Tree Laws in Virginia Beach: What You Need to Know  

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After Arbor Experts tree removal.

After Arbor Experts tree removal.

Trees play a crucial role in the ecosystem. They provide shade, improve air quality, beautify the environment, and provide habitats for various birds and wild animals. We see trees everywhere but rarely think about tree laws. 

In recognizing the value of trees, Virginia Beach has implemented various tree laws to protect and preserve these impressive masterpieces of nature. This protection expands beyond the ecological significance of trees.   

For example, Virginia Beach tree laws ensure that people respect boundaries and act responsibly regarding trees on boundary lines. In this post, we highlight various Virginia Beach tree laws and how they affect the community.  

Tree Removal Permits  

Like most jurisdictions, Virginia Beach has a set of tree ordinances that regulate tree removal. Whether you need a tree removal permit usually depends on various factors, such as the tree’s size and location.  

Typically, you wouldn’t need a permit to remove a dead, hazardous, or small tree (smaller than a certain size). Most tree removal services in Virginia Beach have a certified arborist that can help you navigate tree removal permit requirements.  

Torts and Liability  

As a tree owner in Virginia Beach, you have a responsibility to maintain the health and safety of your trees.  

If a tree on your property is likely to cause harm or poses a danger to others, the city may give you a notice to cause the removal of the tree and or hold you liable for any resulting property damage. 

Boundary Trees 

Virginia Beach tree laws regulate the removal and trimming of trees along boundary lines. Cutting these boundary trees without the consent of all relevant property owners can lead to civil or even criminal disputes and liabilities.  

It’s crucial, therefore, to engage in open communication and get proper authorization before removing such a tree(s). What about overhanging tree branches? In most cases, Virginia Beach tree laws allow you to cut overhanging branches.  

However, you should only cut to the property line and ensure the cuts don’t damage the tree significantly.   

Timber Trespass  

Like boundary trees, cutting trees on another person’s property without permission violates their property rights. Timber trespass, whether accidental or intentional, may result in legal trouble. The affected party may sue you in court for damages. 

Bottom Line  

Who wants to navigate complex tree laws and ordinances? Not to mention, these laws vary from one location to another. It helps to refer to your local tree ordinance for more information and seek guidance from a certified arborist whenever you need a professional’s perspective. 

As regards civil cases or criminal suits involving trees, you want to hire a lawyer experienced in property and environmental law.  

Tree Care with a Difference  

Not all tree care companies are created equal. Arbor Experts boasts a staff of certified arborists who offer specialized tree solutions to the Virginia Beach, Virginia community.   

Our services include:  

  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Tree removal  
  • Stump grinding   

We strive to provide the best tree care possible and promote a healthy environment through our work. Call Arbor Experts at (757) 500-TREE to learn more about Virginia Beach tree laws or common pruning mistakes to avoid.   


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