesthetic Value
    The aesthetic value of the tree is so low or negative that the site is visually enhanced by the tree’s removal.
  5. Work Site Improvements
    Work improvements required to be made around the tree will kill or render it a hazard.
The Parks Manager or Lead Arborist will evaluate the tree against the tree removal criteria stated within the Urban Forest Management Tree Removal Policy. The City employs at least two International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists that verifies they have the knowledge in areas such as tree biology, diagnosis, maintenance practices, safety, and other tree care applications. The City also employs a sonic tomography device that helps accurately inspect the safety of the tree, helps to assess the health, and enables the City to make better informed decisions. Once the evaluation has occurred, the homeowner will be contacted with an approval or denial to their request.

DENIAL APPEAL PROCESS


If denied, the following steps are available to homeowners seeking an appeal:

Step 1
If a homeowner’s request for removal is denied by the City of Longview Certified Arborist because it does not meet the criteria for removal, the first step in the appeal process is to bring a written appeal to the Tree Board for review. The Tree Board will review the appeal as well as the evaluation report from the Parks Manager to make a determination for recommendation for removal or to move to the next step in the appeal process.

Step 2
If the Tree Board denies the appeal, the homeowner may request a second tree evaluation from a City approved list of outside organizations that employ a Certified Tree Risk Assessor on staff. The cost to hire the outside contractor will be at the sole expense of the homeowner. Once the homeowner has chosen from the approved list, City staff will coordinate the evaluation and are required to be on site during the secondary tree evaluation process.

The outside organization will submit a report to the City with their recommendation as to whether or not the tree meets the tree removal criteria. The City will review the report with the assessor to determine, as a first step, if tree care maintenance will resolve the issue and then only if necessary move forward with removal.

Step 3
If the homeowner’s request is denied due to the findings of the secondary tree evaluation, the homeowner may bring their appeal to City Council for final review and recommendation.