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Posted on: February 6, 2020

Important information about the city's tree trimming ordinance

tree trimming

Residents, particularly those living along Avenue O and Avenue P, recently received a letter from the City of Galveston related to the pruning of low-hanging trees along roadways.

A recent incident in which a fire truck was unable to access an area because of low-hanging branches initiated this comprehensive review of possible violations around the island.

City ordinance requires property owners to maintain a 15-foot clearance between the roadway and tree branches. The 15-foot rule was adopted as a traffic safety measure to ensure fire trucks can access homes during an emergency.

If you received one of these letters, please know the City will work with property owners, arborists and other interested parties to find a solution to ensure the safe passage of public safety vehicles (primarily fire trucks.) We want to ensure people know how to properly trim trees and avoid the unnecessary removal of any tree.   

There is an appeal process if the property owner disputes the city’s assessment. Persons interested in filing an appeal should contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-797-3520. Also, if you have any questions, please contact the City Manager’s Office.

It is also important to note that city ordinance requires property owners to contact the city and provide certain documentation (including an arborist report) before chopping down a tree. Please contact the Planning Department at 409-797-3660 before taking any action regarding the removal of a tree.

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