How to get City of Richmond to cut down a tree?

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – How do you get the public works department, to cut down a tree, you believe is a threat, to you and your property?  Some of you called after our 12 On Your Side report on Tuesday.

Trees at risk of falling, or those threatening someone's home, or property are targeted first, for removal.  But, cutting down a tree, rarely happens right away.  Much of it has to do with money, and the City of Richmond's, lean budget.

More than 90 trees are marked for removal by Richmond's Public Works Urban Forestry Division.

We found the list online -- and on it -- that diseased big oak on Overbrook Road we told you about Tuesday. Like that tree, there's no exact removal date for any of them.   We just happened to stumble across one, being taken down.

"If it will be more costly to take it down than to prune it, we might have to hold off," said Sharon North of the Richmond Public Works Department. "We know that's not what everybody wants to here, especially when the tree is in their yard. We have to be very judicious in what we're spending."

So pruning -- and lots of it -- is the city's plan unless the tree poses  a hazard or imminent danger.  The Urban Forestry Division maintains more than 150,000 city-owned trees.

If you live in Richmond and have problem with a tree near you, and want an inspection -- call 3-1-1 and follow the prompts.

"They may have a tree we get out there and say 'oh my gosh this has to come down right now,' or it may be situation when we can prune off some of this, we can hold off on some of this  until  the budget situation gets better or until the tree gets much worse," North said.

From the city's website, the Urban Forestry Department usually responds with an inspection within 10 working days. What happens after the inspection, depends on the severity of the problem and the cost.

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